New CaSE analysis shows that the UK research base has lost over £1 billion of investment over the course of this Parliament due to the government’s flat-cash ringfence policy.
It also reveals that if current government policy is maintained, overall funding for research will continue to be eroded by inflation despite recent capital spending commitments, with the overall shortfall reaching £2.3 billion by 2020.
CaSE has analysed investment since 2010 in the UK research base, composed of the resource ‘Science Budget’ and capital budget, over the term of this Parliament, comparing it to what would have been spent if 2010 budgets had been maintained in line with inflation. The analysis looks at overall research base investment and how the resource and capital budgets have individually affected investment in science and engineering. It also looks at planned investment in the next Parliament (2015/16 to 2019/20). Read More
In response to the 2014 BIS Capital Consultation “Creating the Future: a 2020 Vision for Science and Research”, CaSE wrote a letter to the Universities and Science Minister, then David Willets, and developed a joint submission with The Science Council, outlining key issues raised by their respective member bodies.
As part of this submission, CaSE and The Science Council believe that decisions about capital spending should be guided by the following principles:
- Long-term, stable and balanced strategy: a capital funding roadmap should sit within an overarching, long-term vision for UK science that supports high-quality multidisciplinary basic and applied research, the development of a skilled workforce, sustains our world-leading universities and research institutions, attracts industries from all over the world and builds a diverse and sustainable innovation ecosystem.
- Decisions must not be based on political expediency: capital infrastructure decisions must be determined by robust cost-benefit analysis outlined in a comprehensive business plan, not determined by electoral timetables or political agendas
- Robust and transparent decision-making: a robust mechanism for making capital funding decisions should be outlined within a long-term research strategy. A long-term strategy must set out capital investment priorities and provide flexibility for investment in new technologies.
- Science community-led decisions: within the robust mechanism, funding priorities and decisions at an operational level must be aligned with an overall strategy and made primarily on the basis of scientific excellence and potential impact.
- Resources to match capital investment: funding of human and material resources to ensure efficient operation and maintenance of facilities and equipment should be matched to capital investment to ensure that resources are used efficiently and achieve the greatest impact.
- Nurturing a highly skilled workforce: a highly skilled workforce is essential to maximise capital investment. There needs to be an aligned, long term and adequately resourced skills and training strategy to nurture the next generation of talent to match the long term capital investment strategy.
The full response can be found here.
A new CaSE report, Improving Diversity in STEM, shows that diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is much needed, but by all measures progress is too slow. Read More
A new independent report for CaSE shows that investing public money in science and engineering is good for the economy. The Economic Significance of the UK Science Base examines the economic impact of public investment in the UK science base.
The report looks in detail at the relationship between public funding of science and engineering and three levels of economic activity: total factor productivity growth in industries; ability of universities to attract external income; and interaction between individual researchers and the wider economy. Read More
Over forty CaSE members and collaborators met with the Home Office in January 2014 at the offices of Fragomen, the world’s leading immigration law firm, to discuss on-the-ground experiences of UK immigration policy and its impact on the ability of these organisations to do their work. You can read a PDF copy of this summary here.
The meeting is one of a series of CaSE Opinion Forums over the coming year, to develop policy work and manifesto recommendations in the run-up to the 2015 General Election and subsequent Spending Review. Read More
‘Action needed to attract global STEM talent’
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has today called on the Government to make substantial changes to UK migration policy to reverse the declining trend in international STEM students. Read More
The following is CaSE’s submission to the House of Lords call for evidence on International STEM students (dated 19th February 2014).
The final report can be viewed here and CaSE’s response here. Read More
“Science A-level reforms are not practical at all”
While the Chancellor has committed to making the UK the best place in the world to do science, changes to A-levels mean that young people will be able leave school with the highest grades in science without being able to do science at all. Read More
“New investments welcome but gear shift needed to win global race”
Below is CaSE’s response to the 2014 Budget. You can also read our our 2014 Budget background paper.
The following is CaSE’s full response to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report on scientific infrastructure – submitted June 2013. You can read CaSE’s response to the Committee’s final response here.
What role should the Government play in ensuring that there is an effective long-term strategy for meeting future scientific infrastructure needs?
