A world of research

June 8, 2017

It is reported that if the UK loses access to European Research Council grants, it will need to set up an alternative (“Post-Brexit UK ‘may need to launch global funding council’”, News, 1 June). Whether or not we remain part of the ERC, a new council is desperately needed. In an era of global research networks, the assumption that the best project partners are those geographically closest is no longer valid.

My subject, theology, is excluded from the state universities of Italy, Spain and most of France because of their secular education systems. Moreover, the whole of the humanities are consigned to just two of the ERC’s 25 assessment panels.

The current Times Higher Education World University Rankings shows 41 of the top 100 institutions to be in the US, compared with only 27 across the whole of mainland Europe. Many of these US institutions have strong theology and religion departments, which are well endowed and offer extensive opportunities for high-quality research collaboration. At present, however, very little funding is available for this.

Brexit offers researchers and sector leaders the opportunity to reimagine the landscape of global research partnerships and funding. As part of this, the dynamics of individual disciplines require careful consideration.

David Grumett
Lecturer in Christian ethics and practical theology
University of Edinburgh

Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show