The Department funds research on health and social care through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The usual practice of NIHR is not to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics such as dementia. Research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health including dementia. These 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. In all disease areas, the amount of NIHR funding depends on the volume and quality of scientific activity.
NIHR funding for dementia research was £43.0 million in 2017/18, having grown from £27 million in 2013/14. Overall public funding for dementia research continues to run well ahead of the Government’s 2020 Dementia Challenge commitment to maintain funding at £60 million a year. The other main public funders of dementia research are the Medical Research Council, which in 2017/18 spent £36.3 million, and the Economic and Social Research Council, which spent £3.2 million, to bring total Government spending on dementia research to £82.5 million.