Research Fortnight is reporting that David Willetts has been named as minister for universities and science. He was previously the Conservative's shadow higher education minister. He will work within the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, under Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat business secretary.
Willetts has been given the rank of Minister of State. He is not a Cabinet minister but the Cabinet Office says he will attend Cabinet meetings. Former science minister, Paul Drayson, also attended in this capacity, but held an additional place on Privy Council, which Willetts will not.
Willetts has previously said he would like to delay the Research Assessment Exercise by up to two years and look again at the importance attached by the Labour government to assessing the impact of research in the exercise.