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An impossible choice

ERC grant winners’ dilemma shows research careers in a damaging light

UK-based winners of European Research Council grants are facing an ultimatum: move their projects to an EU institution within two months or lose their ERC funding.

The deadline, set out in letters from the ERC last week, is the result of the continuing failure to sign off UK participation in the EU’s huge Horizon Europe R&D programme, amid the wider post-Brexit impasse over trade and Northern Ireland. The ERC has described the letters as an “expected development” given its rules, which state that a country must have associated to Horizon Europe by the time grant agreements are signed for researchers based there to receive ERC funding. 

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