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Facts and figures

In 2012/13, the MRC spent £766.9 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 2012/13, we spent £343.1m on around 400 research programmes in MRC units and institutes, including £8.2m on studentships.
  • We spent £334.6m on around 1,400 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 Researchfish pages but here are some highlights for the period from 2006 to 2012:


  • More than 100 new products and interventions launched on to the market.
  • Significant influence on more than 300 international guidelines, including 50 NICE UK guidelines.
  • Creation or growth of 99 companies, with 55 formed since 2006.
  • 570 patents, with discoveries from 170 (30 per cent) of these patents already licensed worldwide.
  • More than £300m further funding for MRC groups drawn in from the private sector and international funders (2006/07–2009/10).


The MRC’s intellectual property, and the commercialisation of it, is managed by a separate organisation: MRC Technology.

  • In 2012/13, MRC discoveries and inventions generated £91.7m 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 2012. This included public events, school visits, appearances in the media and communicating research to health professionals, patient groups and policy-makers.


Going global

  • 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 more than £58 million a year.


Supporting scientists

  • 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 £71.3m on studentships and fellowships in universities, medical schools and research institutes.
  • At March 2013 there were around 1,800 MRC-funded PhD students and 404 MRC fellows in higher education institutes and MRC research establishments.


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