Attributing Costs in Funding Applications

PSC Support is not a member of the AMRC. We are working towards membership and as such are complying with AMRC requirements.

Before completing an application to us for a clinical study, applicants must consult with all relevant parties to identify how the costs of the study will be resourced and how governance will be handled.

Relevant parties will usually include:

  • The finance office in the institution where the principal investigator is based.

  • The Research and Development (R&D) office in the NHS Trust(s) where the study will be led.

  • In England, the lead National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) responsible for providing infrastructure for the study, the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) in Scotland, the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR) in Wales, or the Health and Social Care (HSC) R&D office in Northern Ireland.


Research applications should be costed using the Department of Health’s AcoRD framework which defines the clinical research into three cost categories:

  • NHS treatment costs: the patient care costs, which would continue to be incurred if the patient care service in question continued to be provided after the R&D study had stopped. These are met through the normal NHS commissioning process.

  • NHS support costs: the additional patient care costs associated with the research, which would end once the R&D study had stopped, even if the patient care involved continued to be provided. These are met by the R&D budget of the Health Departments of the UK.

  • Research costs: the costs of the activities being undertaken to answer the research questions. These costs end when the research ends and are usually met by grant funders.


There are four types of research infrastructure cost that AMRC funders do not have to pay as these activities are covered by the Department of Health:

  • local study trial co-ordination and management

  • data collection needed to answer the questions that the research study is addressing (including collecting data for and completing the report)

  • regulatory preparation and compliance including obtaining ethical approval and complying with the Medicine for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004

  • the time taken by chief and principal investigators (CI and PI) to explain the study to professional colleagues, and to understand, the research elements of a study.

Under AcoRD, AMRC member charities that fund in open competition don’t have to pay these costs as they are indirect costs or related to the pre-existing research infrastructure within the English National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) or equivalent networks throughout the UK.