Funding forms part of the government’s overall aim to boost spending on R&D to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027; the UK’s highest recorded level ever (Photo:Dan Kitwood/Getty Images).


THE UK will spend an additional £91 million for research, taking the annual budget allocations for university-led research to a record high.

With additional spending, the universities in Britain will receive £2.2 billion in the 2019-20 academic year to support their research and development (R&) activities.

The sum for university research was announced today (2) by Research England in its annual budget allocations.

The funding forms part of the government’s overall aim to boost spending on R&D to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027; the UK’s highest recorded level ever.

Additional funding includes a real-terms uplift of 2.3 per cent for mainstream quality-related (QR) research funding.

The additional funding will give universities more capacity to invest in the people, partnerships and infrastructure that are essential for delivering cutting-edge research that brings real-world benefits.

Universities minister Chris Skidmore said: “…this announcement today marks an important recognition of university research and the need to invest more in flexible, curiosity-driven research that has tremendous benefits to developing our international standing as a research powerhouse.

“Increased investment in research and development is a key ambition of the government which has committed to 2.4 per cent GDP spent on R&D by 2027 – a vital part of our industrial strategy. The government has already committed to investing an additional £7bn on R&D by 2021, the largest increase for forty years.”

Commenting on the announcement of £91m in additional university-driven research funding, including a £45m increase in QR funding, Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, said: “Quality-related research funding plays a key role in developing new talent, strengthening research culture and building the skilled workforce the UK needs if we are to perform effectively as a modern knowledge economy…”

The latest increase in funding includes additional contributions from the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), supporting universities to implement the government’s industrial strategy.