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Postgraduate Education: Finance

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the merits of increasing funding for research councils to provide financial support to postgraduates unable to secure funding in the current economic situation. (254956)

Funding is allocated to the Research Councils for the duration of each spending review period. The Research Councils and the research community are best placed to decide how funding is distributed, in accordance with the Haldane Principle.

On 18 November 2008, Research Councils UK, with support from the Science Minister, announced a package of measures in response to the economic downturn. As part of this, the Economic and Social Research Council will bring forward funding for around 30 studentships. In addition, BBSRC will advance funding for an additional 20 four-year studentships in four key priority areas of ageing research, bioenergy, bioprocessing and environmental change.