Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

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Comment from the Institute Director on the result of the EU referendum

Professor Michael WakelamThe Institute is proud of its globally-leading research in fundamental bioscience which leads to discoveries benefitting health and wellbeing. This excellence is achieved by a diverse community of researchers from across the world. Of a total of 537 employees and visiting researchers, nearly a third of these come from the EU. In terms of funding support from the EU, 13 current research projects have received a total of nearly £9M. This funding represents a vital income stream supporting PhD training programmes, large scale pan-European collaborative projects and researchers working on blue-sky projects. The large scale collaborative grants have no equivalent funding sources here in the UK.

The result of last week’s referendum raises a huge amount of uncertainty. As stated by the Minister for State for Universities and Science, there will be no immediate changes affecting the UK’s eligibility for EU funding or affecting the circumstances of European citizens resident in the UK. For the moment, we will be continuing normal activities, continuing to welcome and train researchers from the EU in order to share our expertise, skills and facilities and to learn from them. This will include continuing applications to the EU to support collaborative work and being an active part of the EU-LIFE alliance which brings together over 7,000 researchers from 13 life science research organisations across Europe.

Going forward, we are committed to working with Cambridge’s world-leading life science sector to communicate the importance of mobility to recruiting the best researchers from Europe and across the world and in ensuring the exchange of talent and knowledge that brings such benefit to the life sciences in the UK. This free exchange of talent and innovation is crucial to the UK’s future success and must be safeguarded. The advancement of knowledge and scientific research is absolutely dependent on working with the best people, irrespective of location or nationality.



30 June, 2016