Research Capability Funding

Research Capability Funding (RCF) is provided to research active NHS organisations by the Department of Health and Social Care (DH&SC).

We use these funds to improve local health and care research infrastructure, to support the development of co-designed research projects, and to ultimately contribute to the health of our population through evidence generation and use within our health system.

The principles of our spending decisions can be found here.

We divide our budget into separate categories of spend, each with a different aim that contributes to both the NIHR and local health system vision.

Please see below for details on each category. Application deadlines, forms and guidance will be shown within the details of each category.

Responsive Call

Next Deadline = 5pm 18 July 2022

Funding provided to support the development of a research project. We are looking to support the co-develop a specific research question that is relevant to health & care into a strong NIHR grant application.

There are two types of Responsive RCF you can apply for:

Type 1 = £3000 to start co-development of research ideas (e.g. stakeholder engagement, PPI)

Type 2 = NIHR grant application writing. This can include pump priming work required to write a high quality NIHR application (e.g. preliminary data collection, literature review)

We expect to award no more than £15,000 to develop a tier 3 RfPB and no more than £25,000 for the development of any other NIHR grant application.

Read the guidance for applicants, and please check the list of activities we aren’t able to fund using RCF, then download the Type 1 or Type 2 application forms and submit to

Launching Fellowships

Next Deadline = TBD

This scheme is to support early career, post-PhD researchers to establish their academic career, enhance their publication record and develop their first research grant application (e.g. an NIHR Fellowship or RfPB). We are very proud to be associated with our Launching Fellows who are outstanding individuals who we believe will become the research leaders of the future. We offer up to 18 months funding for applicants from University of Bristol and UWE Bristol.

More information can be found in the guidance.

Researchers in Residence

Next Deadlines = TBD

Researchers from local Universities are embedded into commissioning teams in BNSSG CCG, thus gaining a thorough understanding of commissioning intentions. These roles provide time to foster partnerships with commissioners, co-produce NIHR research applications that are NHS focussed, act as a conduit between NHS staff with research ideas, and the academic community who can develop those ideas into research grant applications.

Management Fellows

Next Deadlines = TBD

A secondment opportunity for experienced NHS managers to promote stronger links and understanding between the communities of health research and NHS practice across BNSSG.

The Management Fellows work closely with a range of researchers and research teams at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and the University of Bristol, and at other research focussed organisations locally to develop research proposals informed by commissioning priorities to which the Fellows bring their commissioning experience. The Fellows also promote commissioning work that is influenced by the outcomes of research and evidence.

Bridging Funding

Next Deadlines = 1st of each month

Covering salary costs of researchers who are between NIHR grants, to ensure they do not face redundancy whilst waiting for the next NIHR funded post to be set up. You can download the RCF Application Bridging Mat and Sick.

Maternity Cover/sickness

Next Deadlines = 1st of each month

Back-filling key NIHR-grant funded posts left temporarily vacant during the award period by a member of staff taking maternity, paternity, or long-term sick leave, where absence will seriously compromise success of NIHR-funded research. You can download the RCF Application Bridging Mat and Sick.

Requests for extensions to existing RCF awards

Next Deadlines = 1st of each month

Providing shorter term support for researchers whose grant application was delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. You can download the RCF Application Bridging Mat and Sick.

Career Development Posts

Next Deadlines = N/A Internal University process

Funding for an academic to develop and establish a specific area of work within one of our partner University departments. The CCG receives proposals from Population Health Sciences in the University of Bristol, and UWE Bristol.

If you are interested in this kind of funding please speak to your relevant contact below:

University of Bristol:

CAPC = Katrina Turner

PH = Rona Campbell

Primary Care Mental Health = Nicola Wiles

UWE Bristol:

Nicola Temple

Departmental development posts

Next Deadlines = N/A Internal University process

Funding for methodologist posts within departments who will support a wide range of academic colleagues across a range of research interests with their research – recent examples are a Health Economist, a Medical Statistician, a Realist Methodologist.

The CCG receives proposals from Population Health Sciences in the University of Bristol, and UWE Bristol. These are strategic investments to build capacity within University departments and within the local Health Services.

Senior Investigator awards

Allocation to affiliated NHS organisation that is spent in agreement with the Senior Investigator in line with the agreed uses of RCF.

Grant support from the Clinical Effectiveness & Research team

RCF contributes to the salary costs of various research-related, administrative and research support staff who work to ensure the quality of grant applications, submitted, and the quality of our grant hosting service. We have joint posts with our Partner Universities with staff working for both the CCG and the University of Bristol or UWE Bristol.

Our job is to make academic health science thrive locally, so if you have ideas of how we could support you better, please do let us know as we always seek to improve our services.