Government dedicates £1.3bn to attracting top science and tech talent

Measures unveiled in bumper research funding package include 100 additional AI PhDs

The government has unveiled a £1.3bn funding package to help the UK attract world-leading talent in the fields of science and technology.

The money, which was announced by business secretary Greg Clark this week, includes a £900m investment in Future Leaders Fellowship Scheme run by UK Research and Innovation. 

The money will be put into the programme over the course of the next 11 years – during the first three of which at least 550 fellowships will be awarded through six funding competitions. Those awarded money will receive backing for up to seven years of early-stage research.

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A further £350m will be invested in fellowship schemes run by the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the British Academy, and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

A total of £50m will, over the next five years, be allocated to the National Productivity Investment Fund to support new PhDs, including 100 additional research doctorates in the field of artificial intelligence.

“We want to retain our global reputation as a destination for world-class scientists and researchers, by providing opportunities to find and nurture the next Ada Lovelaces and Isaac Newtons,” Clark said. “International collaboration has been key to many of the most significant discoveries and breakthroughs, and I want the UK to remain the go-to destination for the best scientists and innovators. We are investing in the rising stars of research and innovation to ensure the UK is where the products and technologies of tomorrow are developed.”

Sam Trendall

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