Issue Date: April 9, 2012
Budget Set For U.K. Science Funding
The results of a controversial funding overhaul of the U.K.’s main grant-making body for chemists means funding cuts for 14 of 113 research areas and funding raises for 17 others. The Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) said late last month that the vast majority of research areas will be funded at the same level as last year. EPSRC’s current annual budget is $1.4 billion. Among the research areas that will receive a boost are catalysis, energy storage, and photonic materials and metamaterials. Meanwhile, areas set for funding cuts include synthetic organic chemistry and surface science. To deal with tightening budgets, EPSRC announced last summer that it would divide the research it funds into 113 areas and mark each area for a funding increase, decrease, or no change (C&EN, Aug. 22, 2011, page 34). The move sparked two petitions—each signed by hundreds of angry researchers. One protested the way EPSRC manages its budget, and the other denounced the planned reduction of funding for synthetic organic chemistry.
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