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Topics and policy

Funding, governance and careers

The UK has one of the most productive research systems in the world. With just 1% of the world’s population the UK now produces about 16% of the world’s most highly-cited scientific articles and ranks 2nd in the world for the quality of its scientific research institutions.

Scientists, engineers and other researchers make a major contribution to the country’s long-term economic growth and ability to tackle social, health and environmental challenges.

The strong international reputation of UK research relies on funding excellent science across a broad portfolio with researchers, rather than politicians, determining research priorities.

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Our analysis and advice

  • Mobility of researchers

    Evidence to the Migration Advisory Committee on the mobility of researchers.

    Download the document

  • Submission to the Nurse Review

    The Royal Society response to Sir Paul Nurse's review, with Research Councils, into how they can evolve to support research in the most effective ways.

    Read the submission

  • The culture of research and the future of the science system

    The Royal Society held a conference with early career researchers to discuss the culture of research, the pressures on the current science system and the possibilities for improvement. 

    Explore the conference

  • Reforms to the UK’s higher education, research and innovation system

    We are working closely with the Fellowship and the broader research and innovation community to engage with the Higher Education and Research Bill.

    What is the Society doing?

  • Building a stronger future: Research, innovation and growth

    The UK National Academies set out key priorities and actions for the next Government to make the UK the location of choice for world class research, development and innovation.

    Download the statement

  • Doctoral students’ career expectations

    This project explored doctoral students' careers expectations, and how they can be best managed so that students and their supervisors understand the wide range of careers that a PhD can lead to in and outside of science. 

    Read the report

  • UK research and the European Union

    Gathering evidence about the influence of the UK’s relationship with the EU on research.

    Download the report

Also of interest

In Verba blog

Fellows working in this area

Professor Richard Jones

An experimental polymer physicist, Professor Richard Jones has also has written extensively on the wider issues surrounding nanotechnology.

He was the Senior Strategic Advisor for Nanotechnology for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) from 2007 to 2009, and in 2013 he was appointed to the Council of the EPSRC.

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an astrophysicist best known for her role in the discovery of pulsars - considered to be one of the greatest astronomical discoveries of the 20th century.

Dame Jocelyn has since become a role model for young students and female scientists throughout the world. Notable awards include the Michael Faraday Prize and the Royal Medal.