Research costs and funding opportunities

Research costs and funding

Finding funding for your project

Securing funding for your research is the best way to ensure it's success. There are many different funding streams available for health and social care researchers ranging from small amounts to get a project started right up to fully funded programme grants.

What all of these funders have in common is that they have a detailed application process which can take time to undertake, to ensure the project is competitive. However many smaller grants are available to give you the time to develop an application, find the right research team, undertake some training, consider some feasibility work and importantly engage patients and clinicians in the development of your idea.

The Solent Research and Improvement team can advise you about different levels of research funding and how to cost your application. You can also access support from the NIHR Research Design Service who have advisers in regional centres across England and offer a unique breadth of experience and a proven track record in improving funding applications. Their advice is free and confidential. Contact the South Central RDS for more information.

Ideas for sources of research funding:

If you are interested in undertaking the research as part of a clinical academic career pathway there are a number of different fellowships available that support M level, PhD and post doctorate study. More information can be found on our Research and Clinical Academic Careers page

Acting as a host for research grants earns us research capability funding from the NIHR. This annual funding is based on the NIHR grant income we received from hosting grants in the previous year. We use this income to support the development and writing of new research funding applications and to provide the resources to support the ongoing development of clinically important health care research.  We also share this funding with external organisations that support the development of research within Solent. Applications for research capability funding are considered annually and information can be found on our news pages.

The NIHR fund research via a number of different programmes each with their own criteria and objectives. For more information see the NIHR website. The RDS are an excellent resource to help guide which programme is most appropriate for your project. Solent are able to support with your application and act as the host site for the grant.

The AMRC are an organisation that bring together the health and medical research charity sector. This website provides a search function of member charities and what types of research they support.

The Research Councils UK website brings together information about the seven UK research councils, what they fund and how to apply

Funding costs

When submitting a grant application you will need to consider how the different activities to be undertaken as part of the project will be funded. Some funders will cover every aspect of the project whether it is research equipment or clinician time to deliver an intervention. However many funders use the Department of Health 'Attributing the costs of health and social care research' guidance (AcoRD) to attribute costs.

 AcoRD splits costs in to the following three categories:

  • Research costs - The costs of the research itself that end when the research ends. They relate to activities that are being undertaken to answer the research questions. Paid for by the research grant.
  • Service Support Costs - Additional patient care costs associated with the research that would end when the research was completed i.e. Screening, consenting and tests to ensure patient safety. Paid for by the Clinical Research Network (CRN) and provided by The Academy of Research and Improvement. Paid for by the Clinical Research Network (CRN) and provided by The Academy of Research and Improvement.
  • (Excess) Treatment costs - Costs of delivering a treatment as part of the research, including training staff to undertake a new intervention as well as any tests or follow ups that would occur to monitor patient safety. Paid for by CRN Wessex excess treatment costs fund provided by local CCGs.

The key question to ask when allocating a cost is ‘Why is this task being undertaken?’ If the answer is for the research analysis, the cost is a research cost. If the answer is for patient care but is not integral to the treatment, the cost is a service support cost. If the answer is to treat the patient, the cost is a treatment cost. Our team is available to help with this process and can provide further guidance on costing your project.

Applying for Excess Treatment Costs (ETCs)

The excess treatment costs for a study are provided via local commissioning arrangements. For Wessex this is managed by the Wessex CRN. The CRN require researchers to apply for ETC for studies being undertaken by Wessex trusts. 

Guidance regarding the degree of funding available and the process for applying is available on the CRN website. Both the Academy of Research and Improvement and the CRN study support service are available to support you.