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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.

RCF is unable to support research that has been paused or delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, e.g. by backfilling research posts that may have been affected.

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. Previous RCF awards will be taken into consideration when reviewing new applications.

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.

All other applications

All other applications - for awards for operational purposes - must be submitted no later than 5.00pm on the following date:

10 January 2022

Application form

The 2021/22 RCF application form can be downloaded below and includes further guidance notes:

OUH NIHR Research Capability Funding 2021/22 Application Form (Word, 100 KB)

Contact us

For all enquiries regarding RCF, please contact Peiying Lo:


Last reviewed:13 December 2021