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Controversial excellence grant to continue in 2013

The government has confirmed that it will run the Prime d’Excellence Scientifique in 2013.

The excellence grant programme rewards outstanding work by individual researchers with grants of up to €15,000. However, the programme has been criticised for introducing inequality since its inception under Nicolas Sarkozy’s government. A number of high-profile scientists have publicly rejected the prize, particularly those who automatically qualified for funding after winning medals from the CNRS. According to campaign group Sauvons La Recherche, more than 500 scientists have turned down the funding.

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