In 2022, following an open competition, the Trust was awarded NIHR funding to support the CRF for the period September 2022 to August 2027. This funding was part of a £161 million NIHR infrastructure investment in purpose-built CRFs to support world-class experimental medicine research aimed at translating scientific advances into benefits for patients.

The NIHR CRF award will fund the following costs:

  • Direct Recurrent Costs for Research Infrastructure staff supporting the delivery of people- or patient-focused early translational (experimental medicine) research within the CRF;
  • NHS Support Costs of people- or patient-focused early translational (experimental medicine) research within the CRF as set out in AcoRD Annex A that are not funded by external funding schemes, such as the NIHR BRCs, the NIHR CRN, and NIHR/CR-UK EMCCs.
  • NHS Research Costs for those activities set out in AcoRD Annex A Part B where the funder of the early translational (experimental medicine) research is a medical research charity that is a member of the AMRC;
  • Additional Direct Recurrent Costs associated with the running and maintenance of the CRF (e.g. consumables, travel and subsistence, software, PPI, equipment items costing less than £5,000 and equipment maintenance contracts); and
  • Other, legitimate and reasonable, NHS Indirect Costs within the NHS (e.g. accommodation, payroll, HR, finance). NIHR will not meet indirect costs incurred by university partners.
  • The NIHR funding award for the CRF does not include funding for research costs. All CRF-supported studies therefore require funding to cover these research costs.

Charges for using the CRF

The charges are designed to make the CRF a highly attractive place to undertake clinical research while also providing the income stream to cover marginal costs and thereby support business development and growth. Charges are structured into four rates in recognition of the core funding stream provided by NIHR to support the CRF:

  • Charge Rate A – Industry contract studies: In line with requirements placed on the NHS, industry-funded studies are charged for all costs above the standard NHS treatment costs. For industry studies, CRF charges include direct, indirect costs and a capacity-building element. These studies are charged in line with the costing rates set out in the NIHR Industry Costing template.
  • Charge Rate B –Non-Imperial sponsored studies. This tier applies to non-commercial studies where the study is led by a non-Imperial investigator. The CRF charges are designed to cover the CRF direct staff costs and provide a contribution to the marginal costs associated with the use of space and equipment within the facility.
  • Charge Rate C – Imperial sponsored Industry collaborative and non-commercial studies. This tier applies to non-commercial NIHR portfolio studies where the Chief Investigator or Principal Investigator is based at Imperial. CRF charges are designed to cover the direct costs only.
  • Charge Rate D – Imperial BRC funded studies. This charge applies to BRC research projects which are funded via the BRC budget. These projects can use CRF space and staff free of charge, other than for overnight stays.

Facility charges

Where a clinical study is using CRF nurses, the hourly staff charge covers the cost of the space. Facility charges are only applied when:

  • A researcher is using the CRF on a self-contained basis
  • The patient occupies CRF clinical space for longer than the allocated CRF nurse time

Overnight charges

Where a participant is only expected to stay in the CRF for one night, the overnight nurse will be charged at the rate of one nurse per participant. For participants who will stay for more than one night, the study will be costed in batches eg 2 nurses to support 4 participants. This will be assessed on a per study basis


Weekend stays will be approved on a per-study basis. Two staff must be available in the CRF at all times between Friday 18.00 and Monday 08.00. For Imperial sponsored studies staff must be arranged and directly paid by the research team.


All studies making significant use of consumables, or using non-standard items will be charged at cost. Please note that flexibility in charging may be permitted in some circumstances.