About us

Research England is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

We are responsible for funding, engaging with and understanding English higher education providers (HEPs).

Our work creates and sustains the conditions for a healthy and dynamic research and knowledge exchange system in the higher education sector.

Our vision

Our vision is for English HEPs to play a central role in the economy and society delivering world-class research with transformational real-world application, developing the skilled and talented workforce that modern research and development (R&D) intensive economy needs, and operating as major international players to enhance the UK's global reach and influence.

Our mission

Our mission is to create and sustain the conditions for a healthy and dynamic research and knowledge exchange system in English HEPs.

We fund HEPs to deliver excellent research and high-performance knowledge exchange, unlocking potential, generating impact, and meeting national priorities and global challenges.

This includes a strong focus on:

  • high-value, strategic and agile formula funding streams such as quality-related research funding underpinned by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and support for knowledge exchange via the Higher Education Innovation Fund
  • support for innovative institutional developments.

We want to make the best use of taxpayers' money - prioritising funding where we can get the best value and ensuring we deliver the government's policy aims. We also make sure that HEPs are accountable for the money they get, but without creating an excessive burden on them.

Our stakeholders

We work with the higher education sector to understand its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges. We provide the core funding that unlocks the sectors potential and creates impact and value from public investment in the research and innovation system.

We help universities to take the long term view of their priorities that is essential to strengthening our national research endeavour and enhance its significant contribution to the wider economy and society.

Our place in UKRI - and outside it

In 2017, the government passed the Higher Education and Research Act, which established UKRI.

UKRI brings together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Innovate UK
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Research England (RE)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

UKRI operates across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion.

Research England's role in supporting university success complements the disciplinary work of its fellow research councils (in the dual support system) and the business-led innovation focus of Innovate UK.

Research England works with the other UK funding bodies on institutional research and knowledge exchange policy and funding matters, and with the Office for Students.

You'll find more on UKRI and the other councils on the UK Research and Innovation website.