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Not a Single Taker

A scheme to entice top scientists to move to the UK has had no takers, New Scientist reports.

The UK announced its Global Talent visa program in the wake of the UK leaving the European Union and concerns that Brexit would affect the ability of Britain to recruit talented researchers. The program offers fast-track visas, the applications for which are weighed by UK Research and Innovation Agency rather than the Home Office. The 'prestigious prize' route, which was announced in May, allows winners of Nobel Prize, Turing Prize, or other prestigious prizes the ability to receive a visa without meeting other criteria, New Scientist adds.

However, it found using a freedom of information request that no one has applied for a visa under the 'prestigious prize' route in the six months since its establishment.

The University of Manchester's Andre Geim, who won a Nobel prize in 2010, tells New Scientist that the likelihood of a Nobel Prize or Turing Prize winner moving to the UK in the next decade to work is low.

"The scheme itself is a joke – it cannot be discussed seriously," he adds there. "The government thinks if you pump up UK science with a verbal diarrhea of optimism – it can somehow become a self-fulfilling prophecy."