From an email from our new Vice-Principal for Research:
The main task of the person in my post is obviously to do what they can to foster an environment where the best and most innovative research is encouraged and supported. Such an environment is predicated on academic freedom. The best research and innovation is not produced in response to a set of directives, but from the inspiration and dedication of individuals, teams and collaborations, exploring the boundaries of knowledge and seeking solutions to challenging problems. This does not mean that we should ignore the wider research funding environment, which would be foolhardy, or that we should never take stock and assess, on an appropriate timescale, whether a group or individual is actually successful in research, to the standards that we would expect as an institution. However, our future growth and success will necessarily be founded on the unfettered freedom of exploration that is the feature of research at the highest level.