Universities and science minister Jo Johnson has told universities it is “business as usual” for projects currently funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and that they should “continue to bid for EU research funding with confidence”.
In a letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England, he confirmed the pledge made over the weekend that the government would “underwrite the payment of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU”.
This means that the government will guarantee research funding granted from the EU’s €80 billion (£69 billion) fund after Brexit. UK institutions can also continue to bid for funds from it while the country remains a member.
Universities have been concerned about research funding following the UK’s referendum vote to leave the EU, despite assurances given by the pro-Brexiteers before the vote.