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The Research Landscape: Hear the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation and others discuss the right research priorities after the pandemic at a HEPI / Elsevier webinar

  • 7 October 2020
  • By Nick Hillman

As the pandemic has, frustratingly, made it impossible to host in-person events, HEPI has moved its events programme online. Since the pandemic began, we have:

Amanda Solloway, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation
  • hosted a series of ‘In Conversation’ sessions with the Minister for Universities, the Shadow Minister for Universities and others;
  • partnered with the University of Buckingham on a two-day Festival of Higher Education; and
  • held one-off expert webinars on topics such as the graduate labour market, postgraduate education and widening participation.

Most recently, last Sunday, we hosted an event with MillionPlus linked to the Conservative Party Conference, at which the Minister for Universities spoke. 

All these events are available to watch for free on our website.

While most of these past events have incorporated discussion about the UK’s research base, since the pandemic took over our lives we have not yet hosted an event focused entirely on UK research. We are therefore delighted to be able to put that right later this month, in conjunction with Elsevier.

Our next flagship event will be a HEPI / Elsevier webinar on The Research Landscape in – and after – the pandemic. This will be held on the morning of Tuesday, 20 October from 9.45am to midday, just as we approach the next spending review, the end of the Brexit transition period and the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework.

Kumsal Bayazit, Chief Executive Officer of Elsevier

Currently, there is a consensus on the importance of research. All the political parties made bold promises about research spending at the time of the last general election. We are all looking to UK research to tackle the effects of the pandemic, either directly through the discovery of a vaccine or more indirectly by underpinning the future success of the British economy.

Yet, in contrast to the consensus on the importance of research, there is little consensus over the details of research policy. What are the optimal arrangements for delivering research spending? How should the quality of research be assessed? What arrangements will best help foster international collaboration? How can we improve the pathway for early career researchers? Is it still appropriate to cross-subsidise research from teaching income? Is 2.4% of GDP enough?

We hope to address all these points during the sessions at our *free* half-day event, which will include:

  • a ministerial keynote address by Amanda Solloway, the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation;
  • the presentation of some new findings about research in the pandemic; and
  • a panel of experts discussing ‘What should the 2.4% target mean for research priorities after the pandemic?’

For further information, the draft programme and to register your place, please see the Events page on the HEPI website.

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