Independent review of research bureaucracy

Closed 1 Oct 2021

Opened 23 Aug 2021


Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, has been commissioned by the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation to lead an independent review to advise on a substantial reduction in unnecessary research bureaucracy in government and the wider sector. The Review team is in the process of holding evidence gathering meetings across the UK. In addition, the team is issuing this brief survey and call for evidence to add to this evidence base and help inform the Review’s recommendations. Written submissions to this call for evidence would be welcome by 1 October 2021.

The Review will identify and tackle unnecessary bureaucracy and its causes from a system-wide perspective. Measures of the success of the Review and its implementation will be:  

  • The resource spent by government and research organisations on administering the grant system should be proportionate and value for money.
  • A significant reduction in unnecessary reporting and monitoring systems within institutions and the wider system, maintaining only those that add value to our system, and with all parties accepting the resultant reduction in tracking of spending and impact.
  • A clear refocusing of remaining bureaucracy onto the highest priority areas – including to enable a broad range of excellent research, to reward and incentivise diverse career progression, to promote a culture of transparency and research integrity, and to demonstrate impact so we can make a long-term case for investment in research and innovation.

The Review recognises that all parties - government, funders, higher education institutions and research organisations - need to play their full part in this agenda. The aim is to reduce bureaucracy, not move it to another part of the system.

The Review is focusing primarily on Higher Education Institutions and research organisations. It includes university-business R&D interaction but not research undertaken by business. We are seeking the views of stakeholders from across the UK research sector, who can provide insights into research bureaucracy. 'This includes those in the devolved nations and the Review team are working closely with policy and funding leads in the devolved administrations and their agencies

You can find out further information on the Review’s purpose and scope in the Terms of Reference.


  • Universities
  • University staff
  • Scientists
  • HE representative bodies
  • Universities
  • Research Funders
  • Science Policy organisations and thinktanks
  • Learned Societies
  • National Academies
  • University associations
  • Researchers
  • Innovation community
  • Freelance researchers
  • Charities


  • Research