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How will the EU referendum result affect university research? Dr Robert Marchand discusses on Sheffield Live

Dr Robert Marchand has discussed the vote to leave the EU in relation to universities and their research, particularly in the area of funding for work on renewable energy and sustainability projects.

He also discussed how university campuses could become carbon neutral.

On the initial impact on the leave vote, Rob said: “The initial impact has been uncertainty. All sectors in the UK are looking for certainty – if we’re going to Brexit, let’s do it so at least we know what’s happening and we can plan. Researchers on multi-million pound Horizon 2020 bids are already being affected, and these are very important to universities. However, the University of Sheffield isn’t totally reliant on EU funding.

“European partners are concerned about partnering with British universities because it might have an effect on funding during a project. That makes your project unsustainable; you can’t publish, and everything that leads to building reputation disappears.

“The good thing we can take from the referendum is that it will make us more dynamic when it comes to thinking about research funding and perhaps this is an opportunity to work more closely with businesses and local authorities.”

On identifying alternative funding or approaches to research, Rob suggested that there are opportunities on our doorstep: “Engaging with our city and using that as a step forward to being a world-leader and centre of expertise could make a rosy future for us – if we think about it in the right way. There are opportunities to use the knowledge within Sheffield to help the local community and that can also help the university keep doing good research.”

“We want to make sure the north (of England) doesn’t lose out, so as a university we’re going to try and take a leadership in maintaining that level of investment and engagement. That means looking for new sources of funding.”

Click here to listen to a podcast of the programme (Sounzaboutright, Sheffield Live – 28.07.16)

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