Alarm Bells at STFC

The  financial catastrophe engulfing the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has suddenly reared its (very ugly) head again.

Here is a statement posted yesterday on their webpage.

STFC Council policy on grants

STFC Council examined progress of its current science and technology prioritisation exercise at a strategy session on 21 and 22 September. Without prejudging the outcome of the prioritisation, Council agreed that prudent financial management required a re-examination of upcoming grants.

Council therefore agreed that new grants will be issued only to October 2010 in the first instance. This temporary policy is in place pending the outcome of the prioritisation exercise, expected in the New Year.

According to the e-astronomer the  STFC  has written to all Vice-chancellors and Principals of UK universities to tell them about this move. I gather the intention is that this measure will be temporary, but it looks deeply ominous to me. Those of us whose rolling grant requests for  5 years from April 2010 are currently being assessed face the possibility of receiving grants for only 6 months of funding. On the other hand, I’m told that what is more likely is that our grant won’t be announced until January or February, after the hitlist prioritisation exercise has been completed in the New Year. Hardest hit will be the particle physicists whose rolling grants start on 1st October 2009 (tomorrow), which will have only a year’s funding on them…

It seems that STFC has finally realised the scale of its budgetary problems and payback time is looming. I honestly think we could be doomed…

6 Responses to “Alarm Bells at STFC”

  1. When something as fictitious and corrupt as money has any say whatsoever in humanity’s scientific progress, we know we’re, in a word, screwed. I for one find it disgusting. For a demoralising account of what money is:

    Sure, it’ll take five and a half hours to watch the three (in the order above, please) but they are very, very highly recommended.

  2. […] Alarm Bells at STFC « In the Dark – view page – cached The financial catastrophe engulfing the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has suddenly reared its (very ugly) head again. — From the page […]

  3. […] In the Dark A blog about the Universe, and all that surrounds it « Alarm Bells at STFC […]

  4. […] · Leave a Comment The Science and Technology Facilities Council has begun a ‘prioritisation’ program (rather like the one that killed off so much science and garnered so many bad headlines recently). […]

  5. Does anybody play the national lottery anymore?

  6. […] possible extensions to their contracts. Perhaps by April  the management will have sorted out the current STFC crisis so we can get on and do some science with the wonderful […]

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