EU & Academia: funding matters too – Prof Dame Athene Donald

Another leading physicist, Professor Dame Athene Donald of the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge has added her voice and a slightly difimage_normalferent perspective
to the discussion about Universities, academics and Brexit. She told me:
“As a member of the European Research Council Scientific Council I am very aware both of the
success of academics in the UK in obtaining ERC funding and also the
value people place on the ‘portability’ of grants awarded under these
schemes.

If the UK is seen as unwelcoming – if not actively hostile –  to them, EU citizens will be able to move back home (or to anywhere else within the EU) without losing their hard-won funding.
And of course there is a very real danger that, without specific actions on the part of the Government, anyone working in the UK post Brexit won’t be able to apply for future EU funding from any of the different schemes.”
She went on to say:
“An important way in which the UK government could prevent immense damage to the UK’s HEI sector would be to find a way to permit continued access to this funding. We have to hope Theresa May ‘gets this’ in Brexit discussions, given the centrality of science and innovation in her speeches and that David Davis finds a way of achieving it.”

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