40% of charity-funded early career scientists have considered leaving research due to pandemic, reveals survey

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17th March 2021 14:37 - Pharmaceutical

40% of charity-funded early career scientists have considered leaving research due to pandemic: A survey by the Association of Medical Research Charities’ (AMRC) has found that 40% of charity-funded early career scientists have considered leaving research because of funding concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey polled 523 scientists funded by 72 charities, also finding that more than a quarter (28%) have thought about leaving their roles due to a 'lack of career prospects', while almost a fifth (19%) have considered handing in their notice due to concerns around Brexit.

The AMRC reports that medical research charities are responsible for funding the salaries of around 17,000 UK scientists, with two-thirds of those polled saying their salary is entirely funded by charities, and half reporting their funding is due to finish by the end of 2021.

The survey found that almost six out of 10 charity-funded researchers have not been successful in securing funding since March 2020 at the start of the pandemic (58%). A fall in funding due to the pandemic could mean many scientists are left with no choice but to leave the profession.

The survey also found that six in 10 charities (61%) have had to cut or cancel support for early career researchers and skilled research roles, while 82% of charity-funded researchers feel their career is less secure than it was the previous year.

Aisling Burnand, Chief Executive of AMRC said: “Medical research charities are facing a catastrophic funding crisis and are having to decide where future research will need to be cut.”



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