Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you will not see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Head of Department Professor David Paterson joins Lord David Willets, Dame Ottoline Leyser and Priya Guha in discussing the future priorities for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) - summaries are now published in The Foundation for Science and Technology Journal.

David in his office by the window.

In November 2020, a meeting of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FTS) chaired by the Rt Hon Lord Willetts FRS, former Minister for Universities and Science, explored how the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) should develop, particularly in light of the challenges posed by Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting brought together the UKRI's Chief Executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Innovate UK Council member and Venture Partner at Merian Ventures Priya Guha, and DPAG's Head of Department and President of the Physiological Society Professor David Paterson.

Professor Paterson delivered a talk on "Assessing the real value of research", during which he noted that the UK needs to become better at bringing together the whole research landscape. This is particularly key in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic:

One of the challenges for UKRI is to set up a funding framework which can still focus on the reductive aspects of our science while not losing sight of the whole. COVID-19 is a multi-organ disease and this is classically where three different disciplines meet - physiology, neuroscience and immunology. To be able to set up funding structures in response mode to deal with this kind of challenge is very important. - Professor David Paterson

Professor Paterson also indicated two key issues that need addressing in the world of research funding for UK science: pressure on the Quality-related research (QR) funding support model, and whether the Research Excellence Framework (REF), which is the framework to help distribution within QR, is fit for purpose. He also notes the inherent difficulties in assessing academic success, as while they are not mutually exclusive, the answers may be different in mission science and discovery science. 

A summary of Professor Paterson's talk, together with talks from Dame Ottoline Leyster on "Creating a flexible, inter-connected and effective system" and Priya Guha on "Making the most of our innovative start-ups" can be read online in the latest issue of the FTS Journal. View the full issue.

Videos of the presentations from the 2020 meeting can be accessed on the FTS Events website.

Similar stories

Nicola Smart appointed Associate Professor of Cellular and Integrative Physiology

The post is in association with a Tutorial Fellowship at Christ Church College.

REF 2021 results

Professor Irene Tracey CBE FMedSci nominated as next Oxford Vice-Chancellor

Congratulations are in order for Professor Irene Tracey, Warden of Merton College and former University Lecturer at DPAG, who has been nominated as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Nobel Laureate Professor Thomas Südhof ForMemRS delivers 2022 Sherrington Prize Lecture

The annual lecture was given in honour of Sir Charles Sherrington, who was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, by the 2013 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine.

Professor David Paterson unveils Blue Plaque to honour Sir Charles Sherrington at his long-time Oxford residence

Head of Department Professor David Paterson unveiled an Oxfordshire Blue Plaque commemorating Sir Charles Scott Sherrington (1857 – 1952), OM, Nobel Laureate, founder of neurophysiology, on Thursday 28 April at 9 Chadlington Road, Oxford.