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Grand Challenges lecture with Professor James Wilsdon


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The research system is changing, but the need for robust social science, novel methodologies and interdisciplinary analysis of complex problems has never been greater.

We’re about to embark on the biggest shake-up in the organisation of UK research for a generation. On 1 April 2018, implementation of the Higher Education and Research Bill will see the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and the research arm of HEFCE drawn into the warm embrace of Sir Mark Walport's new mega-funder, UKRI (UK Research and Innovation). Multi-billion pound strategic funds - for global challenges and industrial strategy - are the main source of extra investment in the funding system, forcing universities to think creatively about the projects and cross-disciplinary teams they can assemble. The Research Excellence Framework has been revamped. And all of these reforms are taking place against the backdrop of the compound uncertainties of Brexit.

The external drivers are pressing, how can we prepare for the road that lies ahead? What opportunities - as well as bumps - may lie around the corner? Drawing on his experience at the heart of UK research policy, James Wilsdon will offer a field guide to the shifting contours of the UK research landscape.