I wrote last week about a series of recent funding body announcements that have left UK scientists (especially those in the neurosciences, but many others too) feeling very worried about the future. For example, in addition to the recent closure of a number of pharmaceutical company neuroscience research facilities, a previously major funder of basic cognitive neuroscience research, the BBSRC, announced it was re-prioritising its funding away from neuroscience. Even more concerning for the future of the field, several funding schemes aimed particularly at early-career researchers have recently been overhauled in a manner that, I argued, seemed to significantly reduce the ability of a new researcher to establish a neuroscience research group.
Even if some of the reports turn out not to reflect accurately the changes that have been made, these recent developments have caused a great deal of concern amongst researchers. As a result, it has been particularly welcome to see announcements and comments in the last few days from another major research council whose remit includes neuroscience, the MRC.