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Research council amends controversial grant-funding proposal

After a campaign by scientists, the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has softened and delayed its controversial policy to bar serially unsuccessful grant applicants from making funding bids for one year (Nature online News, 5 May 2009). The ban was due to be imposed on 229 researchers starting on 1 June, in an effort to reduce pressure on an overloaded system that currently peer-reviews all grant applications. But eight weeks after it published the policy (see Nature online news 19 March 2009 and Nature 458, 391; 2009), the EPSRC now says that the restriction will not come in until 1 April 2010 — giving scientists more time to change their grant-submission behaviour so that they do not fall under criteria defining repeated failure. And instead of being excluded outright, researchers will be allowed one application during the year. 

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