Central's Research Grant Allocation Doubled in Recognition of its World Leading Work

Impact and Knowledge Exchange

Thursday, 26 March 2015

As part of its overall funding announcement today, The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has announced that it will increase its research grant allocation to The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama from £360,117 to £672,740 for the 2015-16 academic year. 

This increase, nearly doubling Central’s previous allocation, is one of the highest in the sector and will enable the School to continue to invest in its world-leading research programme.  

In its official press release, HEFCE noted that it “wished to continue to recognise ... world-leading 4* performance and also to celebrate the success of institutions that have increased their volume of internationally excellent work”.  ”

Central’s Dean, Professor Ross Brown said:

“We aim to develop the practitioners who will shape the future of theatre and performance internationally.  The role of research within this is as vital as our innovative relationships with the performance industries and our traditional world-leading standards of training.  This funding will allow us to take theatre and performance research in the UK to new levels and help attract the world’s best doctoral candidates to join us in our mission.”

Central’s Deputy Principal Debbie Scully said:

“We’re delighted not only with today’s announcement but also that, for the first time, we’ve been awarded specific funds for research capital.  This will allow us to invest further in our research environment which, as you would expect, tends heavily towards practice based research.”

The announcement follows the release in December of the results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), in which Central’s overall profile in terms of world-leading (4*) research was the highest of all the assessed drama and music conservatoires in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Professor Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said:

“The results of the REF demonstrated that we have a world-leading higher education sector.  We will continue to fund universities and colleges in ways which allow them to build on their successes and continue to flourish for the benefit of students, the economy and society.”

In its announcement, HEFCE also recognised the importance of the additional funding it allocates to small and specialist institutions including Central, saying that it “recognises their economic and cultural importance to the country” and mentioned the current match-funding to support eligible post-graduate students, including those planning to study at Central, in 2015/16.

We aim to develop the practitioners who will shape the future of theatre and performance internationally.  The role of research within this is as vital as our innovative relationships with the performance industries and our traditional world-leading standards of training.  This funding will allow us to take theatre and performance research in the UK to new levels and help attract the world’s best doctoral candidates to join us in our mission.

Professor Ross Brown, Dean of Studies and Professor of Sound