I've mentioned the RCUK Shared Services Centre in the past, and the - ahem - less than fullsome reviews it's had. Despite all this, RCUK is ploughing ahead, and this week sees the transfer of EPSRC's backroom operations to the SSC.
Don't you worry, say EPSRC in a press release, the transfer will be seemless. You won't have access to the grants progress checker whilst the transfer takes place, and 'applicants may experience slightly longer processing for proposals submitted during the transfer period'. But otherwise, seemless.
From December onwards you should contact the SSC rather than EPSRC about any queries to do with the processing of your application.
Dr Annette Bramley, who sounds like she should be a Beatrix Potter character but is actually the gloriously entitled 'Head of Change Implementation', delivered a ringing, New Labourish endorsement of the Service, packed full of 'streamlining' and 'enhancing', 'simplify' and 'benefit'.
You can read the statement in full here, but suffice to say she thinks the change will be brilliant, and will herald a new arcadian dawn. Let's hope so - but remember, 'et in Arcadia ego'. There's decay and death, disruption and frustration in Arcadia as well.