The Spanish National Cancer Research Center will be laying off 64 workers, including 28 staff scientists and support staff, the Nature News Blog reports. The move comes as the center faces funding problems.
The temporary contracts for a further 36 workers will not be renewed. In all, there will be a 13 percent reduction of the center's staff, the Nature News Blog adds.
The cancer center has a budget deficit totaling €8 million (US$10.6 million) for this year, and its austerity plan of layoffs and wage reduction, as well as €4 million in funds from the economics ministry is intended to lead to €8 million in savings a year between 2014 and 2016.
"I'm gobsmacked, we did not think they will reach such an extreme," Iñaki Pérez, a researcher there, tells the Nature News Blog.
"CNIO has 430 scientists and its annual budget is €45 million, whereas Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has 600 scientists and an annual budget of €113 million," he adds. "CNIO is a center of excellence despite having a considerably lower budget, but it is difficult to believe that it can be brought down even more without compromising its quality."