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Lots of Uncertainty

There's six months left until the UK breaks off from the European Union, but much about how that split will work out, including for research funding, is unclear, Nature News writes.

Soon after the UK voted for Brexit in a referendum, it promised researchers that it would cover the cost of research projects funded through EU-programs and that it would pursue an agreement under which UK scientists could continue to be part of initiatives like the Horizon 2020 project. At the same time, UK lawmakers have called for allowing EU researchers in the UK to stay post-Brexit.

But as Nature News notes, a final agreement hasn't been hammered out, leaving lots of uncertainty for researchers. Edith Heard, a British researcher working at the Curie Institute, tells it that she has applied for French citizenship and has noticed that UK researchers have already pulled back from leadership roles on European projects.

In addition, Imperial College London's Cesare Terracciano tells Nature News that the looming Brexit has dissuaded EU researchers from joining his lab. "They changed their minds because they didn't like the uncertainty of whether they can stay in the United Kingdom to develop their career," he says. "They told me: if there was no Brexit, we would definitely join your lab, but now we don't want to do that."