Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023
Brexit aftershock: British researchers are already being cut from EU projects

In the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, UK researchers are already being asked to “leave EU-funded projects or step down from leadership positions” as they are considered a “financial obligation” due to the impending Brexit.

The findings are the result of a confidential survey of the UK’s top 24 universities – making up the elite Russell Group – conducted by the Guardian.

The paper noted that the backlash began immediately after the Brexit result over fears that British researchers would not be viewed positively when EU research funds were allocated. The impact is apparently being felt across the academic spectrum, with the natural sciences, engineering and social sciences all affected.

In one case highlighted by the Guardianrecommends an EU project officer that “a principal investigator drop all UK partners from a consortium because Britain’s share of the funding cannot be guaranteed. signing of the contract would be delayed until Britain negotiates a new deal with Europe had closed.”

In another column, President and Provost of University College London (UCL) Michael Arthur warned:

We already have three active examples of UCL Principal Investigators who have been asked by their collaborating EU colleagues to refrain from applying for the Horizon 2020 European research program as this could reduce the chances of successful grant applications.

Not all respondents to the survey questions had experienced discrimination against their researchers because of Brexit. And while “one university said concerns about the impact of the referendum had become part of nearly every conversation about research,” its academics were submitting funding applications as usual.

Frame image by Jim Campbell/Aero-News Network

By akfire1

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