On average the MRI does about 15 research projects for a year. Research Topics are selected on the requirement of the Ministry of Health, and the requirements of Doctors/Scientists working at MRI, Post graduate students and other collaborating research institutions. Funds for research are obtained from the Ministry of Health, from international Donor Agencies Such as WHO, JICA, WB, and ADB. A major source of potential funding is from doing contract research especially from the Pharmaceutical industry in the form of clinical trials. This source is grossly underutilized at present.
The benefits of research done at MRI are for the individuals as well as the State as shown by the following examples.
Major constraints for research
Sri Lanka is one of the lowest spending countries on R & D. Although our per capita income is above that of India we spend only 0.17 of GDP on research and development as opposed to India which spends 0.8% of GDP on R and D. As a result of this investment great advances have being made in research and development in India.
The money spent on research should be considered as a long term investment. The benefits of this long term investment would be
The MRI should have its own budgetary allocation for research. For a research institute to function efficiently there should be a certain degree of flexibility and autonomy given to that institute. Financial autonomy will allow the research institutes like MRI to carry out contract research in collaboration with other institutes and Industry. The monies collected from these projects could be utilized not only for the day to day activities of the institute but also to enhance its output in the following manner
Dr. J. Munasinghe
Consultant Clinical Pharmacologist( Consultant Physician)
Head ,Department of Pharmacology
Medical Research Institute