STFC decision making criteria


The STFC advisory committees use decision making criteria to allow comparison across the whole of the STFC programme. The criteria contain five areas: excellence, economic impact, societal impact, leadership and synergies; and these are described below. Although each criterion is considered during decision making; scientific excellence is considered to be the most important.

Decision Making Criteria


  • The scientific importance of the project / facility including the current state of the area and a longer term view of the future
  • The timeliness of the project / facility
  • The key stakeholders, the strategic importance of the project/facility to them and the benefits to them
  • The technical importance of the project / facility
  • Any technical risks associated with meeting the scientific and technical objectives
  • The international relevance of the research / facility, in both European and global arenas
  • The scale of investment, current and future; and the impact of increased or decreased funding

Economic Impact

  • The project or facility contribution to new businesses, product processes or services
  • The impact in the development of skilled people
  • The match to public policy and/or cross Research Council priorities
  • The potential to lever further funding to STFC and/or the UK
  • Engagement with UK industry including procurement relationships
  • The resource implications associated with the Economic Impact activities (financial, staff, time)
  • Risks to meeting economic impact objectives

Societal Impact

  • The wider societal benefits including information on public outreach activities, impact on education in schools or of the general public
  • The potential media impact and its relation to the STFC mission
  • The resource implications associated with the societal impact activities (financial, staff, time)
  • The risks in meeting the societal impact objectives


  • The level of UK leadership and track record in this area
  • The extent to which STFC/UK involvement will result in greater research output or a higher level of external funding to the project
  • The extent to which involvement in this project will provide STFC with an opportunity to influence policy and funding in the future
  • The risk of not meeting these leadership objectives


  • The extent to which the project / facility benefits from or contributes to coherence and synergies with other programmes, including international subscriptions
  • The alignment of the project / facility to STFC strategic objectives and core business activities
  • The relevance to the strategies of the Daresbury and Harwell Science Innovation Campuses

Last updated: 01 April 2016


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