Science 26 February 2010:
Vol. 327. no. 5969, pp. 1078 - 1079
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5969.1078-b

Spain's Budget Neglects Research

Research and innovation are crucial for the development and well-being of society. Now, in times of economic downturn, the urgency of changing the economic model to provide sustainable growth has become apparent. However, investment in R&D is the first collateral damage in the Spanish national budget, and many regional governments have also cut spending; all this in spite of the fact that Spain only dedicates 1.35% of its gross national product to R&D (1). These cuts will deeply affect aspiring researchers; researchers with temporary contracts will find that, after years of work and training, their contracts may not be renewed.

R&D has been completely neglected in the recent special anti-crisis measures, referred to as "Plan-E" (2), even though funds dedicated to science and its infrastructure would have met the same goals and been profitable in subsequent years. A training program for future researchers and technicians would have provided opportunities for laid-off workers from other sectors. It would also have been an excellent time to promote R&D in the private sector.

Unfortunately, the Spanish science system also has endemic deficits, such as continuous changes in management personnel and structure; lack of a fixed calendar of calls; bureaucratic delays; arbitrariness in the selection, promotion, and stabilization of personnel;and paralysis of necessary legislative initiatives.

We believe that it is time to demand a binding, long-term commitment from all parties to equip the Spanish science system with stabilityand prestige; a real increase in funding for R&D, so that spending first equals and then exceeds the European average; and rational planning to support the different stages of scientific careers.

The authors of this Letter have written a manifesto (3), summarized here, that has the support of many scientific groups. We believe that the moment has arrived for the scientific community to join forces. Learn more about our mission at

Xosé Afonso Álvarez,1,2 Noemí Cabrera-Poch,3,4,5 Ana Canda-Sánchez,1,6 Carlos Fenollosa,4,7,* Elena Piñero,1,8Mark J. van Raaij,9,10 Eva Sánchez Cobos,11,12 Ignacio Segura Pérez,1,13 Francisco J. Tapiador,3,14 Ana M. Torrado Agrasar15,16

1 Federación de Jóvenes Investigadores.
2 Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisboa, Portugal.
3 Asociación Nacional de Investigadores Ramón y Cajal.
4 Plataforma por la Investigación.
5 Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas de Madrid, CSIC-UAM, 28029 Madrid, Spain.
6 MRC Toxicology Unit, Lancaster Road, LE1 9HN Leicester, UK.
7 Molecular Modelling and Bioinformatics Lab, Instituto Nacional de Bioinformática, Parc Científic de Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.
8 Marine Biogeochemie–Marine Geosysteme, IFM-GEOMAR, Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften (an der Universität Kiel), 24148 Kiel, Germany.
9 Asociación para el Avance de la Ciencia y la Tecnología en España.
10 Departamento de Biología Estructural, Instituto de Biología Molecular de Barcelona–CSIC, Parc Cientifíc de Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.
11 Asociación de Investigadores Juan de la Cierva.
12 Departamento de Química, Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain.
13 Mechanical Engineering Division, CARTIF Technology Centre, Parque Tecnológico de Boecillo, 205, 47151 Boecillo, Valladolid, Spain.
14 Institute of Environmental Sciences (ICAM), Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, 45071 Toledo, Spain.
15 Asociación de Investigadores Parga Pondal.
16 Facultade de Ciencias, Universidade de Vigo, 32004 Ourense, Spain.

1. Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Notas de Prensa (2009);
2. Gobierno de España, "¿Qué es el Plan E?" Plan Español para el Estímulo de la Economía y el Empleo;
3. Plataforma por la Investigación, "Research is an investment in the future";

Lee el manifiesto completo en: