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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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National Institute for Health Research - Research Capability Funding

NIHR Research Capability Funding (RCF) is a research funding stream awarded to trusts on an annual basis which helps research-active NHS organisations to attract, develop and retain the research workforce necessary to deliver high quality health research.

Updated 5 May 2020

May 2020 - COVID-19 update

COVID-19 research is currently being prioritised by both OUH and the University of Oxford. In line with this, RCF applications which relate to any other research will not be considered at the present time (see letter from the OUH Chief Medical Officer and Director of R&D below).

OUH-hosted Clinical Research Activity and COVID-19 (pdf, 178 KB)

The only exception to this will be requests for funding to cover the additional costs incurred during maternity / paternity / long-term sick leave.

Employees of OUH or the University of Oxford looking for short-term funding to support staff to work on COVID-19 research studies can apply to OUH for NIHR Research Capability Funding (RCF). Further details, including the RCF application deadline dates can be found below.

NIHR Research Capability Funding (RCF)

Its purpose is to:

  • help research-active NHS organisations to act flexibly and strategically to maintain research capacity and capability
  • support the appointment, development and retention of key staff undertaking or supporting people and patient-based based research
  • contribute towards costs of hosting NIHR-funded or 'adopted' research that are not currently fully covered across NIHR's programmes, and that are not met in other ways.

For more details about RCF please visit the NIHR website:

National Institute for Health Research - Research Capability Funding

The emphasis of RCF is both on flexibility and sustainability. It is therefore important that the RCF is not used as an alternative source of long-term funding. RCF is usually awarded for a maximum period of 12 months, to start within the financial year which it is allocated.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to accept applications for RCF from employees of Trust or the University of Oxford for the purpose set out above.

Applications for Maternity Leave / Paternity Leave / Long-Term Sick Leave (only)

Applications for Maternity Leave / Paternity Leave / Long-Term Sick Leave can be submitted on an ad hoc basis and will be reviewed promptly throughout the year.

COVID-19 research

Applications must be submitted no later than 5.00pm on the following dates. However, there may be some flexibility to expedite the review of applications marked as urgent:

  • 29 May 2020
  • 30 June 2020
  • 31 July 2020
  • 31 August 2020
  • 30 September 2020

All other applications

COVID-19 research is currently being prioritised by both OUH and the University of Oxford. In line with this, RCF applications which relate to any other research will not be considered at the present time.

Application form

The 2020/21 RCF application form can be downloaded below and includes further guidance notes:

OUH NIHR Research Capability Funding 2020/21 Application Form (Word, 52 KB)

For all enquiries regarding RCF, please contact Peiying Lo:

Email: ouh.rcf@nhs.net

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