CaSE (Campaign for Science and Engineering) and the Wellcome Trust have collaborated with Public First on a report looking at how the R&D community can best secure government investment over the next ten years.

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 Wellcome Trust, 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’ve collaborated with Public First to review advocacy approaches taken by other sectors, host public focus groups and consolidate this evidence into a new report – 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.

The R&D Decade project also includes reviewing the existing literature on what makes a successful campaignprofiling other campaigns, identifying key tools for campaigning, and exploring the public’s attitudes to different types of advocacy

Next steps

Together with Wellcome we will be starting a conversation with the R&D community over the summer to digest the findings of the report and decide together what action should be taken.