Solent NHS Trust logo


In order to fund research, the various elements of a study are given one of the following cost categories:

Research Costs: The costs of the research itself that end when the research ends. They relate to activities that are being undertaken to answer the research questions.

NHS Treatment Costs: The patient care costs, which would continue to be incurred if the patient care service in question continued to be provided after the research study had stopped.

NHS Support Costs: The additional patient care costs associated with the research, which would end once the research study in question had stopped, even if the patient care involved continued to be provided. Examples of this include extra patient tests, extra in-patient days, and extra nursing attention.

If you need any help please contact us via

Commercial Contract Studies

The funding arrangements for commercial contract research studies are straightforward. The NHS is required to recover, from industry, all costs over and above the standard NHS Treatment Cost. To do this, industry costing templates have been developed. These provide a consistent method for commercial contract research undertaken in the NHS, involving pharmaceutical clinical trials, biotechnology agents, and medical devices. Solent NHS Trust also has an in-trust policy for commercial research studies.

Non-Commercial Studies

The funding arrangements for non-commercial studies are more complex. They include:

Research Costs

Research Costs are derived from the core research activities that are being undertaken to answer the research question(s). They end when the research ends. If an activity is not directly contributing to an NHS patient care service then it is attributed as a Research Cost. These costs are usually met by grant funders through the award of a research grant.

You will need to complete a PCRN Costing Template. You can get help completing this from either Solent NHS Trust if it is a community care study, or through the local PCRN for the South West if it is a primary care study.

NHS Treatment Costs

If an activity is integral to the provision of a treatment regime, whether this is standard or experimental, then it is attributed as an NHS Treatment Cost and is met through the normal commissioning process.

A research study may result in an NHS patient care service that differs from standard treatment, or is delivered in a different location from where it would normally be given. The associated NHS Treatment Costs may be less, or may be greater, than the cost of standard treatment. If greater, the difference between the NHS Treatment Costs and the cost of the standard treatment is referred to as the NHS Excess Treatment Costs. These excess costs are nonetheless part of the NHS Treatment Costs, not an NHS Support Cost and are not normally funded from Department of Health R&D budgets.

Please contact our Research team if you think that your study may involve Excess Treatment Costs - - 023 8060 8925.

NHS Support Costs

If a patient care activity is primarily undertaken to facilitate research or is driven by the NHS duty of care to a patient, e.g. to ensure the safety of a patient participating in research, then it is attributed as a NHS Support Cost. These costs are met from the R&D budget by the Health Departments of the United Kingdom.

Please contact our Research team if you think that your study may NHS Support Costs - - 023 8060 8925.


Where industry is involved in a research project, contracts need to be agreed. To avoid the need for site-by-site reviews and local legal agreements to be drawn up each time, nationally-approved agreements have been created. This speeds up the application process and allows projects to start sooner.