Research England Council membership announced

Research England Council membership announced

05 February 2020

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has appointed an additional member to Research England’s Council.

Kellie Beirne, Director of the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) City Deal, Chair of Innovation Advisory Council for Wales and Member of Science and Innovation Advisory Panel for Wales, will work with Research England’s Executive Chair, David Sweeney, to deliver the Council’s aim to create and sustain the conditions for a healthy and dynamic research and knowledge exchange system in English universities.

The role of the Council, which is chaired by David Sweeney, is to:

  • Support the Executive Chair in ensuring the successful operation of Research England, including setting priorities and activities in line with UK Research and Innovation’s overall strategy, and considering key risks.
  • Provide expert advice on the development of Research England’s strategic delivery plan, with critical-friend monitoring and review of progress against this.
  • Provide strategic advice to UK Research and Innovation on the research and knowledge exchange system of relevance to Research England.
  • Act as ambassadors and advocates for UK Research and Innovation and Research England.

Research England’s Executive Chair, David Sweeney, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Kellie to Research England’s Council. I look forward to working with her, and our Council, to ensure our higher education institutions continue to seize opportunities and contribute to government commitments in the way they are best placed to do so.

“Research England has a unique position within the dual funding system for research, and as the English funder within a UK-wide organisation. Success will depend on strong partnerships, and Kellie’s experience will support and further enhance our work with key partners including the devolved funding bodies, and will ensure that Research England plays its role in the success of UK Research and Innovation.”

Kellie took up her position in January 2020. Her term will run until 31 March 2023.

Today’s announcement is one of a number of Council appointments made by UKRI.


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Notes for editors

  1. When members were recruited onto the nine Councils in 2018, not all vacancies were filled. Also, a small number of members’ terms ended in March 2019.
  2. Unless otherwise stated, appointments will run from January 2020 to 31 March for a given year.
  3. A small number of vacancies still remain and will be addressed in another recruitment round.
  4. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees' political activity (if any declared) to be made public. No political activity has been declared by any appointee.
  5. Appointees each receive an annual remuneration of £6,850 for their position on Council.
  6. None of the appointees currently holds any ministerial public appointment.
  7. Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 each of the nine Councils within UK Research and Innovation has a Council comprising the Executive Chair and between 5-12 ordinary members. Council members are appointed by the UK Research and Innovation Board in consultation with the relevant Executive Chair. The Secretary of State may appoint one of the members and is entitled to attend any Council meeting (or nominate a representative to attend).
  8. Research England shapes healthy, dynamic research and knowledge exchange in English universities. It distributes over £2.2bn to universities in England every year; works to understand their strategies, capabilities and capacity; and supports and challenges universities to create new knowledge, strengthen the economy, and enrich society. Research England is part of UK Research and Innovation alongside the seven Research Councils and Innovate UK.
  9. UK Research and Innovation works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.  

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.