News       Events               CHITIN


Funding the costs of research (AcoRD principles)

Attributing the costs of health and social care Research & Development (AcoRD)

In May 2012, the Department of Health (DH) published new guidance, entitled “Attributing the costs of health and social care Research and Development” (AcoRD) to provide a framework for the NHS and its partners to identify, attribute and recover the various costs associated with research in the NHS, in a transparent, robust and consistent manner. AcoRD also provides a new mechanism to meet some of the costs of high quality peer reviewed charity-funded research in the HSC. It recognises the important contribution research charities make to the HSC research environment, funding research through donations made by patients and the public. For this reason, the AcoRD guidance identifies some research costs (Annex A Part B) that would be funded by DH either via NIHR CRN or through Research Capability Funding for studies funded by members of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC).

The key purpose of the AcoRD guidance is to:

  • Improve the consistency of cost attribution
  • Encourage more consistent funding of the costs of research

HSC R&D Division has published AcoRD guidelines for Northern Ireland. These are based on the same principles as the DH publication but reflect the differences in infrastructure and funding arrangements in Northern Ireland. While drawing on well-established attribution principles, the release of the AcoRD guidance in Northern Ireland is an important step forward in clarifying the principles for attributing the costs of HSC research.

AcoRD provides a framework for the identification, attribution and, where relevant, recovery of the various costs associated with research in the HSC, in a transparent, robust and consistent manner. Clarification is provided between the three categories of costs associated with non-commercial research studies:

  • Research Costs
  • HSC Support Costs
  • HSC Treatment Costs

The AcoRD guidance and two associated Annexes are available at the links below for your information. Annex A provides an exemplar set of common activities that have been attributed to the three specific cost categories and Annex B provides a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). These Annexes will be updated as required and users should ensure that they refer to the latest version when attributing the costs of research.

AcoRD guidance-Northern Ireland.pdf

AcoRD - Annex A-Northern Ireland.pdf

AcoRD - Annex B-Northern Ireland.pdf

To access the DH AcoRD documentation, click here


NHS Support and Treatment Costs

Your research funder may ask you to complete a Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Template (SoECAT) as part of the application process. This template is used to record and approve NHS Support (Service Support) and Treatment Costs for studies taking place in the UK. If your study is led from Northern Ireland, you must submit your SoECAT for approval to HSC R&D Division before submission to the funder. You should submit your completed SoECAT, application and research protocol to HSC R&D Division AT LEAST 10 WORKING DAYS BEFORE your application submission deadline. Approval cannot be guaranteed if documentation is submitted outside of this deadline.

If approved, further information on Service Support Costs may be required. If requested to do so, you should complete this form