I first encountered the Rosetrees Trust when it stepped in to part-fund one of my research projects investigating the destruction of bone that occurs in arthritis and other diseases of bone and joint. A little to my surprise I found that the support I received from the Rosetrees Trust was not just passive but very active with Rosetrees regularly contacting me not only by letter (which is customary with most research funding bodies) but also by phone and through visits to my department. I appreciated this personal contact with the funding body that was actually providing the money for my research. In particular, I was impressed by the way Rosetrees entered into a dialogue with me and sought to understand my research aims and the future plans I had to investigate bone and joint disease.
I later discovered that the Rosetrees Trust not only plays a very important role in providing supplementary funding for medical research charities and councils but that it also provides independent grants; some of these are small project grants which provide small amounts of consumables funding that permit innovative research ideas to be tested. In my own case these small projects were very successful, generating pilot data which led to the award of larger program and project grants from other sources (Arthritis Research UK, European Union) as well as scientific and research fellowships to study bone destruction in arthritis, bone tumours and joint implant loosening. These grants would not have been obtained without the thoughtful, well-targeted funding I received from Rosetrees.
Over the years I have come to realise that the Rosetrees Trust is very different from other charitable research funding bodies in the way it takes such an active interest in the scientific research that it funds. It clearly has a strong commitment to supporting medical research in the UK and believes that this support can make a difference to people’s lives.
The Rosetrees Trust is a very efficient organisation that is run along the lines of a successful business. In fact Rosetrees was created in 1987 with funds derived from a successful family business. I was not aware of this fact until I recently decided to make a donation to the Rosetrees Trust. I was motivated to do so not only because I was grateful for the funding support I had received from Rosetrees in the past but also because I have always been impressed by the approach of the Rosetrees Trust to research funding. Rosetrees funds cutting-edge, innovative research and is almost unique among charitable research foundations in being so highly motivated, well run and personally interested in the medical research that it supports. This is a combination that fosters good medical and scientific research and provides the best chance of making significant progress in understanding and treating disease.
Professor N. AthanasouUniversity of Oxford Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Department of Pathology Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre Oxford OX3 7LD