Stick to Science: university backs call to remove barriers to research collaboration in Europe


February 14th, 2022

Members of the university’s research community are encouraged to support Stick to Science, a campaign urging EU leaders and the UK government to agree to the UK’s association with Horizon Europe, the world-leading research and innovation programme.

The UK’s participation in Horizon Europe has stalled due to post-Brexit negotiations, delaying access to the €95.5 billion programme.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West and the University of Nottingham are joining the campaign’s call to put science ahead of politics and remove barriers to innovation across Europe.

Nottingham researchers are invited to sign an online petition calling for the UK’s urgent association to Horizon Europe. Switzerland is also locked out of the programme and the Stick to Science campaign warns that the current political impasse is preventing world-leading scientists from collaborating fully together across Europe.

Professor West is among research leaders and thousands of researchers from the UK and across Europe who have signed the petition, while Nottingham joins institutional signatories including fellow Russell Group universities, the Royal Society, Crick Institute, Academy of Medical Sciences and many of our partners in Europe.

Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, said: “We fully support the Stick to Science campaign and whatever the outcome of negotiations between the UK and EU, we remain committed to developing innovation networks with our partners in Europe.

“Please do consider supporting the Stick to Science campaign– and meanwhile we strongly encourage our researchers to continue to apply to Horizon Europe and maintain our excellent record of engagement.”

The University of Nottingham has already seen more than 100 proposals submitted to Horizon Europe, with two winning collaborative research projects with European partners.

UKRI is guaranteeing funding for the first wave of researchers who have successfully applied to Horizon Europe but are unable to sign grants and access EU funding due to delays to the UK’s association to the programme.

University of Nottingham researchers and our UK partners are encouraged to continue to apply to Horizon Europe, to ensure bids are in progress once agreement on association or its equivalent is reached.

Dame Jessica added: “We will continue to lobby for association with Horizon Europe and stress the importance of fellowships, collaborations and engagement with Europe, while urging our researchers to continue to open up new conversations and be alert to such opportunities.”

Anyone interested in pursuing European funding, wanting more detail on the UKRI guarantee or advice on the various strands of funding available and the support at Nottingham, should contact EU Development Manager Matthew Rackley or their local research development professional.

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