A long-term strategy for meeting future infrastructure needs must be underpinned by a scientific infrastructure roadmap and accompanied by a long-term funding commitment. Such a roadmap will include the case for well-argued large facilities, in addition to the maintenance and upgrade of existing facilities and provision for international collaborations. Read More
“The spending review is about making choices, and for me science is a personal priority.”
Chancellor George Osborne at last week’s ‘topping out’ ceremony at the Francis Crick Institute
“I am up for the challenge… of making Britain the best place in the world to do science.”
Chancellor George Osborne in speech to the Royal Society 9 November 2012
CaSE welcomes the positive signals from the Chancellor of the Exchequer about his personal commitment to science in advance of the spending review. Read More
Today the House of Lords is debating the role of departmental Chief Scientific Advisors (DCSAs). The debate has been called by the Chair of the Lords Science and Technology Committee, Lord Krebs, following the Committee’s report into the role and function of DCSAs, earlier this year.
Science and engineering impacts on the work of every government department, from climate change to transport infrastructure and military defence to school-age education. It is therefore crucial that independent scientific advice should be at the heart of government and that each department should have a CSA to deliver expert advice and oversee science policymaking.
Ahead of today’s debate, CaSE has produced the following briefing – giving an up-to-date review of the DCSA network across government.
Sufficient Oversight Powers
Ministry of Defence
Department for Culture Media and Sport
Departmental Research & Development Budgets Read More
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has launched a new consultation on the Shortage Occupations List, which closes on 30th November 2012.
The MAC is the Government’s main independent advisory body on immigration policy. Part of their role is keeping the Shortage Occupations List (SOL) up to date. If your job appears on the SOL, then you’ll have an easier time getting into the country.
The Government have recently asked the MAC, amongst other things, whether jobs on the SOL should be removed from the list automatically after two years – the rationale being that the SOL is intended to be a short-term measure, not a way of addressing long-term skills shortages. Read More
Also posted in CaSE, Highlights
New Immigration Rules took effect on 6 April that will change the way that research centres, universities and other employers recruit workers from outside of Europe. More changes are due on 14 June 2012.
The extensive set of changes touched on every area of policy for Tier 2 migrants, the ‘skilled worker’ category. There has been a lot of change, and staff in HR, the individual employees and their recruiting managers could be forgiven for losing track. Read More
This following evidence was submitted by CaSE to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into the Role and Function of Departmental Chief Scientific Advisers (CSAs), on 11th October 2011. We’ve also compiled a Scorecard to rate the suitability of each departmental CSA, which you can view here.
The Commitee’s report was published in February 2012 and you can read it here.
- 1. The Campaign for Science and Engineering is a non-profit organisation which advocates for the UK to become a better place in which to conduct science and engineering. We are supported by a hundred different organisational members in the science and engineering sector, ranging from universities and companies to learned societies and research charities. Read More
1. The Campaign for Science & Engineering (CaSE) is a membership organisation aiming to improve the scientific and engineering health of the UK. CaSE works to ensure that science and engineering are high on the political and media agenda, and that the UK has world-leading research and education, skilled and responsible scientists and engineers, and successful innovative business. It is funded by around 750 individual members and 100 organisations including industries, universities, learned and professional organisations, and research charities. Read More
Science funding was today raised in the House of Commons, during oral questions to the Secretary of Sate for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and CaSE was mentioned in the exchange.
Labour Shadow Business, Innovation and Skills Minister Chi Onwurah stated that the independent Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) showed that science funding had been cut by 12 per cent. Innovation support was being denied to businesses, she added.
Also posted in Blog, Highlights
The scientific advice network across Whitehall suffers from wildly inconsistent support mechanisms, according to new research conducted by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE). While some departmental Chief Scientific Advisors (CSAs) have excellent links with their host department, many post-holders may not have sufficient independence, oversight, or access to ministers to properly fulfil their brief, according to the independent advocacy group.
Responding to a House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry into the work of departmental Chief Scientific Advisors (CSA), CaSE has compiled a scorecard to rate the suitability of each current departmental CSA up to September 2011. The scorecard has found “huge inconsistencies in science advice in government”.
Note that the scores relate to the departmental CSA structure, rather than the competency of the individuals themselves. You can view a PDF copy of the scorecard here.