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The Research Capability Funding (RCF) Allocations for 2023-24

Date: 22 March 2023

The Research Capability Funding (RCF) allocations for 2023-24 will shortly be available from the NIHR website. More information on RCF can be found here Research capability funding | NIHR

Income based RCF

The overall value of the income-based element of RCF in 2023-24 is £41.1m.

We have maintained the 2022-23 weighting for Programme income and continued to include an RCF weighting for NIHR COVID-19 programmes.

Recruitment based RCF 

The overall value of the recruitment-based element of the RCF in 2023-24 is £4m

Previously, organisations have been eligible for recruitment based RCF where they have recruited at least 500 participants to non-commercial studies conducted through the NIHR-Clinical Research Network, during the previous reporting period of 1 October – 30 September. Improvements have been made to recruitment based RCF as follows:

  • Following feedback that it can be challenging for some organisations to meet the target of 500 participants recruited, we have lowered the eligibility threshold to 100 participants.
  • NIHR funding and policies support equal prioritisation of commercial and non-commercial research in the NHS. Therefore, going forward, commercial recruitment will count towards organisations meeting the threshold of 100 participants.
  • We have increased the recruitment-based allocation from £20k to £25k.

RCF for Integrated Care Boards’ (ICB) recruitment

This year, in recognition of previous CCG mergers and to end previous interim arrangements, we have introduced an additional RCF recruitment banding which will award £50k to any ICB with over 2,000 participants recruited.

Research Recovery and Reset

This year, there is an additional payment for NHS organisations that achieve the target of 80% of commercial contract studies on the NIHR CRN portfolio delivering to time and target (the target for all portfolio studies by June 2023). For more information, see attachment.

RCF Annual Reporting

RCF reporting can be onerous, particularly for those organisations with larger allocations. We have therefore simplified reporting by removing the need for detailed report on individual members of staff to reporting on high-level categories. More details on reporting to follow.

RCF Weightings

Weightings and total values used for the 2023-24 allocations are as follows:

2022 calendar year income for calculating RCF 2023-24 Basis for calculation
of RCF
2023-24 weightings 2023-24 share of RCF funding
Centres/ARCs per £ of funding 0.013 £2.87m
Other Infrastructure per £ of funding 0.013 £ 341k
Programmes per £ of funding 0.275 £36.2m
COVID Programmes per £ of funding 0.130 £1.66m
Senior Investigators
(in post on 1 April 2019)
Per investigator £75k 75k

(Final SI remaining)

Recruitment only RCF Per organisation £25k £4m
Total income based RCF £41.1m
Total RCF Budget     £45.1m


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