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No Longer Leading

British researchers are heading up fewer projects with European colleagues due to fears about the impact of a possible no-deal Brexit, the Guardian reports.

It adds that a University College London analysis found that in 2016, UCL and eight other top UK universities led about 50 European research collaborations, but that that number dropped to 20 in 2018. "What we are seeing is we are still participating in European networks, but we are leading less," UCL President Michael Arthur tells the Guardian.

This drop, the Guardian says, is largely due to nervousness that having UK researchers as the leads on European projects would scuttle the project's chances at receiving funding and would throw the project into disarray if a no-deal Brexit comes to pass.

It notes that some researchers are lobbying to try to get the UK to remain part of European funding programs such as Horizon Europe and that the UK is exploring whether it can set up equivalent funding schemes itself. "In a no-deal scenario we would still hope that we could associate with Horizon Europe," Universities UK's Vivienne Stern says. "But if not, I would be really worried about our ability to create a decent alternative in three months."