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Professor Peter Lawrence

Volume 715: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration the research councils have given to points raised by Professor Peter Lawrence in PLoS Biology 7(9); and whether they plan to implement the recommendations described therein to “restore science to its rightful place”. [HL471]

The research councils consider that peer review is effective at allocating funding for research grants and has underpinned the success of the UK's Research Base. The research councils are continually working to improve the peer review system. In 2007 RCUK published a report on the efficiency and value for money of peer review and is currently taking forward its recommendations. An important part of this work is to identify ways of freeing up researchers' time so that they can concentrate more on their research. Research councils have a range of fellowship schemes that support excellent researchers for extended periods of time. Issues for research staff, who are employed primarily to undertake research, are addressed through the sector implementing the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.