NEWS30 May 2023

UKRI updates researcher roles

News Public Sector UK

UK – UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is simplifying and harmonising role types for projects it finances in a drive to reduce bureaucracy and simplify funding.

Apprentice taking notes

The changes include creating a new role of ‘project lead’ to replace principal investigators, and will see the 35 available role types reduced to 12.

These role changes will apply only to applications made using the UKRI Funding Service, and not those using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system or Innovate UK’s Innovation Funding Service.

The changes include replacing what most UKRI councils previously called a ‘training grant holder’ or ‘programme manager, what Innovate UK called a ‘project manager’ and Research England named a ‘competed department administrator’ or ‘co version overseer’ to ‘grant manager’ throughout UKRI.

The changes came into place last week, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Economic and Social Research Council are the first councils to transition to the Funding Service, with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Medical Research Council to follow shortly.

Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, executive chair at NERC and senior responsible owner of the Simpler and Better Funding programme, said: “These changes support UKRI’s five-year strategy and our commitment to ensuring recognition and career development pathways for everyone involved in delivering research and innovation.

“They also support the introduction of our new Funding Service, simplifying our processes and making it easier for applicants to collaborate across disciplines and portfolios.”