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Abstract

CHARITABLE MEDICAL RESEARCH FOUNDATIONS; TOWARDS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL RESEARCH FUNDING BODIES

Nuha Sahal Osailan*, Shatha Ibrahim Almogherbi, Ahmed Ali Alsharif, Abeer Abdulaziz Khayat and Safiah Abdulkarim Alenezi

ABSTRACT

Medical research funding is an essential factor in the development of medical research field in Saudi Arabia. Governmental funding is the almost the only source of support to researchers in universities and research institutes. In developed countries, several sources of funding represents a large percentage of the total research funds. Mainly, charitable medical research foundations based on donation from the public is a main source for funds for medical research. In this work, we recognized the lack of such funding entities and investigated the main pathway towards the establishment of alternative source of funding. A random sample of the public were recruited and the results were informative. We found that the general understanding of the public of the field of medical research was lacking. However, awareness regarding the importance of medical research and willingness to participate in such initiative was positive. The public did not have enough information on how to do so but re willing to learn about it. A small percentage of the sample thought that public funding of medical research is important. Additionally, information were lacking regarding the already functioning medical research funding charities. It is recommended therefore to establish regular public campaigns to raise awareness towards the funding of medical research. Using the media and personal contact with the public was found to be the most important factors as suggested by our results. Establishment of alternative medical research funding foundations is important in support of governmental funding. We also propose that raising the awareness of people can provide the cornerstone in this process. This can help improve the productivity of medical research in Saudi Arabia.

Keywords: Medical research funding medical research in Saudi Arabia.


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