Submission to the inquiry on the influence of EU membership on UK science

The Academy of Medical Sciences responded to a call from the House of Lords’ Science and Technology Committee for evidence to inform its inquiry into the influence of EU membership on UK science.

In November 2015, the Academy submitted evidence to the House of Lords’ Science and Technology Committee to inform its inquiry into the breadth of ways that the UK's EU membership influences science and the scientific community in the UK. This inquiry aims to analyse how EU membership and the vitality of the UK's science, research and innovation base are connected, through an examination of financial contributions, support for collaboration, regulatory environment and other factors.

Our submission drew on the expertise of our Fellowship and examined EU factors affecting medical research including funding, people and regulation. In our submission we set out a number of key factors, including:

  • The strong performance of the UK research base in attracting competitively-awarded EU funding, and the significant contribution this made to the overall funding landscape.
  • The benefits to the UK of being connected to the large pool of talented researchers provided by the EU, and the contribution such individuals made to the UK’s performance.
  • The role of regulatory harmonisation in providing a platform for collaboration, and the UK’s engagement with the policy process that underpinned the development of such legislation.
  • The need for continued evaluation on ensuring transparency and minimising unnecessary administrative burden within grant application and monitoring processes.
  • The important of continued engagement, by the Academy and others, in the development of the new Scientific Advice Mechanism to inform policy decision making at an EU level.

Complementing our submission, the Royal Society are conducting a phased project to gather evidence about several aspects of the relationship between the UK research community and the EU, which will be available from their website.

 

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