MPs crticise plans for restructuring research council institutes

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 22 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:607
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    Research council institutes (RCIs) should not automatically become embedded within universities or other higher education organisations, as has been suggested by some observers, a report by MPs says. Instead, their structure and location needs to be decided on a case by case basis according to how they can best contribute to future scientific research, the House of Commons' science and technology committee concludes.

    In March 2006 the committee announced an inquiry into the institutes after “a school of thought that RCIs are no longer the most effective way of conducting basic research.”

    The United Kingdom has eight research councils. They have a total annual budget of £2.8bn (€4.1bn; $5.5bn) for 2007-8 to fund research and training in their own research centres and in universities; some 130 centres; and units collectively known as research council institutes.

    In its report, the committee highlights comments by …

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