In DepthFunding

U.K. research wins hollow victory

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Science  04 Dec 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6265, pp. 1140-1141
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6265.1140

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After months of fear that the science budget would be cut, researchers were relieved to learn last week that the United Kingdom's government will protect its annual £4.7 million allocation in real terms, with adjustments for inflation. But advocates point out that the research community has less spending power than it did in 2010, because the previous 5-year budget, although stable, was whittled away by inflation. They are also concerned that new initiatives, such as a £1.5 billion fund for infectious disease, may end up giving scientists less control at setting research priorities. It is also unclear how the budgets of the individual research councils, which award grants, might be affected by a recently announced reorganization.