The Council, formed in April 2007, is the governing body and its members are appointed by the Minister for Universities and Science.

The council is comprised of a combination of non-executive directors from academia and industry.


Terms of reference

The Council's terms of reference reflects its responsibility to the organisation, and its commitment to a more integrated approach to large facilities, including international negotiations; and to ensure that the STFC delivers its goals, upholds its responsibility towards its stakeholders, users, members of public and staff of the organisation.


1.   The Council of STFC agreed in its response to the Organisational Review of STFC to publish a statement on its role, and its interactions with the Executive. In preparing this statement, Council considered the recommendations of the Wakeham Review of Physics and the Report of the Organisational Review of STFC, and the views of the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DBIS).


2.   Council's responsibilities are both general and specific, as follows:

  • Council has ultimate accountability for all aspects of the STFC’s affairs, and
  • Specific responsibility for the following:
    • Determining the overall direction of STFC, including formal approval of:
      • The STFC strategy (normally every 3 years and annually updated)
      • The 10 Year Financial Plan
      • The Asset Management Strategy
      • The Delivery and Operating Plans (annual) including Annual Departmental budgets (annual, plus variations thereto) and delegated authority
      • The Annual Report & Accounts (annual)
      • The Corporate Risk Register (quarterly)
      • Approving OTF’s and financial submissions/reports to DBIS
    • Providing oversight of the executive who will be responsible for delivery of the STFC mission
    • Ensuring probity and efficiency of governance
    • Ensuring that the peer-review processes are conducted effectively
    • Overseeing high impact and/or high risk decisions, for example: financial, reputational, programmatic and ensuring the overall balance of the STFC programme.
    • Overseeing key relationships with Government, national and international partner organisations and the community

Chair of Council

3.   In addition, the Chair will have specific responsibilities in relation to identification of strategic priorities, interaction with DBIS, input and engagement with stakeholders and (with the CEO) staff recruitment and retention, as well as representational duties.

Advisory and Council Committee Structures

4.   In the discharge of its responsibility Council will be supported through a number of support & advisory structures reporting to it, including the:

5.   Council will appoint the membership of the principal Boards and Committees.

6.   Science Board will provide the STFC with a strategic scientific overview and assessment of, and science advice on, all of the programmes STFC supports. It is supported by advisory panels, peer review committees and other advisory committees.

7.   Each lay Council member acts as the lead in one of the areas identified in paragraph 4.

Executive Board Structure

8.   Council will recruit and appoint the membership of the Executive Board, with the exception of the CEO who is appointed by the Secretary of State.

9.   The CEO will be ultimately responsible to Council for the management of the organisation and the delivery of its mission. He/she has a specific responsibility for ensuring Council is fully and timely briefed on all relevant matters.

10.   Inter alia the Executive Board will be responsible for delivery of the following, within the strategic direction and guidance set by Council:

  • The science programme
  • International subscriptions and engagement
  • Financial management and planning
  • The economic impact agenda
  • The campuses
  • Outreach, external relations and communications

11.   The Executive Board will delegate the delivery of these functions as appropriate.

Role of Executive Board

12.   The role of the Executive Board will be to:

  • support the STFC’s council;
  • deliver STFC’s mission;
  • develop proposals for Council outlining the organisation’s mid-to-long term strategic direction;
  • implement effective financial (including CSR/SR bid) planning;
  • implement robust and effective governance, including financial policy/procedures;
  • support and develop the appropriate advisory structures;
  • oversee reputational & stakeholder relationship management, including with government;
  • oversee effective succession planning & approve senior appointments;
  • define and cascade appropriate organisational culture and ethos;
  • have responsibility for the investment appraisal regime and to approve capital and revenue commitments under a threshold amount;
  • make executive decisions on matters having a material impact on the organisation (including reputational, legal/ regulatory) within the delegated authority granted by Council;
  • approve legal and regulatory compliance policies, and;
  • approve HR policies.


Please click on the links below to view the members biographies.

The Council members have published their register of interests.

