British Academy welcomes Government’s R&D strategies

22 Jul 2021

The British Academy has today welcomed the publication of the Government’s People and Culture strategy which sets out a vision for Research and Development across the themes of people, culture and talent, and calls for collective and coordinated action from across the sector.

Proposals include the establishment of a "Young Academy" through the National Academies, the creation of a "New Deal" for postgraduate students to improve practical and financial support; and reform the high-skilled migration routes to attract talent in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Hetan Shah, Chief Executive of the Academy said:

"This strategy recognises that people are at the heart of great Research and Development and that investing in researchers will be vital if we are to reach the ambitions outlined in the R&D roadmap published last year.

“Successful and world-leading R&D requires insights from across the research base, spanning academia and industry, government and funders, and the full range of talented people and the disciplines they study across the sciences and the humanities and social sciences.

“The British Academy is looking forward to playing our part in delivering this strategy, through our own Early Career Research Network in the humanities and social sciences in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation. We are also pleased to see strong support for the UK Young Academy which we will be developing with the Royal Society and the other UK national academies. Support for these initiatives recognises the role of the UK’s national academies in developing exceptional talent through all stages of a research career.”

He added: “Continuing to attract talent from outside the UK is as important as nurturing researchers already based here. We therefore welcome the strategy’s commitment to reforming immigration routes for high-skilled researchers. The Academy remains committed to the expansion of the opportunities of the Global Talent visa and will continue to share insight and evidence to support this.”

The Government also published today the Innovation Strategy. Last month, Hetan Shah published a piece in the FT in which he outlined how SHAPE subjects (Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy) can contribute to the strategy.

Commenting on its publication, he said: “The Academy welcomes the publication of the Innovation Strategy, further evidence of this government’s commitment to R&D. As the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences, we would reiterate that innovation happens across a range of sectors and is informed by a range of disciplines including those within SHAPE. The exceptional performance of our universities globally is also driven by the power of their work in these areas. We look forward to playing our part in meeting the government’s ambitions set out in the strategy.”

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