LONDON, November 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —
As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, securing appropriate funding sources for science is among the primary challenges UK-based researchers want their government to tackle. An Elsevier/Ipsos MORI survey shows that 90% of UK-based researchers suggest that any European research funding no longer accessible to UK academic institutions after Brexit should be replaced by equivalent UK government funding. Moreover, a clear majority of researchers globally say the UK government should maintain the current free movement for EU researchers who wish to work in the UK.
These are some of the key findings presented in the survey BREXIT: Global researchers‘ views on opportunities and challenges, measuring opinions of more than 2,000 researchers globally on the implications of Brexit on the academic community. The survey was conducted jointly by Elsevier, the global information analytics business, and market research organisation Ipsos MORI. While overall the study reports that researchers expect Brexit to have a negative impact on the research sector, it outlines researchers’ preferences for strategies to maintain a vibrant UK and EU research sector in a post-Brexit world.
“Being aware of researcher preferences for specific actions in response to Brexit within three broad categories – funding, mobility and collaboration – is important to help guide informed decision making,” said Dr Nick Fowler, Elsevier’s Chief Academic Officer. “While it’s not surprising to see that researchers have concerns around the implications of Brexit, this study offers policy makers in academia and government, both within and outside the UK, insights into researchers’ preferences.”
In terms of funding, researchers globally, and particularly those in the UK, support tapping into alternative sources as EU funds threaten to dry up for UK science post-Brexit. However, 78% of UK-based researchers also indicate they want the European Union to ensure that UK research institutions continue to have access to EU Horizon 2020/FP9 research grants on the same basis as their counterparts in countries that remain in the European Union. Furthermore, 54% of researchers globally support the concept of creating a global research body similar to European Research Council.
“A sense of uncertainty over what happens next and the implications for the EU and UK research community regarding Brexit has been evident for some time,” said Andrew Johnson, Director of Social Research at Ipsos MORI. “What is more urgently discussed now are solutions and actions which mitigate