Last week, Chancellor Phillip Hammond delivered his annual Spring Statement which updates the Government’s financial commitments. Though light on research and innovation content, it was announced that a new international research and innovation strategy will be published in the coming months setting out the government’s ambition to ensure the UK retains its place as a global partner of choice for science and innovation collaboration. The Chancellor also announced that there will be a full three-year Spending Review before the Summer recess to be concluded alongside the Autumn Budget.

There was also good news for the sector in the shape of changes to the immigration rules. The government will update the rules on 180-day absences so that researchers conducting fieldwork overseas are not penalised if they apply to settle in the UK. Also PhD-level occupations will be exempt from the general (Tier 2) visa cap from autumn 2019.

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