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Can't Draw on the Funds

Nearly a hundred researchers in the UK may lose their European Research Council funding if Britain does not join the Horizon Europe program, the Guardian reports.

The UK and the European Union tentatively agreed in late 2020 that the UK could participate in the €80 billion ($85 billion) Horizon Europe research program as an associate member. But the agreement has yet to be formalized as the UK and EU disagree over the Northern Ireland protocol.

Because of this, the Guardian reports that the European Research Council recently notified 98 UK researchers who were awarded €172 million ($183 million) in grants that they may not be eligible to draw on those funds if UK membership in Horizon Europe is not ratified. This, it says, has led some researchers to search for EU institutions to host the funds or to turn down the funds in hopes of receiving promised replacement funds from the UK.

"We all had reason to believe that the UK association was just a matter of the UK implementing the free trade agreement," Warwick University's Thiemo Fetzer tells the Guardian. "Now we are waking up to the reality. It is very devastating."

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