Department of Scientific and Industrial Research

The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) was established in 1916 and were responsible for the organisation, development and encouragement of scientific and industrial research and the dissemination of its results. It worked by encouraging and supporting scientific research in universities, technical colleges and other institutions, establishing and developing its own research organisations for investigation and research relative to the advancement of trade and industry, and taking steps to further the practical application of the results of research. It could make grants for the purposes of any of these functions.

The department encouraged and supported scientific research in universities and other institutions by means of grants for special research projects, research fellowships, studentships, grants to research associations and research contracts. From 1941 to 1945 the department was responsible for atomic energy research, in an organisation known as the Directorate of Tube Alloys. In the 1950s the department embarked on research in the human sciences in relation to the needs of industry, undertaken from 1953 to 1957 in collaboration with the Medical Research Council; in 1958 the department's research programme was transferred from its Headquarters Office to the new Warren Spring Laboratory.

The department was abolished by the Science and Technology Act 1965, which dispersed its functions over a number of government departments and other bodies.