In the period in question, the major National Institute for Health Research funding for biomedical research was through its Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) and Units. These support research funded by the NIHR itself and also research funded by other public, charity and industry research funders. Prior to the financial year 2104-15, the way data was collected does not allow us to directly report the level of funding for biomedical research into chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). Three BRCs were supporting biomedical research into CFS/ME during this time period.
The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) provides the infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research funded by charities, research funders and life-sciences industry to be delivered throughout the National Health Service. The level of funding for biomedical research into CFS/ME for each financial year supported by the CRN can be found in the following table. The funding for this research came from a combination of the Medical Research Council (MRC) and medical research charities. Expenditure from the CRN itself is also outlined below:
Research funding £
CRN expenditure £
The MRC spend on research directly relating to CFS/ME can be found in the following table. The MRC does not classify research in the area by type and is therefore not able to include a further breakdown by type of project. Research into CFS/ME is a continuing priority for the MRC.
The NIHR and the MRC welcome funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including biomedical research into CFS/ME. It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.
The NIHR recognises that CFS/ME is a debilitating condition and is speaking with the United Kingdom CFS/ME Research Collaborative and patient representatives about how best we can support a joined up approach to high quality research into this complex disorder.