Masons partner with Bowel and Cancer Research to create five-year research programme

Bowel & Cancer Research has entered into a partnership with the Masonic Charitable Foundation to secure an investment of £225,000 to fund a specialist PhD studentship programme over the next five years. The grant will fund three PhD students, one starting every year between 2018 and 2022.

Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert said: “We are grateful to have this opportunity to work in partnership with such a prestigious funder and to use our expertise to fund the very best science in the area of bowel research which remains chronically underfunded.”

David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, added: “We’re very pleased to be able to work with Bowel & Cancer Research to fund such an important programme. This is our chance to make a real difference in this essential, but sadly neglected, field of research.”

Bowel & Cancer Research’s strategy is to fund the best PhD students, confident that they represent a cost-effective way of encouraging new talent and delivering future research excellence. “We are a young and ambitious organisation, scientifically rooted, modern and accessible. But we always have more PhD applications than we are able to fund,” said Ms Gilbert.

“We are confident that this Masonic Charitable Foundation partnership will have a demonstrable impact on the breadth and depth of research into bowel disease in the UK. It represents an exciting model that enables organisations outside of medical research to fund in partnership with an established organisation. We hope this paves the way for more such partnerships in future. It will enable us to accelerate our programme of excellence and bring more talented young scientists – the future generation of bowel research expertise – into the field.”

The Masonic Charitable Foundation is funding PhD studentships which focus on certain conditions or themes in order to produce tangible results in a specific area. It is a standalone programme working with selected partners who are experts in their field of research. Bowel & Cancer Research is currently funding high-quality research all over the UK to the value of more than £1.5 million.

“Our ambition is to realise our vision of a future where no one dies of bowel cancer or has to live with chronic bowel disease,” said Ms Gilbert.
“Although 41,000 people every year are diagnosed with bowel cancer and more than 300,000 live with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the area of bowel research remains woefully underfunded in relation to the burden of the disease. We have no doubt that the MCF grant to Bowel & Cancer Research will help to change that situation.”

The first callout for Masonic Charitable Foundation and Bowel & Cancer Research PhD students is now live. The charity’s Grants Committee will consider applications in November.