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expert reaction to new scheme for overseas researchers to come to the UK

UK Research and Innovation has announced the new ‘UKRI-Science Research and Academia’ scheme, which allows non-EEA researchers, scientists and academics to come to the UK for up to two years.


Prof Anne Dell, Chair of the Biochemical Society said:

“The ability of international researchers to work and study in the UK is essential if we are to remain a global leader in science and innovation. The Biochemical Society welcomes this announcement and we are pleased to see that the Government is providing increased support for overseas researchers to come to work and train in the UK. The Society is particularly pleased to see that skilled technicians are also included in this scheme. The UK suffers from a shortage of technical skills in the Life Sciences and overseas technicians make a vital contribution to UK science and research. The Society is concerned that two years may not be enough time for researchers to undertake viable research projects and we hope there will be a flexible visa process in place for those who may require a longer stay.”


Prof Sir Paul Nurse, Director of the Francis Crick Institute, said:

“International collaboration is vital for scientific progress, so I welcome this new initiative which will make it easier for talented scientists to come to the UK for short research placements. At the Francis Crick Institute, we’ve recently launched the Crick African Network, which will see young African scientists coming to the Crick for a up to a year to develop their skills before returning to their home nations, building research capacity to address serious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. The new visa scheme will help us to achieve this.”


Beth Thompson, Wellcome’s Head of UK and EU Policy, said:

“Today’s announcement that UK research institutes can sponsor visas for overseas researchers and specialist technicians will make it easier for organisations, such as the Wellcome Sanger Institute, to bring in the skills and knowledge needed to advance pioneering scientific research. Collaboration and international mobility make science stronger. The Government’s commitment to keeping the UK open to international talent is critical to Britain’s scientific success now and in the future.”




Declared interests

None received.


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