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NIHR Local Clinical Research Network Funding Allocations 2019/20



Purpose of this document

This document provides information on the NIHR Local Clinical Research Network (LCRN) funding allocations for the 2019/20 financial year (see Table 2).

Purpose of CRN funding model

The purpose of the CRN funding model is to best apportion the national CRN funding allocation from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to the 15 LCRNs in pursuance of the aims of the NIHR CRN as set out in the NIHR Briefing Note for the CRN, and the CRN High Level Objectives. For the 2019/20 financial year, the CRN funding model has been radically simplified and the basis will remain unchanged for a minimum three-year period.

Overview of CRN funding model 2019/20

The CRN funding model for 2019/20 has two components: ‘Core’ and ‘Topsliced’.

  • The core component is a two-part model consisting of a fixed and a variable element.
  • Fixed element - 80% of core funding, using the 2018/19 allocations as the baseline for the calculations, and allowing LCRNs to plan effectively.
  • Variable element - 20% of core funding, used to incentivise and reward LCRNs in pursuance of DHSC strategic initiatives and objectives. The factors determining the distribution of this element - i.e. the allocation of this element - could by definition be changed year on year. Further information on the variable element is provided below.
  • The ‘top-sliced’ component provides for national NHS service support functions and CRN National Specialty Leads. This has been deducted from the total CRN allocation prior to the core fixed and variable elements being calculated.

In addition, DHSC will provide separate funding to LCRN Host Organisations for the provision of services related to Excess Treatment Costs. Core funding component - Variable element Funding allocations within the variable element were calculated using performance data in relation to CRN High Level Objectives (HLOs) 1, 2a and 2b, and CRN Specialty Objectives. Each of these four factors determined 5% of the total core funding allocation, i.e. 20% of core funding in total.

The data for Specialty Objectives include all 2017/18 objectives with the exception of:

o Dementias and neurodegeneration, Cardiovascular Disease, Gastroenterology, and Infection, as these have national objectives

o Oral and Dental health, due to an incomplete data set

o Ophthalmology, as the data were not usable for this purpose.

Balanced scorecard

A balanced scorecard approach was used to calculate the allocation for each LCRN. This ensured that all LCRNs received some funding from the variable element. The methodology was to apply a score to the 2017/18 HLO and Specialty objectives outturn data at an LCRN level; the better the performance, the higher the score awarded. An example, using HLO 1, is provided in Table 1 below:

% of Target Achieved (Success Rate)Point Awarded
< 85% 0.9
85% 0.95
95% 1
101% 1.05

Table 1: Points awarded in the balanced scorecard based on HLO1 target achieved.

To ensure the volume and complexities of the HLOs were taken into account, the scores per LCRN for HLO 1 were multiplied by the number of participants recruited, and the scores for HLO 2a and HLO 2b were multiplied by the number of studies that achieved the recruitment to time and target aim of 80%.

Additional Information

Host Corporate Support Services

LCRNs are provided with an allowable expenditure to provide a range of corporate support facilities and services that facilitate the governance, leadership and management of the LCRN. These services typically include: financial management and reporting; human resources; information technology and governance; office space, facilities and equipment; legal and contracting support.

Cap and Collar

The funding model aims to avoid major fluctuations in year on year funding, thus providing stability in the NIHR infrastructure and allow LCRNs to plan more effectively.

As in previous years, a +/- 5% Cap and Collar has been applied to the 2019/20 CRN funding model. The top-sliced element and Excess Treatments Costs are excluded from this calculation.

Conducting research in populations with the most need

LCRNs are requested to ring-fence 2% of the 2019/20 allocation to support initiatives to improve the correlation between local population health needs and LCRN research portfolio activity. 


Any enquiries regarding the 2019/20 LCRN funding allocations should be emailed to Sally Johnson, LCRN Funding and Contracts Manager, via


Table 2: Final LCRN funding allocations 2019/20

LCRNFixed funding element1 £Variable Element2 £Total pre-top sliced £Top-sliced £ETC Service Funding £Final allocation £
East Midlands 16,739,800 4,143,826 20,883,626 20,040 75,000 20,978,666
Eastern 14,774,132 3,489,905 18,264,037 1,243,040 84,000 19,591,077
Greater Manchester 14,372,205 4,324,981 18,697,186 77,500 78,000 18,852,686
Kent, Surrey and Sussex 11,297,656 2,779,394 14,077,050 0 58,000 14,135,050
North East and North Cumbria 14,328,680 3,796,411 18,125,091 48,701 78,000 18,251,792
North Thames 23,778,436 5,399,367 29,177,803 52,040 128,000 29,357,843
North West Coast 12,861,884 3,023,738 15,885,622 80,263 49,000 16,014,885
North West London 11,053,785 3,458,837 14,512,622 42,742 87,000 14,642,364
South London 19,303,139 4,892,007 24,195,146 59,491 138,000 24,392,637
South West Peninsula 8,501,859 2,479,550 10,981,408 65,701 41,000 11,088,109
Thames Valley and South Midlands 12,134,992 3,234,887 15,369,879 36,040 85,000 15,490,919
Wessex 14,158,880 3,576,999 17,735,879 29,500 73,000 17,838,379
West Midlands 21,820,648 4,435,868 26,256,516 20,040 87,000 26,363,556
West of England 10,043,354 2,470,607 12,513,961 13,500 66,000 12,593,461
Yorkshire and Humber 20,854,428 4,999,593 25,854,021 281,555 89,000 26,224,576
Total £226,023,878 £56,505,968 £282,529,846 £2,070,154 £1,216,000 £285,816,000

1 - With LCRN adjustments included

2 - With Cap and Collar adjustment included