As a result of the referendum outcome there is widespread uncertainty about how our relationship with Europe will evolve over the coming few years. Within the academic community, that uncertainty includes the future of our funding, collaboration, and training arrangements. Like many research-intensive universities in the UK, the University of Bath has found substantial advantage in the European funding mechanisms. This has provided funding for our research, but more than that it has provided access to a broader community of researchers inside and outside of academia, prestige for our work and people, focus on international priorities, and mechanisms for our research to have impact.
We cannot say how this situation will change as a result of our exit from the European Union, and clearly we will wish to make strong representation at a range of different levels to ensure that changes are to our further advantage. However, it is clear that the potential changes are not going to take place for some time, probably at least the two years it will take for us to leave the EU. Furthermore, we should assume that the agreements and contracts which are currently in place, and those which will be agreed during what might be a prolonged period of exit, will be honoured through to their end, and not terminated when the UK leaves the EU.
Consequently, until we are barred from doing so or further evidence comes to light, our position is that we should continue to apply for European funding, by working with collaborators in Europe where appropriate. Indeed, we should exploit every opportunity we can to participate in schemes, to join, form, or lead consortia, and to engage with Europe, as funders of our research, as collaborators, as users of research and as partners in training. Our purpose is not simply to gain access to funding and collaborators, but also to demonstrate the importance of the European research mechanisms to our research and to our University, The University has every intention to continue to support you in your bids and activities. We will keep you informed as more information emerges.