Memorandum from the Council for the Central
Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC)
A. The impact of HEFCE's research funding
formulae, as applied to Research Assessment Exercise ratings,
on the financial viability of university science departments
1. CCLRC facility access and research grant
applications are peer reviewed independently of RAE grades.
B. The desirability of increasing the concentration
of research in a small number of university departments, and the
consequences of such a trend
2. The CCLRC would encourage initiatives
which increase the critical mass and sustain strength and depth
of knowledge in the core university science departments.
C. The implications for university science
teaching of changes in the weightings given to science subjects
in the teaching funding formula
3. No Comment.
D. The optimal balance between teaching and
research provision in universities, giving particular consideration
to the desirability and financial viability of teaching-only science
4. No comment.
E. The importance of maintaining a regional
capacity in university science teaching and research:
5. The CCLRC focuses on scientific infrastructure
issues at a national level, with its users coming from across
the UK. When sitting a facility, it is the regional research and
support infrastructure (scientific infrastructure, technical support,
technical support, equipment, land etc) that is important alongside
the regional (AND national) university science base.
F. The extent to which the Government should
intervene to ensure continuing provision of subjects of strategic
national or regional importance; and the mechanisms it should
use for this purpose
6. The Government should be taking a "systems"
approach and look at the continuum from GCSE through to post-graduate
qualifications in key strategic areas. The "core" subjects
(maths, chemistry, physics, materials and engineering) are essential
requirements for staffing CCLRC facilities and scientific departments
as well as for the users of the facilities.
7. The CCLRC has been involved in promoting
subjects which are of strategic national importance. CCLRC has
created a new MSc in "Accelerator Science" in collaboration
with PPARC and the Universities of Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester
in the new Cockcroft Centre at Daresbury.