The British Academy responds to government proposals to support researchers amid Horizon Europe uncertainty
20 Jul 2022
The British Academy has today responded to the government’s proposals to support the UK research community amid the ongoing uncertainty over association to Horizon Europe.
The proposals include a new package of transitional measures to ensure the stability and continuity of funding for researchers and businesses.
Professor Julia Black, President of the British Academy, said:
“The British Academy welcomes the publication by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy of plans to support the UK research community in the short-term amid the continuing uncertainty over the UK’s association to Horizon Europe. It remains the Academy’s utmost priority that the UK associates to Horizon Europe. However, it is now necessary for the government to put in place measures to continue to support the UK research community during this period of uncertainty.
“As part of these transitional measures, the Academy may be allocated funding which enables us to support additional awards from some of our existing research schemes. These include our Newton International Fellowships, Postdoctoral Fellowships and Mid-Career Fellowships. As more information is confirmed, the Academy will provide more detail on our website and through our ebulletins on what this would likely include.
“We welcome the government’s continued commitment to put the £6.9 billion set aside for association towards any Plan B. It is critical that this full amount is used for any alternatives if we are not able to associate. We are pleased to see that there will be no gap between the guarantee and the proposed in-flight assessment process, and that there is a vital commitment to extend the guarantee and to support third country participation in full if we do not associate.
“Researchers in the SHAPE (social science, humanities and arts) disciplines have been highly successful in securing prestigious European Research Council grants and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. It is therefore essential that, in the event of non-association, any alternatives are designed to maintain the longstanding disciplinary split of funding or else this will threaten to undermine areas of UK research excellence.”