Skip Content

Help Protect Pancreatic Cancer Research

Kate Lines & Dr Tanja Crnogorac-Jurcevic

Update - 27 March 2014:

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced that the government funded Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF) will be maintained at £198 million for the period 2014-15. Maggie Blanks, CEO of Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund said, “The Charity Research Support Fund covers the indirect costs of research, such as a university's heating and lighting, enabling the research grants from medical research charities like PCRF to be spent directly on research. So it’s good news that HEFCE has continued its commitment to this funding for 2014-15. This means that the £1 million worth of grants we made to research institutions in our last award round can fund more desperately needed pancreatic cancer research."

PCRF supporters joined other research charities in June 2013 calling on Chancellor George Osborne to maintain the Charity Research Support Fund for the spending round 2015-2016, amid concerns about widespread budget cuts. A commitment to back the scheme for 2015-2016 was made.

Update - 26 June 2013:

We're delighted to confirm that in his speech to Parliament on 26 June 2013, George Osborne stated that the government would maintain the Charity Research Support Fund during 2015-16. Thanks to all who helped in the campaign by contacting their MP.

Read more here 

Government support for charity-funded research may be lost

Take action for pancreatic cancer research

 As with many other medical research charities, the public donations we receive are used to fund the direct costs of medical research – the scientists and the supplies they use. But there are other costs associated with research, like the heating and lighting of scientists’ labs. The Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF) was set up by the Government to meet these indirect costs of medical research not covered by charity grants.

But the future of charity-funded research in the UK could be under threat with the possible reduction or disappearance of the CRSF.  At the moment the Government contributes about 28p for every £1 of charity grant funding that higher education institutions receive.  Anyone who has ever given money to research charities will be pleased to know that this scheme means that their donation will go further, allowing charities to fund a greater number of research projects, knowing that they don’t need to worry about covering the indirect costs.

With the Spending Review due shortly, and the Government looking for ways to make further cuts, now is the time to emphasize just how important the CRSF is. This funding stream isn’t guaranteed after 2014, and losing it would mean that institutions which are heavily funded by charities could lose millions of pounds of research funding.

The Charity Research Support Fund is vital for higher education institutions, for charities and for the public – because it means donations go further. Medical research is essential to improving outcomes for people with pancreatic cancer and we therefore want to ensure that the right environment exists to support research. We know the economic situation is tough, but without the Government’s commitment to the current level of funding beyond 2014, there will be a sharp fall in the amount of medical research supported by charities.

This would be a disaster for pancreatic cancer research which has had limited attention in the past. Since 2006 Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund has funded £4 million of research and there is now real optimism in the research community about the potential for progress. But there’s still much to be done, and ongoing investment in research is vital.

1 June 2013