UK’s next generation of medical researchers given funding boost

Over 1,200 researchers in medical research charities will receive more than £50m in funding to help solve some of the biggest global health challenges and secure the future of the UK’s life sciences sector.

The funding will support researchers across 90 charities early on in their careers. The £50m investment is aimed at sparking a new wave of medical research across the industry, including in dementia, motor neurone disease and brain tumour research.

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Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said: ‘The next generation of researchers are the key to solving the greatest medical challenges of our times, tackling hundreds of different diseases and conditions, preventing illnesses and developing lifechanging therapies.

‘By investing in those very people that make up our world-class medical research community, we hope to inspire a new wave of budding researchers that can continue to improve the lives of those affected by these diseases across the UK.’

Ninety charities across the UK have received the funding, ranging from larger household names to smaller charities working on rarer diseases such as cystic fibrosis or conditions such as epilepsy. Regional charities operating across the UK such as the Yorkshire Cancer Research and Wessex Medical Trust are included, alongside charities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Over £2.8m will be delivered to dementia charities, such as the Alzheimer’s Society, supporting early career researchers to defeat dementia by researching the causes, cure, care, and prevention of the disease.

Over £1.3m will also be delivered to brain tumour charities and more than £1.7m to motor neurone disease charities.

Other examples of charities receiving funding include:

  • Epilepsy Research UK
  • North West Cancer Research
  • Medical Research Scotland
  • Wellbeing of Women
  • Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI

First introduced in 2021 to provide economic security to medical research charities in the wake of the Covid pandemic, the Medical Research Charities Early Career Researchers Support Fund is designed to attract, retain, and develop the most talented and diverse researchers into these roles.

In the Science and Technology Framework published in March, the newly formed Department for Science, Innovation and Technology identified boosting public investment into research and development as a key target for government, seeking to foster new economic growth and better productivity across the industry.

The Medical Research Charities Early Career Researchers Support Fund (2022/23) is administered by the Medical Research Council and UK Research and Innovation with the help of the Association of Medical Research Charities.

Image: CDC


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