UK universities lose grants and staff as Brexit uncertainty grows

Leading academics express doubt about UK government’s ability to underwrite large EU funding packages

Leading professors have warned that uncertainty over the UK’s future access to European Union research funding is already undermining grant applications and forcing academics overseas.

Scholars employed by British universities would lose access to new funding under the existing Horizon 2020 programme – including prestigious European Research Council grants – in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Delays in passing a withdrawal agreement may leave the UK outside Horizon 2020’s successor scheme, Horizon Europe, when it starts in 2021, and a no-deal departure could see British researchers excluded for the duration.

Ludovic Highman, who worked on a CGHE research project focusing on Brexit, said that European universities would continue to “do exactly what we are doing and they do not need us to do it”.