UK science nets extra cash
Jul 15, 2002
The UK’s science budget will grow from £2.0bn this year to £2.9bn in 2005/2006, the chancellor Gordon Brown announced today. The 2002 spending review – which sets out public spending for the period 2003 to 2006 – will increase the budget of the Office of Science and Technology by 10% per year for the next three years. The UK’s research councils will receive an extra £120m per year, and universities will get £500m per year to support their science research infrastructure. Grants for PhD students are also expected to increase to over £13 000 per year by 2005. Schools and universities aim to improve teaching and facilities to attract the best students into science.
The review also takes into account the recommendations made by Sir Gareth Roberts in his recent review of the supply of science and engineering skills in the UK. The budget for resources that support the transfer of knowledge from the science base will be almost doubled to £114m for 2005/2006.
The Wellcome Trust – the world's largest biomedical research charity – will also contribute an additional £280m over the next five years to support new research programmes and better training for science teachers.
Alun Jones, chief executive of the Institute of Physics, welcomes the extra cash. "The additional funds for science and education represent a great opportunity for physics and for the continued strength of the UK's science base in the future," he said.
The UK government conducts the review every two years to allocate the £400bn of government funds.