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EU Exacts Toll from Underfunded Countries

With the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), the European Community has focused funding on projects designed to forge lasting research partnerships across Europe and to achieve highly ambitious goals, such as developing novel technologies for proteomics research, and decreasing the Europe-wide burden of allergy and asthma.The European Life Scientist Organization (ELSO) recently launched a petition to lobby for changes, but it's the scientists from the 10 countries that joined the European Union in

Martina Habeck

With the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), the European Community has focused funding on projects designed to forge lasting research partnerships across Europe and to achieve highly ambitious goals, such as developing novel technologies for proteomics research, and decreasing the Europe-wide burden of allergy and asthma.

The European Life Scientist Organization (ELSO) recently launched a petition to lobby for changes, but it's the scientists from the 10 countries that joined the European Union in May, the so-called accession countries, who pay the highest price.

Under the first call of FP6, more than 100,000 European scientists submitted 12,000 research projects. Teams spent months preparing their proposals, attending meetings throughout Europe to coordinate their activities, and eventually handing in hundreds of pages of detailed information to support their applications.

The success rate of scientists from long-time EU countries was 18.5%. Scientists from accession countries achieved a success rate of only 14%, yet these...

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