The Medical Research Foundation is an independent charitable foundation. Formed by the MRC, we grow and nurture people and ideas wherever we see research opportunities with great potential.
What we do
We exist to advance medical research, improve human health and change people’s lives. You can help us do it.
We are devoted to ensuring your donations are directly invested in cutting-edge medical research – not on campaigning, advocacy, or support services.
We are free to choose our own research priorities and we are responsive and flexible in the way we allocate our funding.
Our longstanding connection with the Medical Research Council (MRC) means that we have access to some of the best medical knowledge in the world. That, along with our careful governance, ensures we make the greatest impact where it is most needed and that we use your donations responsibly.
Unlike many charities, we do not have to provide support for a particular disease or condition, or a particular research institution. We are free to choose our own research priorities and we are responsive and flexible in the way we allocate our funding. We are always looking for opportunities to support exciting new research.
Get in touch
If you'd like to talk to us directly.Contact us
The Medical Research Foundation’s vision is to advance medical research, improve human health and change people’s lives.
The health and wellbeing of millions of people depends upon continual medical advances. And this challenge needs immense support, innovation and persistence. We understand we need to be bold and ambitious – to fund projects that are not just going to be useful now, but which may become useful later. Our vision is to support these advances for decades to come – the biggest impacts come from long term commitment to research.
100% of your donations are invested in medical research (thanks to other income sources that cover our low running costs).
In 2016/17 we funded 55 new projects and researchers, investing £4.2m in research that will improve human health.
Additional commitment to ongoing research grants, fellowships, studentships and dissemination awards.
Medical research has helped to tackle many diseases and conditions that affect human health. But there will always be more to do. The government and health charities are spending lots of money developing exciting new treatments and therapies, but there are also areas of medical need that receive little or no support. That’s where we step in.
Funding research is our sole purpose. We are inspired by the responsibility and independence that your donations give us. We have access to some of the best global medical research expertise and this helps us to support bold and ambitious scientific studies.
All of our activities are focused on research: we do not provide advice or support, and nor do we undertake campaigning.
We fund and support the most promising health research wherever we discover great opportunities that do not currently have funding.
We use our donations responsibly and ensure we make the greatest impact where it is most needed.
We meet the highest research standards through our unique connection with the Medical Research Council (MRC).
We are free to fund whatever we feel are the most important medical research questions of the time. Unlike many other funding bodies we are not restricted to providing support for a particular disease or condition, or a particular research institution. We can respond to the emerging health needs of the nation and the wider world, and the research priorities and opportunities identified by scientific experts and our donors. All of our activities are focused on research: we do not provide advice or support, and nor do we undertake campaigning.
We decide how to fund applications by seeking scientific advice through the MRC’s research boards and training panels. The MRC’s scientific experts help us to find suitable experts in the field to either review applications or sit on our review panels.
These services are provided free of charge and this reduces our overhead costs and increases the efficiency of our processes while allowing us to access the best possible advice.
Medical research has helped to tackle many diseases and conditions that affect human health. But there will always be more to do.
Our research priorities
We identify research priorities according to gaps in understanding, or specific donor priorities.
These priorities change regularly – unlike many funders of research we are flexible and can adapt to the most pressing needs as they arise.
At the moment our research priorities are:
- Adolescent and early adulthood mental health, particularly self-harm and eating disorders.
- Antimicrobial resistance research.
- Viral hepatitis
We support research in these priority areas and which aligns with at least one of our four key themes. All our funding decisions are taken by our Board of Trustees with advice from experts who peer review applications or sit on our peer review/interview panels.
We fund research that both fits with our stated research priorities and falls within our four strategic research themes. These are:
The fundamental research that increases understanding of the biological processes underpinning all human health and disease.
High need, low research investment
Research on the conditions and diseases that devastate lives, where there is an unmet need for new research but a low research investment.
Emerging research leaders
Opportunities for the emerging research leaders who will address the biomedical research questions of the future and support for their cutting-edge research today.
Disseminating research results beyond the scientific press to people and places that will ensure that the findings change healthcare policy and practice as well as personal life choices.
Help change lives
We fund and support the most promising health research wherever we discover great opportunities that are not being pursued. We use our donations responsibly and ensure we make the greatest impact where it is most needed.DONATE