Brexit Aftershock: British Researchers Already Being Dropped From EU Projects
In the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, British researchers are already being asked to “leave EU-funded projects or to step down from leadership roles,” because they are considered a “financial liability” as a result of the looming Brexit.
The findings are the result of a confidential survey of the UK’s top 24 universities—which form the elite Russell Group—carried out by the Guardian.
The newspaper found that the backlash began immediately after the Brexit result due to fears that British researchers would not be viewed favourably when EU research funds were allocated. The impact is apparently being felt right across the academic spectrum, with the natural sciences, engineering, and social sciences all affected.
In one case highlighted by the Guardian, an EU project officer recommends that “a lead investigator drop all UK partners from a consortium because Britain’s share of funding could not be guaranteed. The note implied that if UK organisations remained on the project, which is due to start in January 2017, the contract signing would be delayed until Britain had agreed a fresh deal with Europe.”