Published: 22 February 2022

By Alice Robertson, Senior Research Officer, AMRC

“It’s like a having provisional driving licence until you pass your test!” – this is how one charity excitedly welcomed the idea of a new Introductory membership offer at the AMRC.  

A provisional licence allows you to learn, practice and develop the necessary skills over time until you are ready to take your test. This is much the way Introductory membership works, as charities aim to meet the quality standard requirements of Full membership.  

We exist to bring together and support health and medical charities to produce high quality research that saves and improves lives. One way we do this is by ensuring charities meet our membership criteria. This is no mean feat and is the reason that everyone from universities, government and other funding bodies as well as donors recognise AMRC membership as an indicator of quality research funding. 

It can take charities years to implement the necessary changes to meet our high standards. Whilst the AMRC offers advice and support over this time, charities going through the application processes are unable to join our wonderful charity community. A community that shares learning, best practice, builds connections – all beneficial things when you are looking to learn and grow.

Enter, Introductory membership! We want to take new charities into the AMRC fold from the start. This might be a charity new to funding research, in the process of setting up their funding schemes or perhaps an existing charity funder looking to refresh their processes and develop good practices.  

We think they could do this faster and better with the benefit of opportunities to connect with other charities and access to resources like our events, newsletters, working groups and  platforms like AMRC Open Research.

So how does it differ from Full membership? The badge of quality. Whilst Introductory members are committed to working towards our membership criteria, they don’t yet meet our high standards and therefore cannot display our kitemark logo, take part in our peer review audit, or be included in our reports and infographics.  

But by becoming an Introductory member, a charity gets its provisional licence and starts their journey towards Full membership.  

Find out more about who can become an Introductory member and the benefits here.