Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
Support for research needed in next week's Budget
Next week (11th March) the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, will deliver his first Budget.
As a medical research charity, we will be looking at the Budget for signs that the new government is willing to back its apparent commitment to science and research with financial support.
Brain Tumour Research would like to see medical research supported by any means possible, but there are some key things we would like included in the Budget:
Provision for a full UK association to Horizon Europe: Despite Brexit, UK-based researchers would still have the opportunity to receive funding from the EU, via the EU’s science and research funding scheme ‘Horizon Europe’, if the UK contributes financially. Participation in Horizon Europe would also facilitate collaboration with European researchers. Former Science Minister Chris Skidmore MP commented recently, “full association into Horizon Europe is essential. We simply cannot risk breaking away our European research partnerships. This is of the utmost value to the taxpayer”. We hope the Budget provides for participation in Horizon Europe, although the fact that non-EU nations’ financial contributions are open-ended (as these depend on the success of their scientists in attracting grants) might make the Treasury reluctant to commit.
Support the Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF): The CRSF is funding that the Government gives to universities in England. Similar funds are provided in the devolved nations. The CRSF supplements the money given by charities to universities. It ensures that charity funding is equivalent to that from other types of research funders, such as the Research Councils, whose funding normally includes an allowance for the various overheads necessary to undertake research. According to data from the Association of Medical Research Charities, just over £200 million was received by university researchers from CRSF funding. Brain Tumour Research’s Centres of Excellence are all based at UK universities, so we are acutely aware of how vital such institutions are to overcoming this devastating disease.
Funding for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): The National Institute for Health Research is the nation’s largest funder of health research. Considered by many to be the ‘research arm’ of the NHS, the NIHR is a central part of the UK research landscape, collaborating in national activities to improve research and supporting NHS research performance. It is therefore well-placed to coordinate research that delivers benefits to patients. After the government announced it would make £40 million of funding available for research into brain tumours in May 2018, it was the NIHR who issued invitations to researchers to submit applications for brain tumour research funding.
Whatever the outcome of the Budget, Brain Tumour Research will continue to call on the Government to speed up access to curative treatments by stimulating further increases in the national investment for research into brain tumours to £35 million a year by 2025. We will also work with parliamentarians to hold the Government to account as to how existing commitments to the brain tumour community are being implemented.
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