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Push to cut red tape hits equality schemes


Government tells major funders to disregard awards such as the Athena Swan Charter

The UK government has launched a major drive to reduce red tape in research, saying that many funding rules have “added limited value, or in some cases led to negative behaviours or consequences”.

The government cited “a wide variety of organisations which offer voluntary membership awards or other forms of recognition to support or validate an organisation’s performance in particular areas”. It has asked UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to “ensure they place no weight upon the presence or absence of such markers or scheme memberships in any of their regulatory or funding activities”.

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