Brexit revenge as UK scientists forced to move to EU or risk losing £93m in funding

Yesterday, the European Research Council (ERC) awarded grants to 45 UK based scientists as part of the EU’s £80billion Horizon Europe project. This is a major research and development (R&D) programme that Britain was supposed to contribute £15billion towards, but has been excluded from due to disagreements over Brexit negotiations. Horizon Europe would allow UK based scientists and academics access to a massive pool of funding for scientific research, and allow them to collaborate with EU partners on important projects.

But the EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel has made clear the UK cannot participate until the Brexit row over the Northern Ireland protocol gets smoothed over.

While the ERC handed out funding to 45 British scientists earlier this week, it also gave them a two-month deadline to relocate to an EU institution or lose on the critical funding- for their projects.

Given that the UK has not been granted associate member status yet, UK based researchers will not be able to sign grants associated with Horizon Europe.

This means they will either have to move to the EU or apply to the national UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) agency which could then fund the scientists to make up for the loss of the ERC funding.

But the EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel has made clear the UK cannot participate until the Brexit row over the Northern Ireland protocol gets smoothed over.

While the ERC handed out funding to 45 British scientists earlier this week, it also gave them a two-month deadline to relocate to an EU institution or lose on the critical funding- for their projects.

Given that the UK has not been granted associate member status yet, UK based researchers will not be able to sign grants associated with Horizon Europe.

This means they will either have to move to the EU or apply to the national UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) agency which could then fund the scientists to make up for the loss of the ERC funding.

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