RCUK exists to help the Research Councils to work together more effectively. The RCUK Delivery Plan sets out the Research Councils priorities for working together and adding value to individual Research Council activities by:
- enabling dialogue about research priorities, facilitating an open and collective approach to investing in multidisciplinary research and training;
- making it easier for Councils and external stakeholders to work together, promoting dialogue, collaboration and partnership;
- articulating coherently the activities, views and opinions of the Research Councils to increase their collective visibility and policy influence;
- working jointly with the academic community and other funders to provide more effective and efficient services for the research community, reducing the level of bureaucracy on researchers and university administrators;
- improving Councils' operational performance by sharing best practice and making efficiency gains to release more Science Budget resources for research
Each of the Research Councils and RCUK report the progress on delivering their objectives and the achievement of milestones and targets quarterly to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. In addition, each Research Council publishes an Annual Delivery Plan Report covering progress against the relevant milestones and targets in its delivery plan and scorecard. The latest RCUK Delivery Plan Annual Report can be accessed here.
Parliamentary scrutiny 2005
As publicly-funded bodies, the Research Councils are held accountable to Parliament for their investments in research. In 2005 RCUK was scrutinised by the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee as part of their rolling programme of scrutiny of the Research Councils. The scrutiny concluded that RCUK performed a valuable service in promoting best practice across the Research Councils and the harmonisation of administrative procedures.
Download the report
Download the response
RCUK Review 2004
Government agreed that RCUK should be formally reviewed after two years, and in 2004 the Office of Science and Technology (now the Office of Science and Innovation) commissioned the Ruffles Review. The Ruffles Review agreed that the abolition of RCUK was inconceivable. The RCUK delivery plan, published in April 2005, sets out how RCUK is addressing the recommendations of the Ruffles Review
RCUK Review 2003
When RCUK was launched in May 2002, Research Council Chief Executives requested that an interim review be carried out after one year to determine whether the RCUK partnership was on course to deliver its objectives. In 2003 an independent review was undertaken by consultants. The review concluded that RCUK had made a promising start and in many respects was on course to meet its objectives.