The Government has launched a new independent review into UK research bureaucracy, which is intended to help researchers free up greater time to focus on projects.
The latest review is part of a wider policy within Government to support publicly and privately funded research and development (R&D) across the country via the &D Roadmap, published in July 2020.
The new review will be led by Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex and will look to make recommendations to remove unnecessary red tape in the UK research and development system.
It will also look to identify practical solutions to bureaucratic issues faced by researchers and businesses across the UK such as overly complicated grant forms that require in-depth financial knowledge, a lack of clarity over funding available to researchers and having to provide the same data multiple times in different formats to different funders.
The Government said that the review and its reforms will balance safeguarding the need to demonstrate impact and value for money while supporting the UK research environment.
Amanda Solloway, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, said: “The UK is home to some of the world’s leading scientists and researchers and their response over the past year to the coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on the vital need for them to be able to carry out their ground-breaking work at pace. Their discoveries have created much needed medical treatments and vaccines that are saving lives across the world.
“As we build back better by unleashing innovation, it’s crucial that we create a research environment that harnesses this same scientific speed and endeavour. This review will identify how we can free up our brightest minds from unnecessary red tape so they can continue making cutting edge discoveries while cementing UK’s status as a science superpower.”
The review will end in early 2022, with interim findings published later that year. The review will involve broad engagement with the whole UK R&D community.
The UK has an ambitious vision for the future of R&D, including the goal of minimising bureaucracy whilst maintaining flexibility, diversity and necessary accountability. This review is the next phase in delivering on that commitment, according to the Government.
A key factor in the success of many research projects is the generous R&D tax credit system, which provides around £5.1 billion in funding a year that supports £36 billion of R&D expenditure.
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