The government will need to do more to reassure international scientists that the UK is a global leader, Prospect have warned as the government announce a new fund to attract global talent to the UK.
On Friday 22nd June Business Secretary Greg Clark launches prestigious £900 million UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowship Scheme - open to best researchers from around the world.
The investment will fund at least 550 new fellowships for the brightest and best from academia and business.
In response, Prospect senior deputy general secretary Sue Ferns said:
“Science is an inherently global enterprise and it is welcome that the government are recognising this with the announcement of this new scheme, but they will have to go further if they are to reassure the global science community that they are truly open to the benefits of scientific collaboration and innovation.
“In a recent survey of Prospect members who are EU nationals working in STEM, 70% said they were thinking of leaving the UK and there was an overwhelming feeling that they had not been made to feel welcome in Britain thanks to government policy and rhetoric.
“Science is a team endeavour and international staff are crucial at every level, from the technicians to the Nobel Prize winners, UK research institutes and other bodies will only suffer if the lose this international talent.
“If the government truly wants to make the UK a global hub for science, they must radically change their approach to migration, ditch the self-defeating migration targets and the failing Tier 2 visa system, and make it clear that the UK welcomes all those who make a contribution to our society, not just the ‘best and brightest’.”