Injection of funds to counteract coronavirus effects

VUB puts in €2.6 million extra for research

Injection of funds to counteract coronavirus effects

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is providing an extra injection of €2.6 million in research funding to partially offset the negative effects of the coronavirus measures. The past few months have been difficult for scientific research. Not only have scientists been limited in their work, but they have also been put under additional strain as teaching moved online. In addition to the pandemic, the introduction of Open Science and new privacy rules are placing a further burden on research. The extra investment is intended to tackle this as well.

Vice-rector for Research Karin Vanderkerken: “We want to give scientists extra support to continue their research. Because travelling was often not possible, or because too many people were not allowed to be in the laboratories, because there was a negative travel policy or research with test subjects was not possible or very difficult, research has been severely damaged. At VUB, we are fortunate to be able to offer this large sum of money, but it is not enough. To cover the true damage, the government must take responsibility.”

VUB’s measure means the basic funding for departments will be doubled in the 2020-2021 academic year. It is the first structural measure to meet the financial needs caused by the coronavirus. Practically, it means that urgent research extensions for scientists can be funded. Many investigations have been delayed because of the pandemic. The money can also be used to pay for additional costs associated with Open Access publications and the new regulations on privacy.

Vanderkerken: “The needs in research are higher than we can cover with this additional amount. This may also be true in the coming years. Additional resources from the government for universities and for the Fund for Scientific Research are therefore more than essential.”

Contact: Sicco Wittermans
Vrije Universiteit Brussel