The Association of Scientists is warning the Government against a shake-up of Crown Research Institutes, saying the sector needs stability rather than further cuts.
The Government is considering re-convening a CRI Taskforce with a view to merging some of the eight institutes.
A decision on whether the review will go ahead will be made in a few weeks.
The association, which represents working scientists, says the number of back office staff working in the CRIs has already been pared to the bone.
Association president James Renwick says the date of the election, 26 November, seems to be driving the Government's thinking rather than any strategic view of what the sector needs.
Labour's spokesperson for research, science and technology, David Shearer, says conducting another review of the Crown Research Institutes shows the Government has no plan for science and innovation.