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Beware Nurse review’s unintended consequences, says Savill

Next year, the government will begin implementing the recommendations of the Nurse review. John Savill, the recently reappointed chief executive of the Medical Research Council, tells Anna McKie that it must be aware of the potential pitfalls of the process.

How do you feel about the recommendations of the Nurse review?

It is very definitely not a merger, which is helpful. The research councils of the future will have control over significant budgets that they could manage in an agile way. Paul Nurse wants to see discreet research councils facing particular parts of science and business. I know that it is very important to scientists that they continue to be employed by their council. The international network would cry foul if someone at the “MRC laboratory of molecular biology” [became an employee of] Research UK.

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