16 December 2009
STFC Science Programme Prioritisation 2010-2015
The Science and Technology Facilities Council has just announced that from 2010-11, it will make substantial cuts in future grants and also studentship and fellowship places. We are hugely disappointed that any cuts have to be made to the science research budget.
However, given the current challenges STFC is facing, we welcome the decision to not make cuts across the board, but to prioritise on the basis of the quality of science. In particular, we are pleased that major projects like Diamond and ISIS will be maintained at full capacity. We are also pleased that the major subscriptions - such as CERN - are being maintained, which is important if the UK is to remain a major international player in science over the long term.
We are hugely disappointed that studentships and fellowships will be cut. We hope that this is only a short term measure and that they will return to pre-2009 capacity as soon as possible.
It is clearly unacceptable that any Research Council has to bear the brunt of increased cost as a result of the vagaries of currency fluctuations. The Government needs to establish a centrally-driven, robust system for funding international subscriptions based on scientific peer review.
At the earliest opportunity we will examine these cuts in detail.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. Details of STFC's programme prioritisation can be found at