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EU Referendum - Message from the President, Sheila Peace

Posted:  27 June 2016
Summary:  In these days following the UK decision to leave the European Union, no doubt we may all have wondered what will be the implications for the development of social science research on ageing.

Dear BSG Members

In these days following the UK decision to leave the European Union, no doubt we may all have wondered what will be the implications for the development of social science research on ageing. I realize that some members, currently undertaking EU-funded research, will be worried over how this will effect their on-going work. Alongside these uncertainties, all researchers will be concerned over access to future research funding and to ways of maintaining international collaboration within Europe.

These issues have been given a great deal of thought by the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS) and its Campaign for Social Science. Alessandro Lanuto, Communications Manager, AcSS has sent the following briefing note summarising the vote’s implications for UK social science and a longer more detailed note is attached. Do read this summary and the longer piece as they set out the issues that will need to be considered.

“The Academy and its Campaign believe the Government will need to consider the implications for UK research in its post-referendum negotiations if UK research excellence is to be protected.

Specifically, the UK Government will need to:

Consider the nature and structure of access to European research funding, which will be affected by decisions on whether or not we become an EFTA EEA country, and how we approach freedom of movement. Our longer note discusses differences between some possible models, including the Swiss and Norwegian, for research funding and collaboration. Consideration should be given to the implications of any model for participation, funding, and leadership within the European Research Area and its framework programmes, including Horizon 2020. 

Consider making good any shortfall in funding (the UK is a net beneficiary) in order to preserve UK social science excellence if the negotiated terms do not allow UK researchers access to EU funding as an associated country.

Mitigate the impact on the freedom of movement of international social science research talent into UK, to ensure that future immigration policies do not pose unreasonable barriers to entry to UK academic posts and to specialist social science research posts outside academe. The Government will also need to consider whether EU students will continue to have access to UK HEIs on the same terms.

The UK social science community will itself need to:

Mend fences following the heated debate of recent months, and consider how to continue and develop fruitful research collaborations with European peers. 

Consider how to foster freedom of movement in an increasingly international research community, including programmes that allow members of the international research and student communities, particularly those hailing from the EU, to study and work in the UK”

If we receive any further discussion, we will forward to the membership.

Best wishes

Sheila



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