Earlier in the year I wrote to more than 2,500 of you inviting your views on BBSRC to inform our third stakeholder survey. As a leader and funder of bioscience research, BBSRC needs to understand and respond to its community and wider partners. We invited stakeholders to tell us how well we are supporting their needs and to give their perceptions of BBSRC, particularly timely as we move into a new funding landscape within UK Research and Innovation. I would like to personally thank everyone who took the time to participate and I would also like to thank Pye Tait for undertaking the research and data analyses on BBSRC’s behalf.

The full report and recommendations from the survey and associated research can be found on our website (see: Corporate Stakeholder Research report 2018), alongside BBSRC’s response. I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on some of the key messages and to look forward to how we can continue to improve relationships across our diverse stakeholder network.

The results show that 90% of respondents know about BBSRC and what we do, with academics and non-government organisations being the most knowledgeable about our work. I am delighted that stakeholders acknowledge the vital role BBSRC plays in funding research and collaboration, and that nearly two-thirds (64%) would speak highly of our organisation to others. It is also reassuring to hear that BBSRC is strongly associated with research funding, knowledge exchange and innovation.

The majority of our respondents say we do a good job of keeping them well-informed, using a range of channels. Whilst 74% think BBSRC communicates well and 71% think the frequency of communications is about right, there is always more we can do to meet our stakeholder organisations’ needs and priorities. Our task, therefore, is to further understand our audiences and respond to their differing needs through targeted and tailored communications. For example, we know that face-to-face communications are rated highly by our community and that you would like us to hold more Town Hall meetings to help shape funding priorities. This is something that the BBSRC leadership team will definitely be taking onboard.

The research also shows that many stakeholders would like to develop closer and more strategic engagement with BBSRC. Just over half (55%) of respondents find BBSRC easy to work with and 60% of our stakeholders say they would like to work more closely with us.

The majority (83%) of respondents agree that the UK has a world-leading position in bioscience and three-quarters (76%) think this is due to BBSRC. The creation of UK Research and Innovation will open up more opportunities to lead and strengthen the international position of UK bioscience and to enable and promote more cross-disciplinary research. I am pleased that our stakeholders see the establishment of UK Research and Innovation as a positive opportunity for more joined-up cross-Council working and, as we move into this new funding landscape, I will ensure that BBSRC stays close to its community and continues to listen and respond to stakeholders’ perspectives.

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