The research and technical workforce in the UK

15 February 2021

The Government has ambitions to become a science superpower. To achieve this, it has committed to increase public funding for R&D to £22 billion per year by 2024-25 as part of its longer-term goal to increase UK investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. 

If the UK is to become a science superpower, it will need the research and technical workforce in place to effectively deliver the uplift. The data contained in this report suggests we will not have the workforce in place without additional action.

This report provides a high-level profile of the national and higher education research and technical workforces in the UK between 2013/14 and 2018/19. It explores temporal changes in the workforce, the regional distribution of the workforce, and the age and sex of the workforce. 

This blog by Professor Dame Athene Donald FRS sets out her thoughts on what needs to be done to achieve the Government’s goal.