George Osborne has promised the government will continue to back the Charity Research Support Fund for another year in his speech on the 2015/16 spending round today.
The CSRF, which is worth about £200m a year, supports charities that fund research in universities by covering operational costs such as maintenance, heating and lighting. It is typically worth 25 per cent of the value of the funds charities invest in universities.
The fund applies only to high-quality research that will either "demonstrably contribute to the enhancement of the research base" or produce a "public scientific good". It is administered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.
"We will continue to back the Charity Research Support Fund and look into making it easier for these organisations to benefit from Gift Aid," said Osborne.
Sharmila Nebhrajani, chief executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities, many of whose members make use of the fund, said: "George Osborne has shown himself to be the true partner of patients by investing in science.
"The public make medical research their number one charitable cause and the government’s commitment to partner their generous donations through the Charity Research Support Fund has added 25p to every charity pound invested in universities."