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MRC under attack

MPs accuse UK's Medical Research Council of poor financial management.

Pat Hagan(pat.hagan@btconnect.com)

A committee of MPs has launched a scathing attack on the Medical Research Council (MRC), the largest public funder of medical research in the UK, accusing it of poor financial management and misguided strategies.

The damning verdict, by the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, came in a report published March 25.

The report, The Work of the Medical Research Council, strongly criticizes the MRC for poor planning and focusing on expensive, long-term projects that are politically-driven and have diverted money away from "top quality grant proposals".

According to the MPs, the MRC has harmed its own reputation, caused "greater resentment" among researchers and discriminated against young scientists keen to get their work properly funded.

The unprecedented attack is the result of a detailed probe into the workings of the MRC. Last September, the committee announced it would be scrutinizing MRC activities as part of a...

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