• HEPI number 46

This report assesses the strength of the UK’s research base, and at a high level examines how that strength is distributed between institutions. It concludes that a very small number of institutions and individuals within them produce the truly exceptional research that puts the UK among the world’s leaders in research, and that below those peaks of excellence performance is more evenly spread between institutions. Whereas the present policy of selectively funding excellent research wherever it is found has had the effect of concentrating research funds in a relatively small number of institutions, there is no general case for explicitly funding research according to historical institutional characteristics.