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Researchers are at the heart of cancer research. For research to thrive, the UK research workforce needs to be boosted, to fill current shortfalls, and meet ambitions to grow as a science nation. We therefore need to attract and retain the brightest minds in research, by creating a supportive and rewarding environment and ensuring global talent can come to the UK.

Global mobility of researchers:

International talent brings huge value to UK research, with new skills, knowledge and connections, and enabling us to draw from a global talent pool. Its therefore vital that the UK is attractive and affordable for researchers, but our immigration system is currently one of the most expensive in the world. We struggle to compete with other leading science nations to attract research talent to the UK, especially since Brexit.

The UK Government must make the immigration system work better for research by:

  • Reducing the cost of visas and the Immigration Health Surcharge, making it more affordable.
  • Improve the information and support available to make the system easier to navigate.
  • Ensure visa options are available for researchers and technicians at all levels that are needed in UK research.
  • Ensure the UK research environment is attractive to international talent, and that they feel welcome in the UK.

Research careers:

System-wide within research culture and careers can have negative impacts on researchers and research. These need to be countered to ensure research careers are more attractive, accessible and rewarding, by:

  • Improving research culture by changing the way individuals and institutions are assessed and valued, to improve the environment in which research is conducted.
  • Working to better understand inequalities and identify effective interventions to tackle the barriers that perpetuate them, to improve the diversity of the research community.
  • Increase the stability and flexibility of research careers to reduce the loss of talented individuals from research and enable movement between sectors to share knowledge and enable collaboration.

Find out more about our work as a funder to improve the diversity of our research community, and develop a more positive research culture. 

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