Clinical research

Where have all the research applicants gone?

Our most recent research round saw a 57% decrease in applications for grants and fellowships compared to 2021. Our experience appears to be shared by other MSK research charities. According to a letter written by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee to the Minister of State for Health and Social Care in  January, Concerns are growing about the state of clinical research in the NHS and problems in the future pipeline for the workforce, with the number of consultant clinical academics set to decline in the coming years without urgent action to reverse this trend.’

So what is happening? We spoke to charities, we reviewed the data and most importantly we spoke to recent recipients of our funding to better understand their personal experiences. 

What we discovered was a system under pressure from backlogs and workforce disputes, which is leading to competing priorities and a squeeze on research. In addition, clinical research appears to be less attractive as a career option because of financial pressures, a lack of career security, bureaucracy, a lack of support and what is described as ‘a poor research culture’.

The full report is available to download here.

Supporting Documents

Decline in research applications report