University-based research in England has received a major boost today after Research England published its overall budgets for 2019-2020. The additional £91 million investment comes from the National Productivity Investment Fund, and aims to support universities in the implementation of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
£45 million of the uplift will be directed to Quality-related Research funding (QR funding) which enables universities to support research infrastructure, develop long-term strategic planning and direct funding towards their own research priorities. This increase of 2.3% in real-terms takes QR funding to its highest ever level.
There is no change in the budget for postgraduate research degree supervision element of QR funds, which was increased for 2018-2019 and will stay at £260 million. In total, the 2019-20 Research England budget for research and knowledge exchange will be nearly £2.2 billion.
Commenting on the announcement, Professor Richard Reece, Chair Portland Press Board said:
“Quality-related Research (QR) funding plays a core role in university research, including in strengthening curiosity-driven research from which many of the UK’s greatest discoveries have developed. This uplift in funding is a welcome step towards the ultimate goal of increasing research spending to 2.4% GDP and we hope the next UK Prime Minister will continue to boost investment into UK science, research and innovation.”