Austrian science out in the cold

Cash freeze means more basic science projects than ever fail to get funding

Jane Burgermeister(janburgermeister@yahoo.co.uk)
Feb 23, 2004

The Austrian government has made much of its plans to boost spending on science from its current level of 1.96% of gross domestic product, but the country's main funding body for basic research, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), has warned this week that it is having to turn down an unprecedented number of applications from scientists because it has too little money.

Stefan Bernhardt, FWF spokesman, told The Scientist that the organization was not able to fund some research projects that had been rated as “excellent” by a peer review system, because of a shortage of funds.

“We have never had to turn down so many applications. Many of them are very, very good, and this is a worrying situation,” he said.

The FWF received 35% more funding applications in 2003 than in the previous year. It had to turn down around 70% of all applications in that year, compared...

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