Professor Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci, reflects on the science funding landscape
Professor Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci, reflects on the science funding landscape and what it means for the vision of the UK as a science superpower.
On 16 March 2021, the UK Government launched their Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy: Global Britain in a Competitive Age. At the centre of this vision is the ambition for the UK to become a scientific superpower. The research community stands ready to turn that vision into reality, but it requires the Government to follow up their ambitions with a sustained commitment to real investment.
Recently, we celebrated the long-awaited and very welcome news for UK research and development (R&D) that the UK will associate to Horizon Europe – the EU’s flagship research funding programme – and an uplift for the science budget for 2021/22.
However, this positive news has been overshadowed by the very concerning possibility of using existing budgets to pay for Horizon Europe association, which would leave the overall pot for UK R&D reduced by a reported £1billion. The UK already invests a lower proportion of GDP in R&D than other leading scientific nations, so if this becomes reality, the Government’s talk of the UK becoming a science superpower will begin to ring hollow.
Read more about the funding landscape on this link.
First published: 21 May 2021