Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Research capital investment fund

The Research Capital Investment Fund is formula-based funding that supports the long-term sustainability of research. This includes contributions to replace premises or infrastructure, improved use of space, and increased sharing and use of research equipment.

Partners involved:
Research England

The scope and what we're doing

Capital investment is critical in underpinning high-quality research, enabling sustainable development of university infrastructure and growing research capacity and capability.

Research England allocates funds through the Research Capital Investment Fund (RCIF).

The RCIF aims to:

  • contribute to the long-term financial sustainability of a higher education provider’s research and the supporting physical infrastructure
  • contribute to replacement of premises or infrastructure, improved use of space, and increased sharing and use of research equipment
  • promote collaborative partnerships between higher education providers, industry, charities, government and NHS trusts
  • promote world-leading research capability in all disciplines with the capacity to respond to developing national priorities.

In the financial year 2020 to 21 Research England distributed £188 million for formula-based research capital. This fund comprised two elements:

  • Higher Education Institution (HEI) Research Capital England
  • Higher Education Research Capital (HERC) England.

HEI Research Capital England

This element is distributed in proportion to the sum of Research England quality-related research funding and research income from other (non-research council) sources.

HERC England

This element is distributed in proportion to research income from research councils, reflecting finance data for the most recent three years.

Research and knowledge exchange funding: recurrent grants and formula capital allocations

UKRI World Class Laboratories Fund

In 2020 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) invested £88 million to modernise research laboratories and expand our world-leading facilities to equip scientists working on research challenges such as climate change and COVID-19.

UKRI World Class Laboratories Fund


Last updated: 18 October 2022

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