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Future governance of BBSRC-sponsored institutes

12 February 2007

At its meeting on 7 February, BBSRC Council added detail to its roadmap for the future governance of its sponsored institutes to address issues raised by the Costigan Review and in the light of recommendations of the Follett Review. These reviews were aimed at clarifying governance and ensuring effective integration of management direction and responsibilities.
In reaching its decisions, Council wished to achieve the best possible arrangements for the long-term sustainability of high quality science.  It took into account information and views presented by the Director and Governing Body of each institute, and material presented by the Trade Unions Prospect and PCS including consideration of the views of staff across the institutes’ sites. 

The Council’s preferences are summarised below. Council agreed previously to look at each institute separately so that it could optimise its future depending on local circumstances.  It is recognised that in each case further work is needed, that institutes are at different stages and that there are important issues to be resolved in the detail of possible future arrangements.  

BBSRC Executive is working closely with the institutes and their Governing Bodies on these matters.  Institute Directors are keeping institute staff informed of developments and liaising with their local union negotiating committee.

Babraham Institute
Further analysis of options around the move to direct BBSRC control model with decision to be agreed within the next year and implementation  by April 2009.

Institute for Animal Health (IAH)
Move to direct BBSRC control by April 2009 with investigation of a controlled  charity model.

John Innes Centre
Further analysis of options with decision within the next year and implementation  by April 2009.

Roslin Institute
Tto become part of EBRC within the University of Edinburgh, on schedule for April 2008 to include the Neuropathogenesis Unit of IAH.

Rothamsted Research
Move to direct BBSRC control by April 2008 . BBSRC and RRes will take forward the possibility of controlled charity status for RRes (North Wyke (currently part of IGER) to be run as part of RRes but with protection of its scientific remit and UK-wide collaborations, especially with IGER.

In addition, BBSRC Council is minded to support the transfer of the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER), other than North Wyke, to a new partnership with the University of Wales Aberystwyth and Bangor by April 2008. This is subject to satisfactory development of the science, management and investment strategy.

The Council has delayed consideration of governance of the Institute of Food Research (IFR) pending the outcome of the current review of the IFR and its recently introduced science strategy. Council will consider IFR governance in April 2007.


External Relations Unit