If our member charities award funding via open competition their ‘direct’ costs of clinical research in the NHS can be covered by NIHR Clinical Research Networks under the Attributing the costs of health and social care Research and Development (AcoRD) agreement developed by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Under the AcoRD agreement AMRC funders do not have to pay:

  • 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 to explain the study to professional colleagues, and to understand, the research elements of a study.

The work will be done by the NIHR Clinical Research Networks (NIHR CRN) or will be covered by the infrastructure support funding going to NHS trusts and universities.

Excess treatment costs

Clinical research projects often involve giving patients new treatments or changing the way that care is delivered. Sometimes treatment costs for patients who are enrolled in research are less, but often there is an excess treatment cost (ETC). For non-commercial research studies, these costs are the responsibility of the NHS and are funded through normal arrangements for commissioning patient care.

NHS England has been working with funders, the Health Research Authority, the NIHR and Clinical Commissioning Groups to simplify the process for getting ETCs paid. Read more about this in our blog.

What do AMRC charities have to do?

If you fund research in the NHS, you should ask for research applications to be costed using AcoRD. Applicants should be encouraged to contact their local NIHR CRN early to help with study design, cost attribution and availability of resources.

Applicants need to complete a Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Template (SoECAT) in order to be eligible for the NIHR portfolio and the support this provides. This applies to:

  • New calls for single stage applications issued after 1 October 2018
  • Invitations to submit the second and final stage of an application where the invitation is issued after 1 October 2018

The SoECAT form is designed to capture the different costs associated with clinical research and attribute them accordingly. We explain more about this in our blog. Further information is also available in our Q&A document.

What help will there be for researchers?

The NIHR CRN and Research Design Service can help researchers design and work up their research funding applications. A guide to help researchers, study teams and sponsors to complete the SoECAT during grant application and study planning will be made available and dedicated support can be accessed through AcoRD Specialists via the CRN.