#17 Securing investment into research

To celebrate the Academy’s 20th birthday, we have put together a snapshot of 20 of our biggest impacts. To find out more about our 20th celebrations and our future plans, read this blog by our President Professor Sir Robert Lechler, and follow #AMS20 on social media.

The Academy would like to thank all our funders, partners and collaborators, without whom none of this work would be possible.


#17 Securing investment into research

“The Academy has consistently fought for an increase in spend on research and development in line with other high income countries. This consistent demand from the Academy and others in their sector played a key part in the life sciences being central to the government’s industrial strategy.”

Professor Sir John Bell GBE FRS HonFREng FMedSci, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford

To remain a global leader in clinical research the field must receive enough funding. Yet as late as 2000, the plan for the NHS did not include any mention of academic medicine. A succession of reports by the Academy to raise the profile of academic medicine between 2000 and 2003 resulted in a reversal of this low priority, with the 2003 budget pledging increased spending on medical research. The Academy’s calls for clinical science to be strengthened were also pivotal to the establishment of the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in 2006.

We have also used our evidence quantifying the value of medical research to persuade the government to invest more in UK medical research. Our 2010 report, ‘Reaping the rewards’, led to David Willetts MP, then Minister of State for Universities and Science, requesting the Academy to prepare a briefing on the benefits of investing in biomedical research. This document was highly influential, being cited by David Willets as a major factor in persuading ministers to continue to invest science. In a hugely challenging financial climate, our work helped secure increased investment in medical research, delivering both improved quality of life for patients alongside wider economic benefits.

The Academy is currently working with our three sister national academies to a ‘roadmap for 3%’ combined research and development.

To find out more about our work, visit our homepage. To support the work of the Academy, see our dedicated Support us webpage.


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