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Scotland’s balancing act

National trends in policy and funding risk distorting research north of the border, says Murray Pittock.

With five universities regularly appearing in league tables of the top 200 worldwide, Scotland has long punched above its weight in securing UK research funding.

Maintaining that position has required expanded joint funding from the Scottish and UK governments, while the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) continues to make its own allocations based on scores in the Research Excellence Framework. Even so, there is arguably a hidden deficit in research funding north of the border, as the cross-subsidy from teaching funds to research is less than a third of that in England.

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