Friday, 25 April 2014

The Battle of the RCUK Research Ships

NERC's new polar research ship
Excitement was palpable at Death Star House this morning as NERC unveiled plans for it's new polar research ship. Painted a bold, brazen red, with 'SCIENCE' emblazoned on its side, the ship will send out a positive signal that the UK is serious about scientific research.

The CEO of NERC, Prof Duncan Wingham, purred through what the ship had to offer. 'This vessel will be equipped to support oceanographic, marine ecosystem, geophysical and other research activities.'

Not to be outdone, however, Prof Rick Rylance, head of the AHRC, spoke to a hastily convened press conference elsewhere in the building.

'I'm pleased to announce that the AHRC will be launching a Humanities 'Super Yacht,'' he said. To gasps of astonishment, Rylance held up what was clearly a badly photoshopped image of a speed boat with 'HUMANITIES' written across it.

AHRC's 'Super Yacht': Rylance's Artist's Impression
'The yacht will be fuelled with the redundant words that have been stripped out of research proposals,' claimed Rylance. 'We've built up quite a stock pile of unnecessary padding. It's completely valueless in terms of application content, but we've found that it burns very nicely'.

He went on: 'we believe we have enough 'overarching's and 'lacuna's to power us around the world fifteen times. But should we ever get through these we have reserves of 'furthermore's and 'step change's.'

It is understood that candidates for the post of ESRC Chief Executive will be asked to present at interview a model of a possible SOCIAL SCIENCES research ship. Fundermentals has spoken to one of the front runners for the job, who has spent several nights gluing together match sticks to recreate the Dunkirk 'flotilla of small boats'.


  1. What a clear case of plagiarism - for all three councils. After all the German/Austrian super freight ship "MS Wissenschaft" (picture at already started its cruise in 2013. The question is: will the modern British speedboats manage to catch up with her?

  2. Just fact-checking before I loose any credibilit as a researcher: the German science ship has been up and swimming since 2003! And it is still afloat.

  3. Cor! That looks like an oil tanker! Plenty of room for much more science. However, I think those rock n' roll humanities scholars have the edge on style and speed...