The Research Councils have greeted the Government's settlement with muted optimism. The allocations were announced by David Willets at a press conference this morning. The £4.6bn per annum funding for science and research programmes has been protected in cash terms and ring fenced against future pressures during the spending review period. HE research funding in England has been included within this ring-fence.
Prof Rick Rylance, the AHRC's chief, said that "in a time of austerity in public spending, the AHRC’s settlement to 2015 is very welcome news indeed. It indicates the Government’s support for the value of the arts and humanities and the major contribution they make to our economic, social and cultural vitality."
Meanwhile the STFC saw the settlment as “extremely welcome." However the STFC Chairman, Professor Michael Sterling, sounded a note of caution, saying that "the next four years [are] not without challenges."
Professor Alan Thorpe, Chair of RCUK, said: “This allocation as part of the 2010 spending review confirms the value that Government has placed on research investment for the UK. In the context of a very difficult public sector settlement, it is very encouraging that the allocations to the Research Councils have fared so well. Of course, to manage within our budgets there will need to be rigorous prioritisation by Councils and some difficult strategic decisions will need to be made. The cut to the capital budgets of the Research Councils will present particularly significant challenges going forwards, but we have a good foundation, and excellence with impact will remain at the core of what we do.”
The full details of the settlement are available here.