Who is involved

Access to Understanding brings together a group of like-minded organisations, led by the British Library, who each believe in promoting wider understanding of biomedical research.

The British Library


The British Library is leading the Access to Understanding collaboration. As the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries, we passionately believe that we should provide people with access to research information in a way that is useful to them. We are incredibly grateful to those organisations and individuals who are helping us achieve this through their involvement in Access to Understanding.

Association of Medical Research Charities


We are the national membership organisation of leading medical and health research charities.

We help our members to meet their charitable objects by interpreting and influencing the regulatory, policy and research environments, and connecting members to encourage collaboration and share learning. Our vision is charities delivering high quality research to improve health and wellbeing for all.

AMRC members support over one third of all publicly-funded medical research in the UK. Our members invested £1.3 million in health research in the UK in 2013. Many of these charities exist because the public choose to donate money to support research to develop new treatments and cures.



eLife Sciences is a unique, non-profit collaboration between the funders and practitioners of research to improve the way important results are presented and shared. The open-access eLife journal is the first step in this initiative to make science publishing more effectively benefit science and scientists.

eLife is committed to meeting the needs and aspirations of early-career researchers, by highlighting their accomplishments and making them an active part of the eLife initiative. Learn more here, and get involved at http://elifesciences.org/careers. It is a partner in the Access to Understanding science writing competition.

Europe PMC


Europe PMC is the European gateway to the world’s research and the world’s largest free life sciences and biomedical information resource. While Europe PMC is a comprehensive source of original research findings, the funders of Europe PMC recognise that more can be done to make these advances in scientific understanding more accessible to their users. It is a partner in the Access to Understanding science writing competition.

National Institute for Health Research


The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded through the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its worldclass infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence, and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world.

The NIHR is committed to making sure that each research study it funds has a clear and concise plain-English summary; from 14 May 2014 a good quality plain-English summary, submitted as part of the standard application form, has been a requirement of NIHR funding. Writing clearly is important to every aspect of research and can help everyone to better understand sometimes complicated research.

Sense About Science


Sense About Science is a charity that equips people to make sense of science and evidence in public discussion.

Voice of Young Science


Voice of Young Science (VoYS) is network of early career researchers, coordinated by Sense About Science, who play an active role in public discussion about science, by engaging in debates, producing their own communication guides, and taking on myth-busting activities.