Medical Research Council (MRC), United Kingdom

The Medical Research Council is a publicly-funded organisation, whose mission is to

  • Encourage and support research to improve human health.
  • Produce skilled researchers.
  • Advance and disseminate knowledge and technology to improve the quality of life and economic competitiveness of the UK.
  • Promote dialogue with the public about medical research.

MRC is funded through the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), though is independent in its choice of which research to support. MRC works closely with the UK’s Health Departments, the other UK research councils, industry and other stakeholders to identify and respond to the UK’s health needs.

The MRC supports and advances medical research in three main ways: by providing research grants and career awards to scientists in UK universities and hospitals, by funding research centres in partnership with universities, and through our own research facilities.

In 2008/09, MRC

  • spent £704.2 million on research
  • awarded over 400 new grants to researchers in universities, medical schools and research organisations in the UK at a value of over £225 million
  • spent £68 million on training awards for postgraduate students and fellows
  • supported MRC research units and institutes with £355 million.
  • achieved licensing income receipts of £66.4 million from MRC-owned intellectual property

MRC Research Strategy

MRC's direction for the future is set out in its Strategic Plan 2009-2014, ‘Research Changes Lives’.

MRC and neuroscience research

In 2008/09, 20% of MRC’s research spend was in neuroscience and mental health, amounting to £141.5m. Further information on MRC’s activities in this area, including neurodegeneration research, can be found here.

MRC and the COEN initiative - participating centres of excellence:

  • MRC Brain Networks Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford Link...
  • MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Cardiff Link...
  • MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge Link...
  • MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (neurobiology division), Cambridge Link...
  • MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Cambridge Link...
  • MRC Prion Unit at UCL, London Link...
  • MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit at the University of Dundee Link...
  • MRC Toxicology Unit Link...
  • NIHR Dementia Translational Research Collaboration:

    • NIHR Cambridge Dementia Biomedical Research Centre Link... 
    • NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre Link...
    • NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre and Unit Link...
    • NIHR Newcastle Dementia Biomedical Research Centre Link... 
    • NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre Link...
    • NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre Link...
    • NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre Link...
    • NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre Link...

  • RCUK Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Epidemiology, Edinburgh Link...
  • Dementias Platform UK* Link...
  • UK Dementia Research Institute† Link...

* Applications are restricted to DPUK workpackage leads (including Clinical Research Infrastructure-related and experimental medicine leads). Please contact coen(at)headoffice.mrc.ac.uk to confirm eligibility.

†Applications are restricted to the DRI Director, associate directors and programme leads.

Link to MRC homepage