Written Evidence Submitted by the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)
I am writing from the Association of Medical Research Charities to thank you for inviting me to provide evidence to the committee last week and to follow-up on your interest in the crisis facing charity-funded medical research. As trailed in the hearing, we can now share new data on the impact Covid-19 has had on charity-funded medical research over the last year. Following the initial projections made in spring 2020, the picture one year on looks as bleak as feared.
As you know, there are still no clear Government support mechanisms for charity funded medical research. Charity-funded medical research has not been eligible for support from the £750 million support package and the Sustaining University Research Expertise (SURE) package is not a viable long-term solution for charities.
The data pulled out below highlights what this lack of support has meant in practice for medical research charities. It also features as part of our latest infographic, which we have attached to this letter. The impact of Covid-19, compounded by Government inaction, has threatened serious discontinuity for UK research:
Fundraising income for charities funding medical research has plummeted as a result of COVID-19
There has been a significant impact on charity-funded research in universities and clinical research.
Charities are doing everything they can to honour existing commitments to research projects and researchers. For many, this will mean sacrificing future commitments. Urgent financial support at scale is still needed from Government.
We know that there can be no allocation announcements until the 6th of May, following the local election purdah period, but expect them to arrive soon after. We believe there may still be time to persuade the Government to provide support.
I have also written to Lord Patel in his role as Chair of the Lords Science & Technology Select Committee, and we have shared this new data with Parliamentarians who have supported our campaign over the last year. We would appreciate any help you can give in raising this with Government. I would also be pleased to meet with you to discuss the difficulties facing charity-funded research in more detail.
Hilary Reynolds CBE
Association of Medical Research Charities