Scientific awards to stop brain drain

The first winners of an award
scheme set up to stop the UK’s scientific brain drain have been announced by
Science Minister Lord Sainsbury.

Seven scientists from across the
nation have won Research Merit awards, which it is hoped will attract and
retain the best of the nation’s scientific community.

The £20 million five-year scheme,
jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department of Trade and
Industry, includes prizes of up to £75,000 for contributions to research into
areas such as health, the environment, the economy and computing.

Lord Sainsbury, who stressed the
importance of the scheme, commented, “Scientific excellence is the foundation
of a successful UK economy. It is essential that we have a scientific brain-gain
to ensure that we continue to turn the best ideas into jobs and prosperity.”

The president of the Royal Society,
Sir Robert May, added, “These awards send out a message across the globe that
Britain remains one of the best places to carry out scientific research because
we are taking steps to provide salaries that match the excellence of our

“The quality of the Research Merit
Award winners highlights the wealth of world-class scientific talent based in
UK institutions.”

It is anticipated that a further
thirty awards will be made this year and about thirty-five in a second year of
the scheme.

By Robert D La Poer

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