Funding for projects should be in place before governance/research ethics committee applications are made. The research and development department is unable to fund projects, and this should be sought elsewhere, for example:
- Commercial sources.
- National non-commercial funders, for example,- Higher Educational Institutions,- NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Co-ordinating Centre for: Public Health Research Health Services Research – NIHR Central Commissioning Facility for: Programme Grants for Applied Research Invention for Innovation.
- Programme development grants.
- Research for patient benefit.
- Service delivery organisation.
- Efficacy, mechanism and evaluation.
- Health technology assessment.
- National Institute for health research funding streams. Each programme of funding has varying criteria of what will be funded. Potential applicants are advised to carefully consider these criteria before applying for funds.
Internal funds – ‘own account’ projects.
Determining research costs
Costs for research fall into broad categories:
- Research costs.
- Treatment costs.
- Support costs.
These costs should be separately identified within funding bids.
Guidance can be found within the Department of Health publication Attributing the costs of health and social care research.
Commercially funded projects: Trust approval
Where Research and Development is primarily for commercial purposes (e.g. studies of a new drug prior to licensing), NHS Trusts must recover the full cost from the commercial company on whose behalf it is carried out. This includes all patient-related costs such as nursing time, blood tests etc. In addition to full direct costs, a standard overhead, generally 25%-30% should be levied to cover infrastructure costs. A minimum overhead of 25% is needed to ensure that all the support services which are required to support the Trust, including the costs of providing accommodation are covered. As this overhead is in addition to the direct costs, Directorates should have sufficient funds to still carry out research. Overheads may be negotiated upwards/downwards depending on the circumstances but should not fall below a minimum of 25%. Also note there will be a Research governance set up fee £750.
Commercial companies also support non-commercial research jointly with the NHS bodies or non-NHS research funders. If the work is primarily for the public benefit, rather than the direct commercial benefit of the company concerned, it may be considered non-commercial. In general, research is regarded as “commercial” when the intellectual property will be owned by the commercial sponsor and “non-commercial” when the intellectual property remains with the Trust.
The research costs included in grant applications must be approved by the Trust prior to submission of the application to the funding body. Where a grant application requires disclosure of a researcher’s unprotected intellectual property, the researcher can obtain a standard confidentiality statement from us to accompany the grant submission.
Some government and charity organisations retain ownership of the intellectual property arising from their funded research. Where this is the case, the research contract will include terms relating to ownership and disclosure of intellectual property, which must be checked by us. All grant applications must be copied to the research and development department at the time of their submission. The research and development department must also be notified of the outcome of the submission.
Portfolio adopted commercial projects
There are commercial projects that have been adopted by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). In these cases there is a national template for costing on the Costing templates – Health Research Authority (hra.nhs.uk) website.
What do I do once I have a grant?
Once a research grant has been awarded or a research contract has been signed, the research and development department will instruct the department of finance to set up a research account for financial administration of the award. This will be centrally managed by the research and development department.
For each research account there will be –
- Support from the research and development accountant who will provide assistance in budgeting for the account if required.
- A code for the researcher to use when ordering consumables etc.
- Monthly reports detailing planned and actual income. This will appear on the research and development department’s statement and a copy of the account status will go to each the lead investigator.
The balance on the account will be carried forward at the end of each financial year.
Advice and support contacts
For advice and support contact:-