The R&D decade: making the case for government investment

The UK government has promised to invest more in research. We want to help secure this investment to overcome the biggest challenges in the world, such as climate change and epidemics.

Our position 

The UK stands at the start of a decade where investment in research and development (R&D) could increase by almost 50%. In the 2020 budget, the Chancellor announced that public R&D investment will increase to £22 billion per year by 2024-25.

Research transforms lives – and the government must fulfil its promises to invest in it.

What we're doing 

To secure increased government investment, advocates across the research sector must make a fresh and compelling case to political leaders and the public.

Through our R&D Decade project, in partnership with the Campaign for Science and Engineering(opens in a new tab) (CaSE), we want to explore how advocacy will need to change between now and 2030 to sustain research and development as a political priority.

As part of the project, we collaborated with Public First to review advocacy approaches taken by other sectors and to host public focus groups. The evidence has been consolidated into a new report – Advocating for R&D investment [PDF 5.9MB].

Advocating for R&D investment

The report sets out four advocacy models that describe how the research community might work together more effectively:

  • Model 1: Build popular support for R&D investment through tailored, tangible advocacy delivered by a new generation of highly-trained community advocates.
  • Model 2: Build a stronger, authoritative voice through a new R&D think-tank, which is able to swiftly link R&D to emerging political ‘hot topics’.
  • Model 3: Mobilise vocal advocates for R&D investment through rallies, petitions and a network of grassroots activists willing to champion R&D as a priority.
  • Model 4: Build more central support and training to help R&D organisations tell their story to the public and politicians in the most coordinate and effective way.

Additional resources

Next steps

Together with CaSE, we’ll be engaging the research community in conversations over the summer of 2020 – to digest the findings of the report and decide together what actions should be taken. 

For more information, contact Ben Bleasdale at b.bleasdale@wellcome.org.

Reports and case studies 

Related news 

Contact us 

If you have any questions, contact Ben Bleasdale 

b.bleasdale@wellcome.org