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Brain Tumours: NIHR Research Grants

Volume 692: debated on Tuesday 13 April 2021

What discussions he has had with the National Institute for Health Research on increasing the number of research grants for the treatment of brain tumours. (914207)

It is essential that we increase the amount of research to treat brain tumours, which is why in 2018, through the NIHR, the Government announced £40 million over five years for brain tumour research as part of the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission to increase the number of applications and grants allocated. The NIHR released a highlight notice that encourages collaborative applications to build on recent initiatives and investment already made in this area, as well as working with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission to fund workshops for previously unsuccessful researchers in order to support them in submitting higher-quality applications.

Like many across the country, my constituent Greg has a family member with a brain tumour; in his case, it is his young nephew. The £40 million of funding is certainly welcome, but only £6 million of it has been delivered, and there are still difficulties for those trying to get grants for this urgently needed research. Will the Minister commit to taking a more proactive approach to this—for example, by ensuring that brain tumour experts sit on the grant panels for research bids?

I thank the hon. Lady and would like to extend my good wishes to Greg for this treatment. There has been £8.8 million committed so far based on the NIHR programme and academy spend. The important thing is the quality of the applications. Brain tumours are invidious, and we need to do more and we need to go faster. I will look at her suggestion, but I am aware that there are already experts sitting on the panel.