Sometimes even your best isn't enough, as some British life science laboratories are finding out, the hard way. Many are scrambling to change priorities and seek other funding to compensate for cuts by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The council distributes money according to each university's quality rating on the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which is based on a seven-point scale (1, 2, 3b, 3a, 4, 5, 5*) with 5* being the highest rating. But even institutions awarded the 5* rating will face funding cuts from the HEFCE.

To cushion the blow, HEFCE will taper funding gradually. The University of Greenwich medical department, with an RAE rating of 3a, will receive £1.18 million in cuts. Parliament elevated the former Polytechnic Institute to university status under the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992 as part of a national campaign to increase competitiveness. "This decision makes it difficult...

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