Press release: £1m helps us better understand the impact of every charity pound

19 July 2013

Many of the leading UK medical research charities, including Children with Cancer UK, are now using Researchfish to enhance their tracking and reporting of research outcomes, through a £1million project with the Medical Research Council (MRC). 

So far, since the project was set up, 54 members of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) have joined the Researchfish community with more being added every day.  It is expected that the annual research expenditure added to the system each year will now reach £3billion by the end of 2013.  

It is important for research funders to be able to effectively track the progress of research and report on results to provide clear and accountable information about their investments, and better understand their impact to inform future funding strategies.  Fundraising charities also want to demonstrate to their supporters how their donations are making a difference.   Particularly for smaller organisations with tighter budgets, this can be a challenge in terms of investing the necessary time and money in research evaluation infrastructures.  

Through this MRC-AMRC collaboration, AMRC members with an annual research spend of up to £25 million are able to use Researchfish at no cost for up to 3 years. They are now developing data sharing agreements and collecting outputs in a consistent way which will enable them to report across the sector on the combined outputs of their work in a way that has not been done before.  

This expansion in the use of Researchfish signifies an exciting move towards more uniform tracking of research outcomes, creating longer term data sharing opportunities across the medical research sector and opening doors for further collaboration between funders, universities and researchers on a global scale.  This is good news for medical research charities but also good news for the whole research sector, as funders can better identify how to build more effective collaborations and partnerships in the future.
Speaking about the benefits of joining Researchfish through the MRC-AMRC collaboration, Elaine Davies, Head of Research Operations at Kidney Research UK said:

“As a charity that raises majority of our funds from the public it is essential that we can track and demonstrate how we have invested their support in medical research and the benefit this will bring in the short-to -longer term.  Researchfish provides us with a robust longitudinal method of tracking our research and its impact, which is essential as a significant portion of our research portfolio is ‘pump-priming’ funding that we expect will lead to major breakthroughs in the future. “

Sharmila Nebhrajani, Chief Executive of the AMRC, said:
"AMRC members big and small are always seeking ways to track and demonstrate how effective their research spend is in curing and alleviating disease.  This collaboration between MRC, Researchfish and AMRC members offers a common language and method for charities to track that impact. But it is also an important source of data that shows that when public, charity and private research funders invest together the impact of the subsequent research projects can be very much greater than funding alone."

 Dr Ian Viney, Director of Strategic Evaluation at the MRC, said:
“We find it essential to have consistent and structured information about the progress of the research we fund, particularly for demonstrating the benefits of investment in medical research.  MRC researchers have responded superbly over the last six years to provide high quality information via Researchfish, which has proven to be an easy to use, stable and scalable system.”

Frances Buck, Director of Researchfish, said:
“We are delighted with the success of this collaboration and proud to be working with the AMRC and MRC on this important project.  I look forward to working with our new members and further AMRC sign-ups over the coming months and years to help enhance their reporting and demonstrate the fantastic results of the research they are funding.”

Media Enquiries and Notes to Editors

  • The MRC’s £1 million funding gives contracted AMRC members with an annual research spend of up to £25 million the chance to use Researchfish at no cost for up to 3 years.
    To contact the AMRC, please visit or email Becky Purvis at
  • To contact the MRC, please visit or email Carmel Turner at
  • To contact Researchfish, please visit or email Rebecca Newsom at

So far, the 54 AMRC members who have signed contracts with Researchfish are:
Action on Hearing Loss; Association for International Cancer Research; Alzheimer's Research UK; Alzheimer's Society; Arthritis Research UK; Asthma UK; Ataxia UK; Ataxia-Telangiectasia Society; Autistica; Brain Research Trust; Breakthrough Breast Cancer; British Heart Foundation; British Lung Foundation; British Orthopaedic Association; British Skin Foundation; Cancer Research UK; Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland; Children with Cancer UK; Chronic Disease Research Foundation; Chronic Granulomatous Disorder Society; Circulation Foundation; DebRA; Epilepsy Research UK; Epilepsy Action; Fight for Sight; Great Ormond Street Hospital; Children’s Charity; Spinal Research; Kidney Research UK; Medical Research Scotland; Muscular Dystrophy Campaign; National Osteoporosis Society; North West Cancer Research (NWCR); Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke Association; Northern Ireland Leukaemia Research Fund; Orthopaedic Research UK; Ovarian Cancer Action; Pancreatic Cancer UK; Parkinson's UK; The Pelican Cancer Foundation; Pharmacy Research UK; Prostate Cancer UK; The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation; Sarcoma UK; SPARKS – The Children’s Medical Research Charity; Stroke Association; Tenovus; The Brain Tumour Charity; The Cure Parkinson's Trust; Dunhill Medical Trust; Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust; The Urology Foundation; Tuberous Sclerosis Association; Wellbeing of Women; World Cancer Research Fund UK (WCRF UK)

About Children with Cancer UK

Children with Cancer UK is the leading national charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer through research and remains both focused and determined to eradicate all childhood cancers.

The charity has funded groundbreaking, life-saving studies, including the Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) study, a pioneering technique that is now used by the NHS for all children with leukaemia.  It is hoped that further research in this area funded by Children with Cancer UK will take childhood leukaemia survival rates past 90%.

As well as funding life-saving research and treatment, the charity also funds welfare projects including hospice care and family accommodation close to hospitals and raises awareness of childhood cancer to protect more children and improve the lives of young cancer patients now, and for the future.

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