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Difficulties After the Freeze

A new report from science funding advocacy group Science Is Vital says researchers in the UK are seeing fewer and smaller grants awarded as well as are experiencing difficulties in recruiting staff and students, the Nature News Blog says.

According to the report, the majority of the nearly 870 respondents said that after the 2010 freeze of the UK science budget, their grant application success rate declined. For those respondents that had successful grant applications, 44 percent said the budget had been cut, mostly affecting staff. In addition, 39 percent of respondents said they have recruited fewer PhD students, with 19 percent saying they could not recruit any PhD students.

While a large number of student respondents said that the UK is a good or excellent place to carry out research, 53 percent said they would consider moving out of the UK to start their career while the other 47 percent was unsure.

"We were quite frankly surprised by just how much scientists are struggling to cope in the current climate of managed decline in funding," adds Jennifer Rohn from University College London and a founder of Science Is Vital in a statement.