The following joint statement concerns termination of funding from the charity Cerebra for the Academic Chair and PenCRU childhood disability research unit at the University of Exeter.
Statement by Chris Jones, CEO Cerebra
In relation to the contract between Cerebra and the University of Exeter it is with the most sincere regret that the Cerebra Trustees determined to terminate this contract. The decision was not taken lightly and is one which reflects Cerebra’s confidence in the success and substance of PenCRU.
The charity has faced extreme income challenges in the last year and in order to address these has had to diversify its income streams substantially. The charity is confident that in the medium term this diversification will result in the re-establishment of those income streams. However in the short term there will be a temporary challenge to overcome and this has necessitated a downward revision in its cost base. One such revision, amongst others, is the cessation of the contract with the University of Exeter.
Going forward, Cerebra will be seeking to change the way it awards future contracts and these changes will affect all current research contracts as well as any new contracts which it may award in future. Cerebra will certainly consider including University of Exeter in our future portfolio of funding albeit under this revised format.
Statement by Professor Stuart Logan and Dr Chris Morris, University of Exeter Medical School
With regret we accept the decision of Cerebra terminating our research funding contract early for the reasons explained by them. We have had a productive relationship with Cerebra since PenCRU – Peninsula Cerebra Research Unit was established in 2009. The funding from Cerebra has enabled us to achieve our vision for involving families with disabled children as meaningful partners in health research.
PenCRU has developed an international reputation for childhood disability research and for our innovative approach to public engagement through our Family Faculty made up of parent carers of disabled children.
We would like to put on record our appreciation to Cerebra that the funding they provided helped make this success possible. Cerebra funding has provided stability for the unit activities and PenCRU staff salaries so that we could develop ideas in collaboration with our Family Faculty and submit application to the National Institute for Health Research for specific major projects. In the short term the University of Exeter Medical School will support the unit whilst we seek alternative partnerships and other sources of funding to secure the future of the unit.