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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 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. The proportion of core funding allocated to partners has remained stable since March 2021 as the Department of Health and Social Care have fixed funding allocations to LCRN's. 

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. 

Transformation of Research Delivery 

This funding is ring fenced to build a new workforce (Direct Delivery Team) in each LCRN. The Direct Delivery Team have the flexibility, capability and capacity to deliver priority research studies across a broader environment particularly outside of hospital settings.  

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.

Under-Served Communities 

This ring fenced funding is used to expand clinical and applied research to under-served regions and communities with major health needs. Allocation of this funding reflects the need to provide equitable access to research opportunities for under-served communities as a collective national priority enabled at a local level. 


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 accommodation. 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%
Core team 6%
Transformation of Research Delivery 4%
Clinical leadership 3%
Under-Served Communities 2%
Host 2%
Other 3%


Any enquiries regarding the LCRN funding allocations should be emailed to Clare Rook, CRN Wessex Chief Operating Officer.