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Research cuts will damage health

Universities UK says government proposal to cut research funding will undermine medical research.

Helen Gavaghan(gavers@supanet.com)

Universities UK yesterday became the latest body to criticize government plans to reduce the block grants to universities with departments that failed to reach the very highest marks (5 or 5*) in the Research Assessment Exercise of 2001.

Speaking on the release of a report, Partnership in Care, on the universities, academic and clinical research, and teaching, Diane Warwick, chief executive of Universities UK, said "Proposals to cut funding for research to those units that scored 4 or less in the 2001 RAE risk undermining research in dentistry, community and hospital-based clinical subjects, and clinical laboratory sciences."

Partnership in Care shows the links between academia and the National Health Service (NHS), and so highlights the possible unintended consequences of the cuts. Many leading biomedical researchers, said the report, are jointly employed by the universities and the NHS, and universities oversee a lot of medical research, be it funded...

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