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National Institute for Health and Care 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.

For more details about RCF please visit the NIHR website:

Research capability funding | NIHR

Award to OUH for 2023-24

The NIHR is progressively reducing the total amount of RCF awarded to NHS trusts in England each year.

As a result, the RCF awarded to OUH for this year is substantially less than the award for previous years. This has necessitated a reduction in the scope of support available to local researchers and their teams.

NIHR Research Capability Funding (RCF): 2023-24 focused call

Researchers at OUH and OU are invited to apply for RCF funding to help develop competitive grant applications for any of the following NIHR programmes, provided the final grant funding agreement will be managed and held by OUH.

RCF from this call will only be available to fund activities up to 31 March 2024, although it can be used to prepare for grant applications being submitted up to 31 July 2024.

The purpose of this focused call is to enable researchers to fund backfill activities and provide additional time for development of NIHR grant applications.

This investment is intended to facilitate success in securing NIHR research grants, which will also attract increased RCF funding to OUH in future years. The NIHR recognises this process as a 'virtuous circle'.

October 2023 - this call has now closed. We hope to have a similar call once the RCF award to OUH for 2024/25 has been confirmed.

Applications for parental or long-term sick leave research costs (for individual supported by the NIHR) only

As in previous years, applications can be submitted to support the net costs incurred by the host organisation (OU or OUH) in meeting the salary of an individual supported by the NIHR who is on parental or long-term sick leave.

The request form (below) must be completed and submitted via email to at the earliest opportunity.

However, due to uncertainty about the amount of RCF that will be awarded to OUH in 2024-25, awards made this year cannot extend beyond 31 March 2024.

Application form for 2023-24 parental or long-term sick leave (Word, 118 KB)

It will not be possible for researchers to request RCF to support other research-related activities this year.

Contact us

For all enquiries regarding RCF, please contact Peiying Lo:


Last reviewed:06 October 2023