Introducing the partners: AMRC

by Monica Duke

The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and our 127 member charities provide a direct link to the broader citizen-patient community. AMRC member charities funded over £1 billion for research in 2009/10 – carried out mostly in the university sector.

Our involvement in Patients Participate! builds on a project called ‘Natural Ground’, which we carried out in 2008/09, where we examined how our member charities involve patients and the public in research.

Many of those who support and donate to charities have a deep and ongoing interest in how those funds are used. They want to know how the research charities support increases our understanding, contributes to better treatments and improves outcomes for patients. But it’s challenging to communicate highly complex scientific information in an engaging way. Information about health and medical research may be more available than ever before, but this does not always help patients or the public make sense of scientific research.

We are looking forward to finding out how patient and public involvement in medical research has evolved and to explore the possibility of applying citizen science concepts to make biomedical research information more accessible to lay audiences.