Charities play a strong role

May 7, 2009

Your coverage of the Research Councils UK and Universities UK review of full economic costs ("FEC review calls for tighter governance and monitoring", 30 April) does not mention its strong statement in support of the role that charities play in funding medical and health research in universities.

Last year, members of the Association of Medical Research Charities contributed more than £900 million to medical and health research in the UK, and we welcome the review's overriding message about "governance and monitoring". Most of all, our members will be pleased that the review echoes our longstanding campaign behind the Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF). The CRSF was set up by the Government in 2006 to help universities meet the indirect costs of charity-funded research and is crucial to the sustainability of charity-funded research in the UK.

But its future remains uncertain after 2010-11. We therefore urge colleagues across the research community to use the review as another opportunity to press Government and opposition parties alike to ensure that the CRSF will remain in place after a general election.

Simon Denegri, Chief executive, Association of Medical Research Charities.

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