Science research threatened by new funding rules

UK“Britain’s largest research council is to ‘blacklist’ academic researchers who submit three unsuccessful research proposals in any one year and have a low personal success rate of winning grants. The moves have prompted fears among chemistry academics, in particular, that careers will be blighted and departments potentially closed. Under new rules from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, academics who have submitted three or more funding bids that are ranked low by the panel reviewing the proposals, and those who have a lower than 25% personal success rate in applying for research grants, will be excluded from applying for a year. The EPSRC said the proposal was to manage demand for research grants when resources are limited and had been part of a wider consultation on peer review in 2006. But chemists fear the high failure rate of funding bids in the subject over the last year will mean more researchers’ careers will be hit …” (more)

[Anthea Lipsett, Guardian, 25 March]

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