Each member of the Council is required to declare any personal or business interest direct or indirect, monetary or non-monetary that may conceivably conflict with the interest of the STFC (the areas include; university; industry; other government departments; other interests):

The Current Register for the members of Council:

Michael Sterling

University Interest: Retired Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham and Brunel University
Other: Council member of the Foundation for Science and Technology; Consultant to GEIDCO (Global Energy Interconnection Development & Cooperation Organisation) Beijing, China

Brian Bowsher

Other: Member of International Advisory Board of NIM, China; Member, Board of Directors for Diamond Light Source

Gill Ball

University Interest: Director of Finance at University of Birmingham until 31 December 2014. University of Birmingham is a recipient of STFC funding


Ian Taylor

Commercial Interest: Chairman, UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (formerly Rainbow Seed Fund) Advisory Board; member of Inmarsat plc Strategic Advisory Board; Chairman, Living PlanIT SA
Other: Council Member, Campaign for Science & Engineering; Chair, fundraising committee of British Society for Research on Ageing; Trustee of Lunar Mission One; Chairman, National Space Academy Steering Group

David Price

University interest: Vice-Provost, UCL; European Research Universities (Co-convenor of the committee of ‘Vice-Rectors’ of Research of the League)
Other: Chair of Governors, UCL Academy, Camden

Richard Worswick

Commercial Interest: Chairman, Cobalt Light Systems Ltd
Other: Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Jordan Nash

University Interest: Imperial College London. Recipient of STFC grants, Head of Department in receipt of STFC grants
Other Government Department: Board member of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation

Carole Mundell

University Interest: Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Bath
Commercial Interest: Lumini Ltd
Other: University of Bath membership of: UK-LSST Consortium & CTA Consortium; Lead of sub-work package for ESA XIPE mission; individual membership of LSST-US pending; Onsala Space Observatory Board; USKA Operations review Panel; UK SKA Programme Board

Richard Kenway

University Interest: Vice-Principle/Professor University of Edinburgh; Director of UoE HPCX Ltd – wholly owned subsidiary of University of Edinburgh; holder of STFC grants and member of DIRAC Project Management Board, member of Board of Directors of the Scottish Universities’ Physics Alliance (SUPA); family member employed by UCL

Commercial Interest: Director, Turing Innovations Ltd – wholly owned subsidiary of Alan Turing Institute; family member employed by ThinkTank Maths Ltd

Other Government Department: Member, e-Infrastructure Leadership Council

Other: Trustee, Alan Turing Institute; Member of Advisory Boards for Hartree Centre, Higgs Centre of Innovation, Irish centre for High End Computing

Gerard Connell

Commercial Interest: Independent Director at the Nuclear Decommissioning Fund Company Ltd

Other Government Department: Non-Executive Director and Chair of Audit at the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory and at the Financial Ombudsman Service, Non-Executive Director at the Land Registry

Anthony Ryan

University Interest: The University of Sheffield

Commercial Interest: Non-exec Director of Farapack Polymers Ltd

Other: Trustee of the High Polyler Research Group (registered charity 206902)

Karen Holford

University Interest: Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Cardiff University

Commercial Interest: Director – Compound Semiconductor Centre Ltd

Other: EPSRC SAN; Royal Academy of Engineering Research Committee

Council meetings

Council meetings 2017

STFC Council will meet on the following dates from 11:00 to 16:00:

Date Venue Council meeting
January 24 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory – R80 77th
March 21 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory – R71 78th
May 23 Polaris House, Swindon 79th
July 18 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory – R71 80th
September 19 Daresbury Cockcroft A/B 81st
November 21 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory – R71 82nd

Council meetings 2016

STFC Council will meet on the following dates from 11:00 to 16:00:

Date Venue Council meeting
January 19 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory – R80 71st
March 22 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory – R71 72nd
May 24 BIS, London 73rd
July 19 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory – R71 74th
September 20 Daresbury Cockcroft A/B 75th
November 22 Polaris House, Swindon 76th

Council meetings 2015

STFC Council will meet on the following dates:

27 January 2015 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
24 March 2015 Daresbury Laboratory
19 May 2015 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
21 July 2015 UKATC, Edinburgh
29 September 2015 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
24 November 2015 Polaris House, Swindon

The minutes from previous Council meetings are available below:

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000