Archive for August 31, 2010

STFC Grants Consultation

Posted in Science Politics with tags , , , , on August 31, 2010 by telescoper

I thought I’d put my community service badge on today and draw the attention of any astronomers or particle physicists reading this blog that the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is consulting on proposed changes to the ways it funds research grants. I can hardly over-emphasize the importance of this issue, especially for those of us working in University departments who rely on grant funding in order to carry out our research.

There is a consultation form on which you can post comments on the alternatives outlined in the accompanying document.

Regrettably, only three options are offered. In brief, they are

  1. All grants to be 3-year “standard” grants (i.e. no more “rolling” grants at all)
  2. Some (a small number?) of 6-year “core” grants introduced, mainly to cover the cost of technical support staff.
  3. The status quo (i.e. mixture of 3-year “standard” and 5-year “rolling” grants).

I’m not going to comment on these here, as my intention is just to draw your attention to the fact that this consultation is open and that the deadline is very soon: Monday 6th September 2010, at 4pm. I would have thought it’s probably a good idea for groups to submit collective responses where possible, but I’m sure all feedback would be welcomed.

We don’t know how much of a grant programme will remain after the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review, but it’s even more important to make the system as efficient and fair as possible when we know money is going to be tight.