Give your feedback on our ideas

Welcome to the UKRI Engagement Hub.

Open Activities

  • Global Talent Visa - Endorsed funder nominations

    The Global Talent visa is an immigration route provided by the UK Government to give a fast and efficient visa offer to those working in science and research. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is an endorsing body for the Global Talent visa. As an endorsing body, UKRI can recognise... More

    Closes 16 December 2022

  • Global Talent Visa - Host organisation nominations

    The Global Talent visa is an immigration route provided by the UK Government to give a fast and efficient visa offer to those working in science and research. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is an endorsing body for the Global Talent visa. As an endorsing body, UKRI maintains a list of UK... More

    Closes 16 December 2022

Closed Activities

  • MRC Survey on Public Involvement in Research

    The Medical Research Council (MRC) values the role of patients and the public in research and we have commissioned a public involvement review to inform the development of our new strategy. Please tell us what is important to you by taking part in this survey,... More

    Closed 27 May 2022

  • New Deal for Postgraduate Research - Call for input

    The New Deal for Postgraduate Research (“the New Deal”) is a long-term piece of work that aims to improve the experience and quality of postgraduate research training in the UK. In this engagement exercise, we are focusing primarily on doctoral training (for example, working towards a... More

    Closed 18 May 2022

  • Inclusion of both sexes in research design - Call for input

    MRC is committed to funding the best quality medical research, which is relevant to and benefits the whole of society. MRC will soon expect the sex of animals, tissues, and cells to be clearly specified and explained as part of the experimental design of grant applications. ... More

    Closed 24 April 2022

  • Consultation on the draft UKRI Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

    Fostering inclusion is essential for a high-performing research and innovation system. A diversity of people and ideas produces a thriving research and innovation system. To support our vision for an outstanding research and innovation system, we have developed our draft equality,... More

    Closed 28 March 2022

  • Digital Tools Survey

    Future Workspace are planning to enable UKRI to continue to operate in a hybrid way. Hybrid working means most of us will work part of the time from UKRI locations and part of the time remotely, although the degree to which we can do this will vary depending on our different roles and... More

    Closed 11 March 2022

We Asked, You Said, We Did

See what we've consulted on.

We asked

In April 2022, we asked for feedback on the new MRC expectations on the inclusion of sex in experimental design of studies involving animals, tissues, and cells. We also asked what MRC could do to aid researchers in implementing these requirements.

You said

We received 91 responses from researchers and research staff, with many constructive and detailed suggestions. We also received a written submission from the Academy of Medical Science, on behalf of their fellows.

We were pleased that many were already using both sexes in their experiments or were ready to begin doing so (32% and 5% of respondents, respectively). We recognise that many (57%), even though they were very often supportive in principle, felt barriers existed to implementing this in their research.

One of the most commonly mentioned concerns was a likely increase in grant costs. Respondents sought clarity from MRC as to how this would be handled. Ensuring animal welfare standards and the logistics of single housing male animals were also mentioned as barriers.

Roughly a third of respondents had questions about the changes, particularly around:

  • When the new expectation would begin to apply and how compliance would be ensured
  • How and when MRC would grant exceptions for single sex studies
  • How MRC would handle grants where costs were significantly increased due to using both sexes of animal

The support from MRC that was identified as being most helpful was:

  • Advice from MRC Head Office about applications
  • Training in statistical design and analysis
  • Written guidance
  • Case studies or worked examples

We did

As a result of this feedback, we have been working to make more information available about the upcoming change and to ensure the research community receives the necessary support. We have:

  • Updated our Guidance for Applicants with details about how to comply with these new expectations
  • Made it clear that there is no retrospective application of this requirement for grants that have already been awarded
  • Clarified that the requirement of including both sexes does not mean ‘balancing’ or using equal numbers of both sexes, as for many experiments this would result in unnecessary use of animals, but including both sexes as appropriate for the experimental design 
  • Made the cases where MRC will consider single sex studies clearer both on our website and in our Guidance for Applicants
  • Planned a webinar for applicants together with NC3Rs to be held on 21 July 2022, in which animal handling and statistical design will be discussed, and applicants can ask questions
  • Made it clearer on our website that there is no cap on MRC awards, and researchers should submit grant costings based on the cost of performing the work, and justified by the importance and potential of the work

In the coming months, we will:

  • Update our guidance to Peer Reviewers to ensure proposals submitted to the deadlines starting from September 2022 are reviewed in accordance with the new requirements
  • Develop case studies to show the level of information that would be required in applications, including examples of where single sex studies would be appropriate
  • Ensure that MRC Programme Managers are available to support applicants that have further questions
  • Look into what other support we can provide

We asked

In November 2020 we asked for input on which funders UKRI should recognise as an endorsed funder under the Global Talent Visa.

The Global Talent Visa is an immigration route provided by the UK Government to provide a fast and efficient visa offer to those working in science and research. Under the scheme, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) can recognise other funders as an ‘Endorsed Funder’. 

We want to increase the number of endorsed funders. Endorsed funders may be based in the UK or internationally.

You said

We have had nine responses with a total of 27 funders suggested to UKRI.  

66 percent of you said that this tool was ‘Good’ or ‘Very good’.

We did

This was an expression of interest stage and was the first step in the process to becoming a recognised funder. We will now review the organisations that have been nominated and will decide whether or not to take these forward via our due diligence process.

We will update this section in January 2021 to update on progress. Thanks to your feedback we will look to use this tool again in Spring 2021 to ask for more input of who UKRI sound recognised as an endorsed funder.

We asked

In October 2020 we asked for feedback on the Future Leaders Fellowships proposed terms and process for the +3 funding point within the 4+3 model. 

You said

We were really delighted with the constructive and detailed feedback that we gained from the 20 responses. These responses came from 17 existing Fellows and 3 staff members based at Host Organisations.

 

Mostly the comments were positive about the terms and process for the +3 funding point and have given us steer on how to communicate our processes with Fellows and Host Organisations, as well as informing our approach to supporting documents to guide Fellows through the application process.   

 

The themes that emerged from feedback included:

  • Fixed funding limit of £500k UKRI contribution  
  • Assessment of original objectives and the impact of challenges
  • Review timing factors with no-cost extensions and maternity/ paternity
  • Process of obtaining reviews, guidance on the renewal process for reviewers and the opportunity for fellows to respond to comments
  • Further guidance on the flexibility for Fellows to undertake non-fellowship activities
  • Bigger window to receive and assess proposals.

We did

As a result of what you said, putting together detailed guidance on all the topics you raised in your feedback.

 

Which will include more details on:

  • Advice on costing the £500k +3 period including the role of other sources of support for your fellowship.
  • How your fellowship progress and plans for phase two will be assessed, including guidance on pursuing ‘new’ lines of enquiry
  • The response stage that will allow fellows to respond to reviewer comments.
  • The guidance to reviewers on taking into account the impact of challenges faced in the first four years of funding, including the impact of the pandemic on plans (fellows will not be ‘penalised’ for being disrupted).
  • The range of activities a panel will assess
  • No cost extensions and impact of review timing (timing will be adjusted to take any no costs extensions into account).
  • confirmation that fellows are not in competition with one another

 

We will extend the window to receive and assess proposals. Further guidance on the flexibility for Fellows to undertake non-fellowship activities will be made available.

 

Further details and full guidance will be published in April 2021.