Medical Research Council (MRC), United Kingdom

The Medical Research Council (MRC) improves the health of people in the UK - and around the world - by supporting excellent science, and training the very best scientists. The MRC is part of UK Research and Innovation. Based on priorities set out in our Strategic plan, we invest in research on behalf of the UK tax payer. Our research has resulted in life-changing discoveries for over a hundred years. Scientists apply to the MRC for funding for their research and applications are reviewed by panels of independent experts.

The MRC’s 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.

Our work ranges from laboratory research, for example on genes and molecules, right through to research with people, such as clinical trials and population studies. Our science is split into six broad areas of research: infections and immunity, molecular and cellular medicine, neurosciences and mental health, population and systems medicine, global health and translational research.

Our research is carried out in universities, hospitals and a network of dedicated establishments across the UK and Africa.

In 2017/18 the MRC’s gross research expenditure, funded by our BEIS allocation and contributions from other bodies, was £814.1 million, compared to £755.5 million in 2016/17. The support for world-class medical research to improve human health and enhance the economic competitiveness of the UK included:

  • £380.2 million on grants to researchers in universities, medical schools and research organisations
  • £150 million on programmes within the MRC’s own units and institutes including £4 million on studentships
  • £194.1 million on programmes within university units and partnership institutes including transfer of property, plant and equipment with a net book value of £24.2 million
  • £71.4 million on studentships and fellowships in universities, medical schools and research establishments
  • £18.3 million for international subscriptions.

MRC and neuroscience research

In 2017/18, 18% 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

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