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Government to fund jobs for 1,100 scientific researchers and 850 uni profs
INVESTIGATION work in research and development centres, science laboratories, universities and a host of other organisations will get up to €170 million to take on pre-doctoral working pupils on four-year contracts.
In a bid to promote scientific and academic research, especially in crucial areas such as medicine, over 1,100 PhD students will be given full-time jobs in the form of grants paid to them as monthly salaries.
Another 850 trainee university tutors and in-house researchers will be taken on through the funding, which will cover temporary stays in centres abroad to further their professional development.
These candidates, also pre-PhD, will receive a net montly salary of €1,713 plus two extra months' pay per year in summer and at Christmas.
Science, especially medical research, being underfunded, with Spaniards who have the required skills and qualifications forced to emigrate to find work or sorely underpaid in the limited jobs available at home, has long been a gripe in the industry – and among the general public.
But with the change in government in early June, the new universities and science minister, astronaut Pedro Duque – Spain's first man on the moon – pledged to invest heavily in the area.
Cases of particular concern with the previous government's alleged 'neglect' of science funding included a pioneering cancer vaccine for treating diagnosed patients with virtually no side-effects, but which had ground to a halt before the clinical trials stage for want of just €50,000.
Yet Spain has produced some of the best scientists on earth in the current generation – many of whom are currently working in the UK.
Some 30,000 scientist from Galicia are rethinking their stay ahead of Brexit, and are almost equally split between those determined to remain in Britain and those already making plans to leave.
But for those not yet fully formed, or who are focusing on higher levels of research qualifications, the race is on for the grants soon to be up for grabs.
Initially, they were invited to apply from December, but Duque has moved the opening date forward to October so they will be ready to start by the beginning of 2019 at the earliest.
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