There are seven research councils in the UK and they are responsible for commissioning grants to researchers to investigate topics from everything from science to the natural environment.
The councils are overseen by the umbrella group Research Councils UK. All of these bodies are covered by the FOI Act.
The research councils receive and disseminate a significant amount of public funding each year:
“Each year the Research Councils invest around £3 billion in research covering the full spectrum of academic disciplines from the medical and biological sciences to astronomy, physics, chemistry and engineering, social sciences, economics, environmental sciences and the arts and humanities.”