Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Southampton Neuroscience GroupOur news, seminars & events

BBSRC to ease neuroscientists’ concerns over funding

Published: 28 April 2011

BBSRC to ease neuroscientists’ concerns over funding

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the British Neuroscience Association have met and concluded that they need to "make the position clear" on UK neuroscience funding.

The clarification relates to the BBSRC's announcement on 24 January to cut an estimated £4 million from its neuroscience funding, saying that demand-led funding of neuroscience has resulted in too great a proportion of its funding going into that area.

In a joint statement, the organisations say that the BBSRC will fund neuroscience and psychology but stress that they want a larger chunk of such research to align with the BBSRC's strategic priorities.

"Eligible researchers may still apply outside BBSRC's strategic priorities but they must realise that competition for funding will be fierce in that space particularly in the light of a flat cash settlement in the spending review. As such it is not in the community's interest to maintain large numbers of applications for such work," reads the statement.

There are no comments in the statement on the size of the funding cut, which was previously set around £4m. Instead, the statement says the BBSRC "does not deny that the amount of funding this community wins in open competition could shrink from the current £40m pa".

The two bodies also point out that there has been "confusion" and "misunderstanding" in the neuroscience community regarding the BBSRC's intentions.

"It is important that the neuroscience and psychology community realises that BBSRC is required to formulate and meet strategic priorities in order to justify and optimise its full grant allocation from government," urge the organisations.

Following the announcement of cuts on 24 January, the BNA and a group of more than 50 neuroscience researchers wrote to the chairman of the BBSRC board, Tom Blundell, to ask how the council plans to ensure funding for basic neuroscience and to demarcate more clearly the remits of the Medical Research Council and BBSRC.

Privacy Settings