Balance of Programme Exercise – PPAN evaluations

December 20, 2019, from Sian Giles-Titcombe

Balance of Programme Exercise – PPAN evaluations

The first STFC Balance of Programme exercise was published in 2017. This exercise looked at the balance of funding between the PPAN research disciplines – particle physics, nuclear physics, particle astrophysics, and astronomy – and the computing and accelerator programmes that complement those disciplines.

The Balance of Programme process runs on a three-year cycle agreed by both Science Board and STFC’s Executive Board. To support the process, more detailed programme evaluations of the specific research disciplines are carried out. The purpose of the programme evaluations is to look at the portfolio and science strategy to define a balanced programme of excellent science within a realistic financial planning envelope for each scientific discipline.

The evaluations:

o provide detailed, standardised information and data on specific research disciplines
o look at projects/experiments/facilities (the type of activity examined depends on the subject area) and outline scientific priorities within their area.
o consider how to ensure projects for which STFC has supported construction are ensured appropriate support for exploitation and return on investment.
o contain details of the potential consequences of a +/- 10% funding scenario over the next five years.

These evaluations are all released simultaneously to feed into the Balance of Programme 2020 exercise, which will run from January – May 2020.

As the programme evaluations were completed at different times over a two-year period, the Balance of Programme 2020 exercise will commence with STFC asking relevant advisory panels for any significant updates to the specific programme evaluations.

The evaluation documents and accompanying updates will then be considered by Science Board in a series of Balance of Programme 2020 meetings in period February – May 2020. The conclusions of the exercise will be published on the STFC website upon completion of the work.

The evaluations can be seen here:

For further information on the Balance of Programmes 2020 exercise, please contact Karen Clifford (