A Christmas Present for Science

* This page has been archived – please visit the current campaign page for up-to-date information! *

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Science is Vital needs your help: please join our festive campaign to tell the government that Science is Vital, and not just for Christmas!

The biggest threat facing UK research at the moment comes from the continuing uncertainty around our future relationship with the EU. Whether you voted to leave or remain, we hope you’ll agree with us: European collaboration and funding are vital to UK science, and we are calling on the government to maintain access to EU research programmes, whatever happens next with Brexit. If you want to know more about why this is a such a huge issue, check out our summary of what Brexit could mean for research.

Here’s our three-point plan for how you can get involved:

  1. Sign the petition asking the government to maintain access to EU research programmes. [This petition closed on January 12th]
  2. Write to your MP, asking them to sign our Early Day Motion in Parliament, and attend the Science is Vital EU research lobby on January 31st 2017.
  3. Come to our lobby in person, and tell your MP why science—and EU research in particular—is vital to you.

And don’t worry if you’re not a UK citizen—if you live in the UK, you can do all these things too! Your MP is your representative. It’s their job to make sure your views are represented in Westminster.

We’ve put together a separate page about what non-UK citizens can do if you’d like to learn more.

Why EU research?
Find out more »

Non-UK citizen?
Click here! »

1. Sign the petition

An easy one to kick off: get over to the government’s petition website and sign this petition. It was started a few months ago (not by Science is Vital!) and we’re very happy to endorse its message: that EU research programmes are vital for UK science funding and international collaboration.

It already has well over 30,000 signatures so please sign and share it far and wide so it can get even more!

Sign the petition »

2. Write to your MP

Before Christmas, we need you to write to your MP to tell them you’d like them to sign our EDM, and to attend our lobby.

Use the UK Parliament website to find out how to contact your MP. You can search by your MP’s surname or simply use your home postcode. The search result will tell you who they are, their party affiliation, their main political interests and (most importantly) their email address.

Then, write them a message. Here’s what you need to do:

Your message needs to:

  • Provide your name/home address, to prove that you are one of your MP’s constituents.
  • Ask your MP to sign EDM 772, ‘Preserving access to EU research programmes’. Copy the EDM text at the bottom of your message: we’ve included it for you below too!
  • Tell their MP that there will be a Science is Vital lobby on Tuesday 31st January from 14:00–16:00 in Room R, Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, and ask them to attend.
  • (optional) If you’re able to attend the lobby yourself, you can tell your MP that you’ll be there, and you’d like to talk with them as a constituent concerned about this. Find out more details about this on the next page!
  • You can also mention that there is a General Debate in the House of Commons concerning ‘Exiting the EU and science and research’ scheduled for Monday 19th December, and you would like your MP to represent your views in this debate.
  • Your letter will be more powerful if you can also add some personal detail, expressing your concerns about the impact of Brexit on science. There are many ways to do this: a good place to start is by mentioning your own experiences; how research and EU funding affect your constituency; or you might want to mention the House of Commons Select Committee report on the impact of Brexit on research. Don’t feel you have to write a lot—keep it short and sweet.
  • If you’re sending an e-mail and you’re happy to do so, please CC in EUlobby@scienceisvital.org.uk. It will help us keep track of who has been e-mailed and how many messages have been sent, and we won’t to share your details or the contents of your letter.

If you’d like some more tips, check out our page of advice on writing to your MP.

Finally, we’ve pulled together some example messages to help you write yours. Check them out!

Early Day Motion 772

Access to EU research programmes

That this House recognises the importance of maintaining the UK’s world-leading research base; notes that this is vital to the UK’s international reputation and to its future health, environment and economy; emphasises that science is international and depends on the freedom of all researchers to seek collaboration and training around Europe and the world; further recognises the unique collaborative opportunities provided by EU research programmes through international movement of researchers allowing skills and knowledge to be shared; further notes that the UK is a net beneficiary of the EU research budget which currently provides 10 per cent of UK public-funded research; and calls on the Government to preserve access to these vital EU research funding programmes whatever the form of the UK’s future relations with the EU.

Link: www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/772

Read example letters to MPs »

3. Attend our lobby

We’d love for you to join us at our lobby in January. Once again, it’s on Tuesday 31st January from 14:00–16:00 in Room R, Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament.

If you can make it, you’ll be able to speak to your MP, face-to-face, and tell them why science matters in the Brexit negotiations. (We’ll be there to back you up with leaflets, hard facts, and maybe even some tea and biscuits.)

We’ve set up a form to keep track of people who might be interested in coming. If you’ve had a reply from your MP confirming that they’ll meet you, please fill it out so we’ve got an idea of numbers. (For example, if we’re lucky enough to get a good response, we might need to do something like organising time slots for groups of MPs.) We also know that it’s much easier for Londoners to come along so we don’t want London MPs to be overwhelmed by dozens of constituents!

Fill out our form telling us you’re coming! »


If you’ve made it this far, congratulations, you’re done! Thank you for your hard work helping us make the case for science this Christmas.

We’ve just got one last favour to ask: please share the campaign with a few friends and encourage them to get involved too!