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Shaping Capability: EPSRC’s Research Portfolio 2011

Issue date:
20 July 2011
All themes
Diagram of portfolio themes

Today, EPSRC released a map of its full research portfolio alongside further information on how it will implement the Shaping Capability strand of its delivery plan for 2011 onwards.

EPSRC’s Delivery Plan expanded on three closely interlinked strategic goals: Delivering Impact, Shaping Capability, and Developing Leaders. EPSRC supports excellent, long term research and high-quality postgraduate training in order to contribute to the economic competitiveness of the UK and the quality of life of its people. At any one time it is supporting a portfolio of research and training between £2-3billion.

To maintain the UK’s global research standing in light of increasing international competition, and with limited funding available, EPSRC must focus its investments in areas that are of long-term strategic importance to the UK. To support this strategy EPSRC’s investment decisions in future will be based on the international excellence of the research and its national importance.

Working with major stakeholders, EPSRC’s current portfolio has been mapped and where there was a strong rationale, decisions have been made about the relative scale of investment in these areas. In looking at the relationship between research areas, EPSRC considers the relative quality of UK research in the area, its relative national importance, and the existing capability in the UK. EPSRC will make decisions on all the research areas within its portfolio by 31 March 2012.

In the full EPSRC portfolio, you will see details of EPSRC’s strategy and approach to shaping capability within its research themes, along with more information about individual research areas and diagrams displaying the value of EPSRC’s current investment in those areas.

Any changes in the portfolio will take place gradually over time. EPSRC will regularly review the shape of the portfolio and the scale of investment in different areas as it evolves and will continue to encourage the free generation of ideas, curiosity, and research creativity.

To support EPSRC’s strategic goal of Shaping Capability, all its future investment decisions will be based on the international excellence of the research and its national importance (set in a global context). As Peer Review is central to achieving EPSRC’s aims the current process needs to be adapted to incorporate the new criteria. Changes will take place in autumn of this year but from now on applicants should consider their research in the context of international excellence and national importance when preparing research proposals. Further detailed information and the timescale for these changes will be detailed under application and review in September.