Circular Letter

27 July 2020

Recurrent and capital funding for 2020-21

  1. This circular letter sets out our decisions on recurrent funding for higher education providers (HEPs) for academic year 2020-21, and on capital funding for financial year 2020-21. 
  2. Decisions on funding are delegated from the Chief Executive Officer of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to me as Executive Chair of Research England (RE).[1] The Executive Chair acts with the endorsement and support of the RE Council.
  3. Alongside this letter we have published the allocations letter to UKRI from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which sets out the overall budgets and government priorities for RE in financial year 2020-21.
  4. Following a period of consultation with sector representative bodies, a lightly revised set of terms and conditions for 2020-21 will be published by the 1 August 2020.
  5. We plan to publish HEPs’ recurrent and formula capital grants for 2020-21 in mid-August 2020.
  6. Due to the timing of this grant announcement, for August 2020 we will pay HEPs the same amount that they were paid in August 2019 for Quality-related research (QR) funding, excluding the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) and adjust the monthly payment profiles accordingly once final 2020-21 allocations have been calculated.
  7. Unless specified otherwise, all figures in this letter relate to academic years (August to July).

Budget decisions for 2020-21

  1. The UKRI allocations letter from BEIS confirmed the funding available to RE for the 2020-21 financial year (April to March). The letter also identified the policies and priorities that should underpin our approach to funding. 

  2. In the light of that correspondence, and with endorsement of the RE Council, we have set budgets for recurrent grant and funding for national facilities and initiatives for the 2020-21 academic year (Tables 1 and 2) and budgets for formula capital grant for the 2020-21 financial year (Table 3). Further detail about these allocations is provided below.
  3. In making budget decisions for the 2020-21 academic year, we have made a reasonable assumption for the value of recurrent research funding for financial year 2021-22. Any future changes to the grant made available by Government could affect the funding we are able to distribute to HEPs in the 2020-21 academic year, and this may include revising allocations after they have already been announced.
  4. We will not change the previously announced 2019-20 academic year recurrent grant allocations for research and knowledge exchange. However, we reserve the right to revise allocations for other reasons, for example, if we find that terms and conditions of grant have not been met or that formula allocations have been informed by incorrect institutional data.