Support for vital work

University research jobs protected by funding deal

Edinburgh University Medical School

Universities face difficult financial decisions (pic: Terry Murden)

Universities will benefit from £280 million to protect thousands of jobs and support research into the coronavirus and other important work in areas such as plastic waste.

The funding will also help to compensate for an expected slump in the number of international students who normally provide a huge chunk of university income.

From this Autumn, universities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic will be able to access long term, low interest loans and grants covering up to 80% of their income losses caused by any actual decline in overseas students.

Universities are expected to make cutbacks of their own, while some may also be losing funding from charities and businesses, which goes towards vital medical research.

The package will be made available to fund research and high priority projects, such as medical research, said the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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About £200m will be available immediately to support researchers’ salaries and other costs such as laboratory equipment and fieldwork. This will allow universities to retain research talent and protect innovative, ground-breaking projects across the country.

UK Research & Innovation will also redistribute up to a further £80m of existing funding to support R&D.

The two support schemes will ensure universities facing difficult financial decisions, in line with the rest of the economy, can offer job security to up-and-coming researchers and are able to progress their cutting-edge work, such as research into the effects of coronavirus, antibiotics resistance, and new tech solutions to tackle plastic waste and climate change.

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