Over the last 18 months, we have heard a lot about the impact Covid-19 has had on the ability of charities to fund medical research. As part of their #ResearchAtRisk campaign, the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) has been campaigning for the Government to step in and provide financial support for research charities in the UK.
In May 2021, the Government announced it would provide £20m to help sustain early-career researchers currently supported by medical research charities. This support, from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), was in recognition of the losses the research sector suffered as a result of Covid-19.
The resulting ‘Medical Research Charities Early Career Researchers Support Fund’ aimed to support and sustain charity-funded researchers early on in their career. This included PhD students and those with less than 10 years research experience post-PhD. As a member of the AMRC, Against Breast Cancer were eligible to apply for this support and could nominate up to 10 researchers that we funded during the 2020-2021 financial year.
Supporting early career researchers is very important to us as a charity and is part of our overall research strategy. Many of our current projects involve PhD students and early career researchers and we were able to nominate five researchers as part of the scheme.
We were hoping to be successful for one or two of our projects, but the brilliant news is that we have been allocated support for all our nominations! Amazing! This much appreciated support fund will be used for ongoing funding of our research projects, helping the work on secondary breast cancer prevention, detection and therapies to keep progressing in these recently challenging times.