News and CommentU.K. Science Funding

Academics Fear Research Cuts to Pay Overhead Costs

Science  07 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5340, pp. 1009
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5340.1009

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LONDON-- Four months ago, when university-based researchers got their first look at a report chaired by the government's education troubleshooter Sir Ron Dearing, its advice was welcomed as the first comprehensive look at the higher education system in 30 years. But a closer look at the fine print has prompted fears that changes it proposes could lead to massive cuts in academic research funding. There is concern that the new Labour government may adopt a suggestion that research councils pay the full cost of overhead support for the research they fund in universities, which could reduce the councils' spending power by 20% and cost hundreds of research jobs.