Facts and figures
In 2011/12, the MRC spent £759.4 million on research.
The MRC receives annual ‘grant-in-aid’ funding from Parliament through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Although government-funded, the MRC is independent in its choice of which research to support. However, we work closely with the Health Departments, the other UK research councils, industry and other stakeholders to identify and respond to the UK’s health needs.
Picking research that delivers
The MRC supports and advances medical research in three main ways: through our own research facilities, by funding research centres in partnership with universities, and by providing research grants and career awards to scientists in UK universities and hospitals.
- In 2011/12, we spent £354.6m on over 440 research programmes in MRC units and institutes.
- We spent £309.9m on over 1,100 grants to researchers in universities, medical schools and research institutes.
Research to people
Researchfish (formerly known as MRC e-Val) gathers outputs, outcomes and impacts arising from MRC-funded research. The most recent analysis is on the MRC e-Val pages but here are some highlights for the period from 2006 to 2011:
- More than 70 new products and interventions launched on to the market.
- MRC research cited in more than 200 international guidelines, including 40 NICE UK guidelines.
- More than £300m further funding for MRC groups drawn in from the private sector and international funders (2006 – 2010).
- Launch or growth of 80 companies, 47 of which have been formed since 2006, and more than 400 patents granted.
The MRC’s intellectual property, and the commercialisation of it, is managed by a separate organisation: MRC Technology.
- In 2011/12, MRC discoveries and inventions generated £78.9m in licensing income.
Another fundamental part of the MRC’s mission is to promote dialogue with the public about medical research.
- Nearly 60 per cent of MRC-funded scientists engaged with non-specialist audiences between 2006 and 2009. This included public events, school visits, appearances in the media and communicating research to health professionals, patient groups and policy-makers.
- The MRC leads on global health research in the UK: we have two research units and fund numerous clinical trials in Africa, and make international investments totalling over £58 million a year.
- Around 5,700 research staff are supported by the MRC, either employed directly in our institutes and units or funded through grants and fellowships.
- We spent £86m on training awards for postgraduate students and fellows in 2011/12, including those in the MRC’s own institutes and units.
- At March 2012 there were around 1,900 MRC-funded PhD students and around 400 MRC fellows in higher education institutes and MRC research establishments.