Published: July 2013

AMRC member charities are required to publish a research strategy, clearly setting out their priorities in the research they wish to fund and why.

A research strategy builds on a charity’s mission statement to describe how the charity will use funding to meet its overarching aims over a defined time, usually three to seven years.

Publishing a research strategy makes a charity eligible for other resources, such as the charity research support funds.

A clear strategy helps applicants assess whether their research falls within the charity’s remit.

A comprehensive strategy provides charity advisory committees and staff with a clear set of objectives to evaluate both funding applications and research impact.

Regularly reviewing the strategy maintains the charity’s niche within the wider research environment, preventing overlap of function and opening-up opportunities for collaboration. It allows funders to respond to changes and provide funding that fits best with the current circumstances.

A research strategy should contain:

Why the charity funds research

  • The aims, objectives and priorities of the charity.
  • The unique role of the charity in the research landscape and how it adds value.

What research/scientific priority issues have been identified, and why

  • The types of research and scientific areas the charity intends to support, differentiating between priority issues that the charity will support directly, and other issues which are important, but which may be beyond their own resources.
  • The rationale for the decision.
  • How the strategic fit will be assessed during peer review.

How the charity plans to fund research

  • The types of grants, including times scales the charity supports, the extent of the support and what research expenses the charity can offer to cover.
  • Any partnerships that the charity has or wishes to develop.

Who the charity will fund

  • What types of people /institutions will the charity fund.
  • What qualifications are required by these individuals.

Where the charity will fund research

  • Define any regional or institutional priorities or restrictions.

When the grant will be awarded

  • Define when funding will become available and timescale for all grant programmes.
  • How will the charity support researchers beyond the award of the grant.
  • When the charity will review the research strategy.