Full Letter from EPSRC Council to Daily Telegraph (17th May 2012).
As scientists and engineers, as well as members of EPSRC’s governing council, we were disappointed by claims by Roberts et al., (‘Science funding review’, Letters 15th May 2012) that we are “failing to maintain Britain’s global research standing”.
EPSRC’s strategy is exactly the opposite. The quality of science in the UK is second only to the USA. We are working hard to ensure the UK maintains its global reputation in a time of increasing international competition. Scientific excellence – funding the very best ideas – is at the heart of all that we do. It remains the number one criterion when scientific peers consider which projects to fund.
EPSRC has a reducing budget in real terms and is having to make tough choices. If we are to continue to excel in areas of strength, we cannot “salami slice” our budget - we must take a strategic approach to how we invest.
One of our roles is to ensure maximum value to the nation from publicly-funded research. It is crucial that we ask our best minds to address some of the biggest challenges we face as a society: economic resilience, our ageing population, climate change, and energy security. But we are careful to maintain a balance between this and “blue-skies” discovery-led research which continues to receive the majority (60%) of our funding.
EPSRC is committed to doing more to engage with the research community to understand their concerns. With a spending review possible in 2013, this is a time for the research community to work together to explain why science and engineering is so important for the UK.
|Dr Paul Golby CBE
||Chair, EPSRC & Engineering UK
|Professor Dave Delpy FRS, FREng, FMedSci
||Chief Executive, EPSRC
|Professor Anne Anderson OBE
||Vice Principal, University of Glasgow
|Professor Andrew Blake
||Managing Director, Microsoft Research Ltd
|Mr Jack Boyer
|Professor John Fisher CBE, FMedSci
||Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Leeds
|Professor Sir Richard Friend FRS, FREng
||Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
|Professor Andrew Hamilton FRS
||Vice Chancellor, University of Oxford
|Professor Julia King CBE, FREng
||Vice Chancellor, Aston University
|Professor Timothy Pedley FRS
||Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge
|Professor John Perkins CBE, FREng
||Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Business Innovation and Skills
|Professor Roy Sambles FRS
||School of Physics, University of Exeter
|Professor Dr Pierre-Louis Viollet
||Vice-President, EDF R&D
|Dr Dave Watson
||Director, IBM UK Labs
|Professor Jeremy Watson FREng
||Director, Global Research, Arup
Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Communities and Local Government
|Professor Lord Robert Winston FMedSci, Hon. FREng
|Dr Anthony Wood FRSC