Published: 17 December 2021

This week, following a long campaign by AMRC and its charities, 80 AMRC charities received the good news that the Medical Research Charities COVID Support Fund for Early-Career Researchers will provide funding for 450 researchers for one year.

The fund, administered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), comprises £15 million from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and £5 million from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), announced in the R&D budget allocations in May this year.

Nicola Perrin, Chief Executive of AMRC said: “This funding for 80 of our members is a very welcome early Christmas present. It will make a big difference to our charities, their research teams, and the patients who benefit from their work. We’re extremely grateful that the Government has recognised the unprecedented impact of the pandemic on medical research charities and those they support.

“We would also like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this happen: our wonderful charities and their communities, the parliamentarians, the teams at BEIS, DHSC and UKRI, and many more! Your support has made this fund a reality.

“But we know that demand for the scheme way outstripped supply and we hope that, as part of the Spending Review allocations, the Government will consider continuing the COVID Support Fund scheme for another three years. Short-term support will help charities continue to protect talented young scientists who could become the UK’s next research leaders.

Lynn Dunne, CEO of Bowel Research UK said: “Helping the next generation of researchers take the first steps of an exciting, potentially life-changing, career is fundamental to our mission as a small charity. This money will not only support ongoing work by early-career researchers, it will allow us to open up new opportunities next year. The hard work of AMRC, BEIS and many others has been invaluable in securing this much needed support after two years of disruption and uncertainty for medical research charities.”

Will Cook, CEO of Cure Parkinson’s said: “This funding is most welcome and will ensure the talented researchers we support remain engaged in our promising research and committed to their careers in this field. The Parkinson’s community will be encouraged to learn that our best researchers are able to continue to build on their knowledge and experience to bring us closer to a cure.”