UEA is one of a consortium of universities from the East of England to sign an open letter sent to UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak requesting a reconsideration on the Government’s decision to reduce important research funding.
The letter comes jointly from the members of the Eastern Arc regional research consortium, which comprises UEA, the University of Essex and the University of Kent, and follows the Government’s recent decision to reduce the Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The reduction in the ODA budget will have knock on effects for UK Research and Innovation funding (UKRI) and grants for all three universities.
Professor Fiona Lettice, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) at UEA, is closely involved with the work of Eastern Arc and has signed the letter on behalf of UEA. The open letter has also been copied to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Eastern Region MPs.
A copy of the Eastern ARC open letter in full can be found on the Eastern ARC website.
A petition asking for the cuts to be reversed has been started – with UEA’s Professor of Volcanology, Jenni Barclay one of the originators – and has now been signed by over 5,000 people, reflecting the widespread concern in the UK research community and beyond.
Prof Fiona Lettice said: “We are raising concerns with government and our regional MPs to highlight the impact this decision will have on a range of important research being undertaken within the UK and with our global partners, tackling issues including biodiversity, disaster risk reduction, child malnutrition, marine microplastics and sustainable food systems.
“We hope that by highlighting the importance of this funding there can be a reconsideration of this decision as this relatively small amount of money does have a really important impact on UK research.”