Science funding after Brexit: will a no-deal Brexit affect existing research projects?

Science funding after Brexit: will a no-deal Brexit affect existing research projects?

What will happen to science funding after Brexit? The UK government has outlined how a no-deal scenario would impact the field.

A no-deal Brexit refers to a scenario where the UK leaves the EU and becomes a third country without a withdrawal agreement about the future relationship. The UK government says it is unlikely that there will be a no-deal Brexit, however this is still an open possibility.To give an idea what will happen to science funding after Brexit, they have outlined the outcomes that a no-deal Brexit would have. There has been some controversy over what will happen to medicines and clinical trials in the media, but the government has outlined clear preparations in terms of European scientific funding.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said: “We continue to make positive steps towards getting the best possible deal with the EU – one that works for the whole of the UK. The guarantee we are making today however means that, even in the unlikely event of a no-deal, our businesses, universities and local authorities can be confident that they will continue to receive the funding they successfully bid for from any EU programme.”

Horizon 2020 science funding after Brexit

In terms of Horizon 2020 funding, the government has stated that they have put a guarantee in place for some participants. They said: ‘In the unlikely event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, the UK’s departure from the EU would mean UK organisations may be unable to access funding for Horizon 2020 projects after exit day…[However] the government will guarantee funding for competitively bid for EU projects submitted before we leave the EU, including Horizon 2020 projects. This guarantee will cover all successful bids submitted by UK participants before the UK exits the EU, for the full duration of the projects. The guarantee does not cover funding for organisations from other countries who are in consortia with UK participants – only the funding for UK participants is in scope”.

What are the government’s guidelines for receiving the funding?

The government have said that to be considered, projects will still have to meet the following conditions:

  • Good value for money; and
  • The project is in line with domestic strategic priorities

The full effects of Brexit on the EU funding bodies and researchers remain to be seen following the end of the Brexit negotiations.

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