Medical Research Foundation: How we decide what research to support
The Medical Research Foundationís Board of Trustees develop research funding strategies with expert advice from the MRCís scientific specialists on its Strategy and Research Boards. These experts advise the trustees on national and international research priorities and opportunities and, on the basis of this advice, the Board of Trustees decide on behalf of the donors and the beneficiaries which research to support. Using the MRCís expertise ensures that the Medical Research Foundationís funding strategy reflects the current health and research needs of the public.
Having established priorities for support, we may (depending on the nature of the fund and whether donors have set any restrictions on how and where funds can be spent):
- Seek applications directly from researchers to conduct research in particular fields;
- Work in partnership with the MRC and other funders to jointly support new research proposals and initiatives.
The Medical Research Foundation uses leading scientific experts identified by the MRC to assess the quality of research proposals. By peer reviewing applications for support, the Medical Research Foundation can provide the giving public with assurances that the research that it supports is of the highest standard, will produce research results that are valid and will add to the knowledge base, and are most likely to benefit human health. The Medical Research Foundation acts independently of MRC in policy and decision-making, while using the expert opinion of the MRC and the wider scientific community, to inform its policies and decisions.
The Medical Research Foundationís Board of Trustees take the final decision on which applications to support taking into account the donorsí wishes, the quality of the research proposed, and the importance of the research area in terms of human health.
Medical Research Foundation grants are awarded to established research organisations such as universities, hospitals, general practices and other research institutes at which a successful applicant is employed. All awards are subject to Medical Research Foundation grant terms and conditions which are based on established UK Research Council terms and conditions and reflect agreed principles of good research practice. The Medical Research Foundation expects the results of the research that it funds to be disseminated widely through high quality scientific journals with a view to ensuring that the findings that it has supported inform further research, health care practice or health interventions.