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Clinical Research Network (CRN) South London's funding principles


The funding principles for 2021/2022 to support our strategy are key to the effective delivery of research and they are as follows:

  1. a top-sliced funding element is retained to support central hosting, governance and management costs. A ring-fenced fund of £1.25 million will be retained for six of our smaller hospital partners, so they can develop business plans for growth in conjunction with us; this is an increased investment to enable broader equity of access to research opportunities
  2. due to COVID-19, activity based funding, using weighted recruitment, for our six larger hospital partners was not used. Instead, a two-year funding average was agreed using an approach to ameliorate for larger fluctuations in funding to these hospitals

Key additional highlights for our funding principles for 2021/2022 are as follows:

  1. a ring-fenced fund of £750,000 to support the provision of central services in primary care, public health and social care
  2. provision of £250,000 to support the ongoing and delayed ‘Greenshoots’ initiatives, residual funding has gone into a new call for an Associate Principle Investigator ’Greenshoots’ short-term scheme
  3. a four per cent contingency fund was agreed. Three quarters of the funding was made available to our hospital partners prior to the start of this financial year for strategic investment. The residual funding will be available to access via a call for traditional in year contingency funding applications that will open in June
  4. research support will continue to be provided through a combination of core funding to trusts and flexible staff; the flexible workforce will be employed through the larger centres but managed by the CRN team
  5. the balance of flexible workforce funding, compared to core allocations, was maintained at the level allocated in the last financial year, with any savings being used to augment in year contingency

The funding model was agreed based on a flat allocation of funding across the CRN of around £24.5 million. However, there have been additional awards to the CRN, which include one and a half million pounds for cost pressures and at-risk posts. We have allocated one million to our hospital partners through the strategic fund and an open funding call to research and development departments was made this month to allocate the remaining £500,000.

Additionally, each CRN has been awarded transformation funding; we were allocated £758,000 to develop a new direct delivery team, which will work to support the delivery of research portfolio studies across public health and social care. The focus of this award long term will be to support research delivery outside of the NHS, which will facilitate a more participant-centred approach for our region.