This report is the second in a series of publications gathering data around the relationship between UK-based research and the UK’s membership of the EU.

Since the EU referendum in 2016, there has been wide-ranging debates about the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU. The Royal Society, with this report, intend to inform the debate surrounding the role of EU membership on R&D in the UK by providing relevant data. Much of the findings of the report show that the UK research base has benefitted from EU membership and has allowed a great number of UK-based researchers to be internationally mobile.


  • 28% of academic staff in UK universities are non-UK nationals (16% EU and 12% non-EU), as are half of PhD students
  • 60% of the UK’s internationally co-authored papers are with EU partners, an increasing share of the UK’s international publications
  • The EU supported 3,539 UK-based researchers to access 1,055 European research facilities between 2007 and 2013
  • 7.6% of UK-affiliated researchers (including non-UK nationals) worked for more than two years in other EU countries but not outside the EU between 1996 and 2011
  • Between 2007 and 2014, the EU’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions supported 3,454 UK-based researchers to move within the UK, to other EU countries and to non-EU countries

To read more from this publication series, visit the Royal Society website.