Intended for healthcare professionals


Report gives snapshot health research funding in the UK

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 25 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1230
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    An analysis of health research in the United Kingdom funded by government and charities shows that cancer gets the largest share of funding, despite having a lower overall burden of illness than some other diseases, including cardiovascular disease.

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    The report analysed the distribution of spending on all types of health research and programmes funded by 11 organisations, including the three largest medical research charities—the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, and the British Heart Foundation—as well as the government and the Medical Research Council. It is based on details of more than 9500 research grants totalling £950m (€1400m; $1790m) awarded during the 2004-5 financial year.

    Analysis of the research funding by disease area showed that two thirds of the overall funds were spent on four disease areas. Cancer research received the largest proportion of the total funds (27%), followed by neurological diseases (16%), infection …

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