UK grants in refund threat

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    Research councils will decide how to repay government.

    An inflation rate lower than that predicted may force some UK research scientists to refund research allocations. The UK government has asked the nation's seven research councils, which distribute government research funding, to come up with about £100 million (US$165 million) in cuts.

    The government had forecast an annual inflation rate of 2.7%, and had based its funding levels on that figure, but the actual rate has averaged 1.5%. The councils say that they are deciding how to come up with the funds they must repay the government. Asking researchers to return allocations could help them to reach their goal but could also alienate scientists.

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    UK grants in refund threat. Nature 460, 1167 (2009) doi:10.1038/nj7259-1167c

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