John Kingman is stepping down as chair of UK Research and Innovation in May, the Financial Times reports.
UKRI was established in 2018 following the passage of a controversial higher education and research bill. The program brought the UK's seven research councils, Innovate UK, and Research England under the auspices of one entity. Mark Walport served as the first director of UKRI, a selection that assuaged the concerns of some critics of the reorganization. He was replaced by the University of Cambridge's Ottoline Leyser earlier this year.
According to the Financial Times, Kingman, a former treasury official who helped set up the organization, has announced he will be leaving his post at UKRI in May. It adds that the delay will give UKRI time to search for a successor.
Kingman declined to give a reason for his departure and instead tells the Financial Times that by the time of his departure in nine months, Leyser will have been at her post for a year and "that creates a natural moment for me to hand over the chair to a successor who can help take UKRI to the next stage."