UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


IHE Colloquium talk: Poverty to Philanthropy

16 January 2020, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Rosetrees founders

With Richard Ross, chairman of Rosetrees Trust

Event Information

Open to





UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


Malet Place Engineering Building
Gower Street
United Kingdom

What is the connection between a poor family living in Poland in the 19th century and Rosetrees becoming a venture philanthropy charity described as ‘unique’ for its seed corn funding of cutting edge new basic science ideas?

What is the connection between a man who left school at 13 with limited education and leading cutting edge researchers?

This is an opportunity to learn a little about the world of business, the lessons that can be applied to research and how a partnership can enhance outcome.

This event is open to all staff, students and public. Lunch and refreshments will be provided for attendees. 

About the Speaker

Richard Ross

Chairman at Rosetrees Trust

Richard Ross

Richard Ross is Chairman of Rosetrees Trust, a charitable foundation that uses a unique venture philanthropy model to fund cutting edge medical research projects. Richard is also Chairman of Regentsmead, a privately owned investment and finance business started 90 years ago by his father which funds Rosetrees. He joined the business in 1967 after reading Economics at the LSE then qualified as an accountant.

Richard’s parents worked their way out of poverty and Rosetrees was established by Richard’s parents in 1987 on their Golden Anniversary to give back to society. Rosetrees initially provided donations to a wide range of care charities and causes. In 1990 an application to fund medical research created the current focus, to support the best projects, to help cure and prevent illness.

Richard’s father’s lateral thinking and business acumen has been central to Rosetrees’ unique approach which ensures that every pound spent by Rosetrees provides the best possible impact.

Rosetrees’ simple application form, reports and academic peer review overseen by an outstanding, small, dedicated team at Rosetrees, has seen our small grants bring our researchers nearly £500M in major grants. Rosetrees’ initial funding helped these cutting edge projects get off the ground and Rosetrees’ long term target is £1bn in major grants.

At present, Rosetrees supports more than 300 ongoing projects per annum, researching conditions as diverse as brain and neurological disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease, imaging, lung damage, nano-technology, regenerative medicine, rheumatology and stroke. Our Advisory Panel of leading Professors say Rosetrees provides a unique service to medical research which enables outstanding young researchers to undertake ground breaking projects and without Rosetrees support, many of these promising young researchers might be lost to medical research.

Rosetrees provides a life changing philanthropic opportunity to co-donors to use the Trust’s grant making expertise, at no cost, to fund research projects that meet their area of interest, this means that the donor’s whole donation goes directly to the specific project. Donors also have the opportunity to control their level of involvement, with the option to attend regular meetings with researchers and share written reports sent to Rosetrees.

Richard has discovered over 30 years of helping medical research, that when other philanthropists become involved it can make a major difference to progress. The free advisory service, drawing on Rosetrees’ years of supporting medical progress is being shared with an increasing number of generous co-donors. The good news is that the speed of progress is accelerating.

Richard is Honorary Fellow of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and of University College, London. Richard is a Patron of the Royal College of Surgeons’. In November 2011, Richard was named Philanthropist of the Year at the Spear’s Wealth Management Awards.