§ Mr. Kevin Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many research projects were refused funding by the Medical Research Council in each of the last three years. 
§ Mr. Ian Taylor
I have been asked to reply.
The number of research projects declined by the Medical Research Council in each of the past three years is as follows:
The MRC's mission is to support high-quality research, and applications are rejected because they are not rated and ranked sufficiently highly to succeed in the competition for funds.
Year (academic) Declined 1993–94 1,085 1994–95 1,224 1995–96 1,282