Universities: Research

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 1st July 2020.

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Photo of Douglas Chapman Douglas Chapman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research at universities across the UK.

Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

On 27 June, the Government announced a package of support for UK universities to ensure that the university research base can fully contribute to the UK recovery and our economy in the longer-term. The University Research Stabilisation package will give greater job protection to thousands of researchers, scientists and technicians working at UK universities, and will enable universities facing potential decline in income for research as a result of COVID-19 to continue their research and innovation activities.

Around £280 million of UK government investment will be made immediately available to support researchers’ salaries and other costs such as laboratory equipment and fieldwork. This includes £200m of new funding, together with upto £80 million of existing funding from UK Research & Innovation (which is being freed-up from likely grant underspends for redistribution to support R&D in our universities). From the Autumn, UK Government will provide a package for universities across the UK consisting of low-interest loans with long pay-back periods, supplemented by a small amount of government grants, to cover up to 80% of a university’s income losses from international students for the academic year 2020/21, up to the value of their non-publicly funded research activity. Universities will need to demonstrate how these funds are being utilised to sustain research in areas typically funded by charities and business.

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