The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) is the national membership organisation for health and medical research charities. They have more than 140 members which include the largest health and medical charities in the UK: the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, and the Wellcome Trust. In 2016, their members spent 1.6Bn on medical research in the UK, 93% of which was in universities and hospitals.
During 2016-17, AMRC convened a group of experts from several member charities to review the existing guidelines and assess them against what was understood to be standard practice. The 2018 guidance has been drafted to take into account changes in best practice with regards to revenue sharing models for charity funded research, and more specifically:
- establishes that technology transfer fees are not automatically allowable but provides for universities to obtain a 5% -10% administration fee; 10% for cumulative net income up to £100,000 and then 5% for income above that. Direct costs related to protecting funded intellectual property continue to be recoverable in the normal fashion
- recommends that once direct costs and any administration fee have been accounted for, the remaining net income should then be evenly distributed between the institution and the funder on a 50:50 basis
The guidance is for AMRC members to adopt as they see fit and it is understood that not all members will adopt it entirely. Some members are already working in this way; others like Wellcome Trust has already indicated that they will continue to use the new model for revenue sharing for its Innovator Awards, and anticipates introducing further changes to its revenue sharing model across all its awards with the aim of better incentivising translation.
AMRC is inviting funders, universities, NHS trusts and other stakeholders to comment on these revisions, and on the guidance as a whole. AMRC are particularly interested to hear of:
- instances where this new guidance would prevent a research organisation from accepting an AMRC funder’s grant
- examples where are a higher administration fee may be warranted
- experiences of UK or international funders on revenue sharing arrangements with UK universities
Please submit your response to email@example.com by 4 May 2018, and do get in touch if you have any queries.