The importance of quality-related (QR) research funding

14 December 2017

This dual system allows universities to maintain a balance between short-term project-based research and development (R&D), and longer-term, sometimes more risky, research.

QR brings many benefits. The funding is directly linked to individual university’s excellence and is competitively awarded to universities based on their previous track record in producing impactful research.

Without QR funding, the UK would not have: graphene, genomics, opto-electronics, cosmology research, and new tests and treatments for everything from bowel disease to diabetes, dementia and cancer.


It supports strategic planning and risk-taking by giving universities the flexibility to deploy resources into cutting-edge, often interdisciplinary, areas of research.

It allows them to respond quickly to emerging opportunities and to invest in the training of early career researchers, as well as support staff, infrastructure, equipment and facilities.

QR underpins the ability of Russell Group universities to bid for research council funding, collaborate with a wide range of partners, support emerging disciplines and maintain a responsive research capacity.

It has proved invaluable for accessing funding streams in Europe and beyond, and helping universities leverage greater levels of investment and income from other partners, including business, charities and the public sector.

All this helps Russell Group universities to gain a competitive edge over their international counterparts.

QR ensures there is a sustainable pipeline of new ideas and talent to underpin innovation in areas which may not yet have emerged as the global challenges of the future.

Maintaining QR funding will help the UK to retain its position as a world leader in science and innovation, something the Government recognised in its recent Industrial Strategy White Paper.

We warmly welcome the Government’s commitment in that white paper to increase QR funding and look forward to more concrete details about this in due course.

Examples of the use of QR funding include:

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