About Us

The Higher Education and Research Act 2017 established Research England as a Council of UK Research and Innovation and alongside the other existing Councils (the seven Research Councils and Innovate UK).

Research England is responsible for funding, engaging with and understanding English higher education institutions (HEIs). As autonomous and diverse organisations, HEIs play a distinctive role in the research and innovation system, justifying a Council which challenges them to deliver to national agendas and supports them in achieving that. The diversity of individual university strategies, shaped by their many partners, will complement the level of strategic direction provided by UK Research and Innovation.

Research England is formed of the Research and Knowledge Exchange functions of the former HEFCE. This includes oversight of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF).

Background to the formation of Research England


Timeline for transition process: 1992 Further and Higher Education Act (creation of HEFCE), 1992 to 2018 (HEFCE distributes funding for higher education teaching, research and knowledge exchange), 2017 Higher Education and Research Act (Research and knowledge exchange functions of HEFCE incorporated into Research England under UK Research and Innovation), 2018-19 (Transition into Research England and OfS)