In the last month, British researchers have been in uncertainty. 46 ERC awards UK winners are still waiting for additional news about their grants. If the UK fails to associate with Horizon Europe in time, researchers will need to apply for UK government safety net funding. But the local authorities cannot give accurate information about this process.
ERC statistics show that 46 grant winners are associated with British universities. ERC grant holders are free to choose a university to conduct their research, and in the current situation, moving their research groups outside of Britain will affect the grant amount.
Last November, the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) agency announced the provision of financial guarantees to successful UK applications to Horizon Europe. Nevertheless, the UKRI did not provide accurate information about the timing and the amount of financial support.
Peter Mason, head of international engagement at Universities UK told the committee: Researchers are still waiting for the green light to register their grants for funding with UKRI,” Mason said. This holdup is “creating some additional stress.”
The concerns of British researchers are also related to the funding limit from UKRI. It is also worth noting that this situation creates problems for European partners as well.
Kurt Deketelaere, the Secretary-General of the League of European Research Universities (LERU): It’s also becoming a problem for EU universities looking to collaborate. It is clear for example that it [the guarantee] concerns the ERC grants, but it is not so clear for many other grants that can be won under Horizon Europe. The question comes: for how long? Is it going to be extended? This remains quite obscure at the end of the day for many continental partners.