Cancer Research UK has announced that it has taken the difficult decision to cut funding to its existing grants and institutes by up to 10% and its national network of Centres by around 20%. This works out as a £44 million cut to its research portfolio across the year, Iain Foulkes, Professor Karen Vousden, and Professor Charles Swanton wrote in an open letter to its researcher community.
Iain Foulkes, executive director of research and innovation at Cancer Research UK, said: “COVID-19 has left the whole world in uncharted waters. And the unprecedented measures to control the global COVID-19 pandemic have had a huge impact on both our researchers’ ability to carry on in the lab, and on our ability to fundraise. Faced with a predicted loss of 20-25% of fundraising income, we are forced to look for savings across our current portfolio.
“Cancer Research UK funds nearly 50% of the cancer research in the UK and making cuts to research funding is the most difficult decision we have had to make. We don’t do so lightly. We have worked hard to ensure the cuts are limited and give our researchers flexibility in how to make them. Ultimately, it is our research that delivers benefit to people affected by cancer, and this remains our first priority. We are hopeful that limiting our spending now will enable us to continue funding life-saving research in the long run.
“Cancer doesn’t go away during or after COVID-19, but we’re incredibly proud of our community of researchers who have been very quick to respond to the crisis, using their kit, skills and talent to support the NHS and the COVID-19 response. Our mission is so important to people all over the UK and by helping the global effort of tackling COVID-19, we hope we can get back to beating cancer as soon as possible.”
For media enquiries please contact Daimona Kounde in the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 5128 or, out of hours, 07050 264 059.