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CRN Wessex funding model



Purpose of the model

The model is based on a number of basic principles to:

(a) ensure the most effective and efficient use of public money

(b) distribute funding allocation to best effect in pursuance of the NIHR CRN High Level Objectives

(c) ensure that funding is provided for all eligible costs, as defined by DHSC guidance documents ‘Attributing the cost of health and social care Research & Development (AcoRD)’ and ‘Eligibility Criteria for NIHR CRN Support’, incurred by partner organisations conducting NIHR CRN Portfolio research.

(d) provide funding that reflects the volume and complexity of clinical research activity in the geographical footprint of Wessex.

(e) incentivise partners to conduct research and to meet the research delivery standards defined by the NIHR CRN High Level Objectives.

How the model is agreed

The CRN Wessex  Chief Operating Officer and Clinical Director consult with a working group formed from partner organisations to review the model against the guiding principles and amend the model as required on an annual basis.  The proposed model is reviewed and approved by the CRN Wessex Executive Group,  Partnership Group and the Board of the host organisation University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. Final allocations to the six components described below are decided once the final allocation is announced by the NIHR CRN CC in Q4 of the preceding FY.

Components of the model

Core funding

Core funding allocations to partners reflect the volume and complexity of the clinical research activity .  To maintain year on year stability there is a safety net of a cap and collar of -/+ 5%.  To promote growth there is a minimum uplift of £25K per annum for an organisation receiving uplift in funding to support smaller partners to grow.

Performance premium

To incentivise partners to achieve the NIHR CRN High Level Objectives there is a performance premium.  The payment is calculated on volume of activity and percentage of local target achieved. There is additional recognition for sites that recruit the first global patients into international pharmaceutical studies.

Core Team

The network facilitates research across a wide geographical footprint of Wessex.  The core team leads on regional activities to support the partners in pursuit of the high level objectives and is a mandated part of the research infrastructure.

Clinical Leadership

The core team is supported by a number of senior clinicians and academics who offer clinical expertise, insight  and peer to peer support for research colleagues across 30 research active specialties.

Contingency Funding

This supports within year unforeseen eligible support costs that arise.


CRN Wessex is not a legal entity and is hosted by University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (UHS).  Part of the hosting contractual arrangement is for UHS to support an appropriate corporate infrastructure i.e. human resources, financial management, IT infrastructure and accomodation. The budget is capped at 2% of the total allocation.


CRN Wessex allocates funding to a number of smaller infrastructure projects, detailed in the annual plan, aligned with the funding principles summarised above.  Examples are the support for new local investigators and small to medium size enterprises wishing to undertake research in the NHS or social care.



Core funding to partners 80%
Performance premium to partners 3%
Core team 7%
Clinical leadership 3%
Contingency 2%
Host 2%
Other 3%


Any enquiries regarding the LCRN funding allocations should be emailed to Rebecca McKay.