Occasionally I post things up on the blog simply to illustrate different aspects of how UK medical research charities work.
Last week the office noticed this rather cool interactive research map produced by the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) which shows the different projects supported by MRF around the world. A good example is its project looking at ways to improve the outcome of bacterial meningitis in newborn infants in Malawi.
I post it because my sense is that many people are probably unaware of the international links being forged by UK medical research charities and the increasingly global view they are taking of the science they support. And supporting individual projects is just the tip of the iceberg.
Many of our members have scientists from different countries take part in their peer review process for awarding grants. Often they will host international symposia in the UK where scientists, clinicians and patients from around the world can hear about the latest developments in the field and inform its future direction. And it is not uncommon to find these same organisations play a leading role in the international networks of patient and/or funding organisations so important to ensuring efforts around the globe are collaborative if not at least complementary.
And it is not just large charities or the UK-arm of an international charity. Quite often AMRC is asked by small members for help and advice in drawing together international experts in a way which is going to ensure the research they fund is relevant and of the highest quality.
I seem to remember hearing a corporate slogan once which went along the lines of ‘the sun never sets on…’ – all to demonstrate their credentials as a 24 hour global operation. A little corny I know, but a saying which becomes ever more apt to describe the way in which charities are thinking about the research they fund.