Published: 3 July 2019

In response to Research England's QR funding allocations, Aisling Burnand MBE, Chief Executive of the AMRC, said: 

Medical research charities welcome the announcement of a much-needed boost to English university research funding for 2019/20. Partnerships between charities and universities are vital to ensure that donations from the public can be translated into world-leading innovative research that meets the needs of those to whom it really matters.

Over 87% of the research funded by AMRC member charities takes place in universities where it is underpinned by the charity research support element of QR funding. The Charity Research Support Fund disappointingly remains flat for this year however, following a small 3% boost last year.

The CRSF is vital to ensure the sustainability of charitable funding in universities. It exists in recognition of the fact that charities, by virtue of being funded directly by the public, are unlike other research funders and so pay for the costs of research differently. When the CRSF is taken into account, universities recoup similar costs from charity grants compared to other funders. The Fund reduces the portion that the university must contribute from 39p for every pound won from a charity grant to 28p per pound. This level of university contribution to research grants is comparable to those from other funders, including the Research Councils, although it does not present a sustainable system at current levels of funding.

A flat-lining CRSF risks the future of charity-university research partnerships and the ground-breaking, patient-centred research they yield. As the government looks to achieve the target of 2.4% of UK GDP invested in R&D, it’s vital that a boosted and fully-functioning CRSF is recognised as a way of meeting this goal.