CSR – What next?

Posted on August 20, 2010 by

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The comprehensive spending review (CSR) is due to report on 20 October; that isn’t the end of the process. The CSR provides the broad-brush allocations, the nitty-gritty details over who gets what in each department will take a little longer to become clear.

For medical research, these decisions rest mainly in the hands of Adrian Smith, Director General (Science & Research) in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and the Department of Health’s research budget allocations.

Adrian Smith has requested evidence from various science bodies including the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences to support this decision-making process, both of whom have clearly made the case in support of medical research and made reference to charity investment in UK research. AMRC are also speaking to BIS, the Department of Health and the Treasury directly, providing facts, figures and case studies to inform their decisions about the sector.

The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) Director, Imran Khan, has written a great blog about the process, including lots of links to what organisations across the science community have been saying and doing so far and what they are planning now.

Interestingly he also asks what the future might look like for research funding; will a more cash-strapped treasury want greater control over how government research money is spent? Will research money from BIS be allocated to specific projects rather than given to research councils, HEFCE etc to decide how to spend it? BIS is due to make a policy statement on the Haldane Principle – the concept that decisions about what to spend research funds on should be made by researchers rather than politicians – in October.

Posted in: Policy