Government of India approved the scheme for ‘Establishment of Multi -Disciplinary Research Units (MRUs) in the Government Medical Colleges/Research Institutions’ as a path- breaking initiative to develop/strengthen the health research infrastructure in the country. This initiative fulfils the function of Department of Health Research related to “Promotion, Coordination and Development of Basic, Applied and Clinical Research”. Scheme has now been continued beyond 12th year Plan i.e. for the period of 2021-22 to 2025-26.
Undertaking of clinical trials by MRUs as per the Allocation of Business Rules of Government of India.
Undertaking of multi centric research projects by MRUs, medical colleges, research institutes.
Encouraging and strengthening research environment in medical colleges by establishing MRUs.
Bridging infrastructural gap inhibiting health research in the medical colleges/research institutions by establishing MRUs
Capacity building and human resource development in the field of health research.
Ensuring geographical spread of health research infrastructure in medical colleges/research institutes by gradually establishing MRUs
Improving overall health status of the population by creating evidence-based application of diagnostic procedures/processes/methods.
The MRUs are mandated to undertake research primarily in Non-Communicable Diseases; other need based projects may, however, be undertaken as warranted and with the approval of the Competent Authority. For operating the MRU in college, a Local Research Advisory Committee (LRAC) is constituted which approves research proposals received from various Departments of the college and subsequently monitors their progress. The head of the Medical College/Research Institution shall also cause one of the members of the faculty, preferably of the level of Professor to be designated as nodal officer for overseeing the functioning of the MRU. Since its introduction, the scheme has been very successful in realizing its objective of creating and strengthening research environment/infrastructure in the country.
MAJOR FUNCTIONS OF THE MRUs
To promote and encourage quality medical research in the Medical Colleges/Institutions.
To constitute local research advisory committees for identifying the research priorities and projects with participation of State health system officials.
To undertake research in non-communicable diseases and other need-based research as recommended by the Local Research Advisory Committee.
WHO CAN APPLY
Govt. Medical Colleges/Research Institutes/ Medical Universities
The approved MRUs will be eligible for onetime non-recurring grant-in-aid for (i) civil construction, and (ii) purchase of equipments, and recurring grant for (a) salaries, (b) contingencies/consumables/training etc.
Grants-in-aid for salaries, contingencies/consumables/training etc. would be disbursed from the 2nd year of the approval of the MRU. However, if an MRU is in a position to undertake research from the very first year of approval and its case is recommended by the Local Research Advisory Committee (LRAC) of the college/research institute, request will be considered by DHR on merit basis for release of recurring grant from the 1st year itself.
Purchase of equipment by the MRU would be need based and as per the recommendations of LRAC.
The mechanism of flow of funds will be as per the procedures followed by the Department of Health & Family Welfare in respect of similar schemes.
The state government will be required to provide requisite space (free of cost) for establishing MRUs in medical colleges/research institute.
The units approved before 01.04.2021 will also continue to receive grants-in-aid as per the norms prescribed in these guidelines.
PRESENT STATUS OF IMPLEMENTATION
A total 80 MRUs have been approved up to 31 March 2021.