Helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy.
They are a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and their goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. Their strength comes from their distinct but interrelated functions:
Universities: they support university-based research, innovation and skills development in astronomy, particle physics, nuclear physics, and space science
Scientific Facilities: they provide access to world-leading, large-scale facilities across a range of physical and life sciences, enabling research, innovation and skills training in these areas
National Campuses: they work with partners to build National Science and Innovation Campuses based around their National Laboratories to promote academic and industrial collaboration and translation of their research to market through direct interaction with industry
Inspiring and Involving: they help ensure a future pipeline of skilled and enthusiastic young people by using the excitement of our sciences to encourage wider take-up of STEM subjects in school and future life (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)
They support an academic community of around 1,700 in particle physics, nuclear physics, and astronomy including space science, who work at more than 50 universities and research institutes in the UK, Europe, Japan and the United States, including a rolling cohort of more than 900 PhD students.
STFC-funded universities produce physics postgraduates with outstanding high-end scientific, analytic and technical skills who on graduation enjoy almost full employment. Roughly half of our PhD students continue in research, sustaining national capability and creating the bedrock of the UK’s scientific excellence. The remainder - much valued for their numerical, problem solving and project management skills - choose equally important industrial, commercial or government careers.
Their large-scale scientific facilities in the UK and Europe are used by more than 3,500 users each year, carrying out more than 2,000 experiments and generating around 900 publications. The facilities provide a range of research techniques using neutrons, muons, lasers and x-rays, and high performance computing and complex analysis of large data sets.
Their Vision, developed in consultation with stakeholders, is:
To maximise the impact of their knowledge, skills, facilities and resources for the benefit of the United Kingdom and its people.
The Vision recognises the key role they play in rebuilding the economy and the UK's future competitiveness. It also recognises the contribution of research to society and the benefits that can be garnered from that research.
They work towards achieving the Vision through the research they support in universities, the research carried out using STFC-provided facilities and the collaborative research, innovation and job creation which takes place on their Campuses.
World class research, innovation and skills are the three goals which will deliver their Vision and they form the basis of their Corporate Strategy 2010-20.
They increasingly focus on the delivery of these long-term strategic goals as they realign their operations and redirect resources to where they are most effective.
They are confident that by working together towards this clear, shared Vision they can address the major challenges of the 21st Century while keeping the UK the best place in the world to do science.
As set out in the Royal Charter which came into force on 1st April 2007 and established STFC as a Research Council and legal entity, their mission is to:
- Promote and support high-quality scientific and engineering research by developing and providing, by any means, facilities and technical expertise in support of basic, strategic and applied research programmes funded by persons established in the UK and elsewhere.
- Promote and support, by any means, high-quality basic, strategic and applied research and related postgraduate training in astronomy, particle physics, space science and nuclear physics and research in any other field which makes use of scientific facilities where access is provided, arranged or otherwise made available by STFC, having regard to the objectives of the other Research Councils.
- Promote and support the advancement of knowledge and technology (including the promotion and support of the exploitation of research outcomes) and to provide trained scientists and engineers, and thereby to contribute to the economic competitiveness of the UK and the quality of life of its people, meeting the needs of users and beneficiaries.
In relation to STFC’s activities and as it may see fit:
- generate public awareness
- communicate research outcomes
- encourage public engagement and dialogue
- disseminate knowledge
- provide advice
This mission provides the underlying framework for their entire portfolio of operations and activities as they focus on delivering world-beating science and technology.
Where is Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)