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Funding (bids and grants)

The Hope research nurse with a patient
The Hope research nurse with a patient

At Leicester’s Hospitals, we have a dedicated specialist finance team embedded within Research and Innovation (R&I) to deal with all financial aspects of research. We aim to deliver a comprehensive one stop financial service to our researchers and their teams.

We would advise that you contact the R&I Finance team at the earliest opportunity, especially if you have deadlines that need to be met.

The team is always happy to assist with your financial queries relating to research, can provide support to cost your study, and liaise with funding bodies, sponsors, universities and other research sites. The team can also help with the finance aspects of your grant applications and point you in the direction of any local funding sources you may be able to access.

We also work very closely with the Clinical Research Network: East Midlands (CRN), so if you are already in contact with them, please let us know. The more information we have the more effective and accurate our advice will be.

Most research has a cost because it is usually delivered in addition to usual care. However, even when research is conducted using usual care as a basis, your time to generate data may be additional and will need to be agreed. There may also be other costs associated with your research project that you are unaware of, which is why every study will require financial approval before it can proceed.

Sometimes it is possible for the Trust to absorb the costs rather than obtain funding from another source. The R&I Finance team will always confirm the actual costs of a clinical trial and agree which budgets within the Trust will actually pay for the research activity.

If your research is funded and sponsored by a commercial company, then the Industry Costing Template must be submitted along with your protocol. The company sponsoring the research should take the lead in completing the Industry Costing Template, but you will also need to contact the Clinical Research Network: East Midlands and the R&I Finance team for their advice.

How much will my project cost?
The R&I Finance team will go over your project with you to ensure you calculate all costs, including:

  • Staff time (including employers’ costs of NI and pension increments) for you as chief investigator and for all others involved including support departments
  • Statistical analysis or other specialised research support, often chargeable beyond initial consultation
  • Other Trust support services such as pharmacy, radiology, medical physics and the pathology lab. All departments within the Trust have internal charging structures, so you must ensure each research activity cost is covered.
  • Consumables and equipment , such as computers for staff engaged in research, printing costs of questionnaires, telephone and postage costs, containers for samples, courier costs if transferring data off site
  • Accommodation/space – where will the research be conducted. Will some activity take place within clinics? Is there sufficient space in the clinic to include the additional research activity? Is there sufficient time in the clinic to include the additional research activity?
  • Trust overheads – non-charity and non-NIHR grants will need to have overheads applied
  • Archiving – research documentation must be archived separately from routine clinical data.

It is also important to ensure that all costs are categorised correctly before submitting your grant and meet the strict criteria from the Department of Health. The R&I can assist with this but will need to work with you from the outset. If costs are categorised incorrectly, you may end up with less money than you asked for and render your project unfeasible.