Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Expanding Excellence in England (E3) fund

The Expanding Excellence in England (E3) fund supports small and excellent research units and departments in higher education providers across England to expand and increase their activity where they have potential to grow.

£76.3 million
Partners involved:
Research England (RE)

The scope and what we're doing

The Expanding Excellence in England (E3) fund has invested £76.3 million in 13 projects.


Contribution to English higher education

We aim to strengthen the contribution of English higher education providers to our society, pushing the frontier of human knowledge, delivering economic impact and creating societal impact by supporting our society and others to become enriched, healthier, more resilient and sustainable.

Capacity and quality of research

We aim to build the capacity and quality of research in departments and units within English higher education providers where excellence exists at a small scale but with potential for growth.

Government strategy

We aim to contribute towards the delivery of government strategy, including the Industrial Strategy, the Global Challenges Research Fund strategy and local priorities, by supporting sustained improvements in research capacity across England while maintaining the principle of funding excellence wherever it is found.

Skills base and talent

We aim to enhance the skills base and build talent in areas of research excellence where there is untapped potential.


We aim to stimulate strategic partnerships between higher education providers and other organisations outside higher education.

Who to contact

Geoff Hill


Governance, management and panels

There are nine members of the panel for the first round of the Expanding Excellence in England (E3) fund.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond (Chair) – chair of Plan International and previously Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council and Chair of the Research Councils UK Executive Group.

Professor Siladatya Bhattacharya – Head of the School of Medicine at Cardiff University.

Professor Bruce Brown – Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art in London and was previously Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research at the University of Brighton.

Professor Roger Goodman – Chair of the Council of the Academy of Social Sciences and Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and Warden of St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford where he was previously Head of the Social Sciences Division.

Professor Karen M Holford CBE FREng – Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University and previously Pro Vice-Chancellor for Physical Sciences and Engineering.

Professor Lin Foxhall – Rathbone Chair of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology and Dean, School of Histories, Languages and Cultures at the University of Liverpool.

Professor Frank Kelly – Professor of the Mathematics of Systems at the Statistical Laboratory, University of Cambridge.

Professor David Maguire – Vice-Chancellor at the University of Greenwich. Prior to this he was PVC Research at Birmingham City University and Chief Scientist at Environmental Systems Research Institute.

Professor Mona Siddiqui – Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies, Assistant Principal Religion and Society, and Dean international for the Middle East at the University of Edinburgh.

We sought a diverse membership, aiming to retain balance across a broad spectrum of discipline areas, who will provide established and insightful experience of higher education research. To ensure independence, the majority of members are from outside the English higher education sector and from providers in receipt of sizable quality-related funding (and therefore unlikely to be E3 applicants). In constructing an effectively sized panel with the chair, we have made efforts to appoint a diverse and independent panel but we cannot cover all disciplines and backgrounds.

To support the panel with their decision making, Research England sought the input of our colleagues in the research councils and peer review colleges.

Last updated: 31 March 2022

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