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Funders back ‘20% time’ plan

Early-career researchers could have a fifth of their working hours protected for career development and independent research, under a proposal backed by funders including UK Research and Innovation and the Wellcome Trust.

Senior academics, university groups and funders have endorsed the concept becoming part of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, an agreement between all the UK’s main funders and employers designed to improve employment and working conditions for researchers.

Justin Hutchence, researcher training and development manager for mathematical, physical and life sciences at the University of Oxford, described the proposal as “a potential game-changer”.

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