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Top stories of 2023: Features


War in Gaza, funding meltdowns and more—the biggest research policy features of the year

Throughout 2023, our features covered the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, new funders and funding systems, open access and more.

Selected by our editorial team, these are the Research Professional News long reads that sparked conversations and explored the most important topics of the year. 

 Ukraine Crisis: A year of war in Ukraine (23 February)

Researchers from Ukraine reflect on 12 months of conflict and their hopes for the future.

2. Social media: The X-odus (23 November)

Drastic changes at Twitter have “demolished” online social research, and academics are fleeing the platform.

3. Funding: Life after Je-S (17 May)

UKRI’s replacement for its creaking grant application system should be “like when iPhones came out”.

4. Israel-Hamas war: Living under attack (1 November)

Researchers in Gaza and Israel are caught in the horrors of the current conflict.

5. Science tourism: the new funding frontier? (19 October)

In tough economic times, South African scientists are looking to cash in on tourism.

6. Cracks in the system (27 January)

A full review of Australian Research Council reveals widespread calls for change.

7. Open Access: Planning a revolution (14 September)

Five years on, the Europe-led Plan S initiative to transform scholarly publishing still splits opinion.

8. Research Funding: Counting the costs (14 June)

UK universities’ budgets are increasingly stretched and research is likely to suffer as a result.

9. From our correspondents: Rise of the right (3 August)

Increasing support for right-wing parties and policies in Europe is affecting higher education and research.

10. Turning a Corner (29 March)

Research England executive chair Jessica Corner discusses the future of the country’s keystone funder.