A major new tranche of funding is announced today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). These, the first awards in the Science and Innovation Awards programme will directly build the UK’s research base in diverse areas.
The initial recipients include energy research, physical organic chemistry, statistics and electronics. Future awards will focus on other research areas. In a changing research landscape, as undergraduates choose new options, more traditional core subjects are encountering declining numbers of entrants. This in-turn affects the base of academic staff in our universities, which impacts on the nation’s capacity to produce the well-trained people and research leaders of tomorrow. In particular there are a number of strategic areas that are particularly at risk and the programme of Science and Innovation Awards has been introduced by EPSRC to address this issue.
Professor John O’Reilly, Chief Executive of EPSRC, said: “We are taking action now to secure our position for the future in some key research areas that are at risk and yet crucially important to the UK economy and to the well-being of science more generally. However, the Science and Innovation Awards must be recognised as but the first of many steps that will be required to reverse the situation.”
Natasha Richardson | alfa
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