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Experts call on government to “stand up for science” over potential £2bn budget cut

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 31 March 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n878
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Major cuts to science funding in the UK could undo years of progress and force researchers to abandon life saving projects, experts have told the government.

The warning comes as the government has refused to rule out forcing UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)—which directs science funding—to pick up the £2bn (€2.4bn; $2.8bn) bill for continued participation in the EU’s research programme Horizon Europe.

The UK’s continued membership was agreed as part of the Brexit deal, but the funding was previously covered as part of the UK’s overall contribution to the EU, rather than through the science budget. If UKRI has to cover this cost, it …

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