The Medical Research Council (MRC) covers basic through to translational research, with translational research and applied, clinical, public health and social care research funded by the Department via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
The NIHR’s funding for research includes support for research infrastructure which is critically important in providing the resources, support and facilities that the National Health Service needs to conduct first-class research across the full pathway of discovery science to evaluation. The sustained, long-term funding to put in place through the NIHR infrastructure has been widely recognised as having transformed the health research environment in the United Kingdom. For example, there has been five-fold increase in early phase (phase I and phase II) trials since 2009 within the NIHR early translational research infrastructure in the NHS (2,842 phase I and phase II trials in 2017/18 compared to just 496 in 2009/10).
The MRC are also currently undertaking an evaluation of 10 years of MRC-funded translation research which is expected to be completed in September 2019.
The MRC and the NIHR also work in partnership through the Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation programme which funds studies evaluating interventions with potential to make a step-change in the promotion of health, treatment of disease and improvement of rehabilitation or long-term care.