Proposal for single research fund One of the main concerns of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS) in recent years has been the demise of Clinical Academic Departments throughout the UK and particularly in the craft specialties. This has occurred due to a variety of factors which have been well documented in the Report from the Academy of Medical Sciences (2002). One significant factor which has had a particular effect on the surgical disciplines has been the bias in the Research Assessment Exercise towards basic science as opposed to applied clinical research. This seems to have been reflected in the apportionment of funds by the Research Councils. Consequently, the RCS views any mechanism which might improve this imbalance as beneficial. The setting up of a single fund for health research might be a means of achieving this aim provided adequate sums are available. We wish to register our concern that since the idea of a single fund and related consultation document emanates from the Treasury, this might be construed as a cost-cutting exercise designed to reduce overall spending on health research, which of course this College would oppose totally. The RCS can see some merit in a single fund. However, despite our previous comments wit
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