Frequently Asked Questions

Questions most frequently asked by CCS and BCS Participants

1. What are the benefits for me as a CCS/BCS Participant?

  • Industry support: Underpinned by our objectives, the Research Hub aims to support the composting and AD industries by producing research that contributes to market development and reinforces industry confidence.
  • Investigation of practical issues: Scheme participants can submit research proposals on real-life issues experienced through working in the industry. If selected for funding, these projects may investigate these issues and potentially offer practical guidance.
  • Opportunity to provide feedback on proposals: Scheme participants have the unique opportunity to provide feedback on research proposals submitted to the Research Hub via an online survey circulated each Spring. The Research Panel then considers Scheme participants’ feedback during the proposal shortlisting process, giving CCS/BCS participants an additional opportunity to influence the direction of Research Hub-funded research.
  • Access to Research Hub outputs: Scheme participants are automatically granted access to Research Hub outputs, free of charge. Other stakeholders may be granted access on a case-by-case basis and may have to pay for these resources. Visit our Research Projects page to learn more about research outputs you can access now.


2. How is my Research Fee calculated?

The Research Fee is a percentage of the Certification Fee paid by every Compost Certification Scheme (CCS) and Biofertiliser Certification Scheme (BCS) producer. The Research Fee charged to each Scheme Participant is relative to the input tonnage per annum (t/pa) of their site or plant (i.e., it increases proportionally to t/pa).

For instance, a CCS producer with an input t/pa between 12,001-20,000 would pay a Research Fee of £800, whereas a producer with an input t/pa between 20,001-50,000, would pay a Research Fee of £1,200. Similarly, a BCS operator with an input t/pa between 15,001-25,000 would pay a Research Fee of £600, whereas a BCS operator with an input t/pa between 25,001-50,000, would pay a Research Fee £800.

A table detailing the input categories and corresponding Research Fees can be viewed here. Research Fees are charged at initial certification, and each year upon renewal.

3. How will my Research Fee contribute towards the Research Hub’s research projects?

Research Fees are used to fund the projects selected by the Research Panel, and to cover costs related to the Research Hub’s project management, administration, and technical support.

From 2020, at least 70% of the Research Hub’s annual income is available for research projects. Any funds not spent on research projects are ringfenced and remain available for future research projects.

For more information on how funds are collected and managed, please visit our Research Fees page.

4. Will CCS/BCS participants be provided an explanation regarding why any given Research Project Proposal was/was not selected for funding?

Yes, as of 2020, Scheme Participants may contact the Research Hub Manager (contact details here) to request information on the reason(s) why a particular research proposal was or was not selected for funding. 

The Project Brief compiled for each selected research project is uploaded to the Research Hub website and among other information, includes background information on the project’s relevance to the organics sector.

5. Can CCS/BCS Participants vote on Research Project Proposals before shortlisting?

Since 2021, Scheme Participants have been invited to score and comment on research proposals via an online survey. The Research Panel considers this feedback when shortlisting proposals for final evaluation. More information on this process can be found here.

6. What happens to Research Project Proposals that aren’t shortlisted/selected for funding?

Research Project Proposals that are not selected for funding will not be automatically reconsidered by the Research Panel during the subsequent evaluation process. If you would like your proposal to be reconsidered, please resubmit it to the Research Hub during the next open call period. 

7. How much will the selected research projects cost?

The costs of completed Research Hub projects are publicly available. Project costs may vary considerably depending on the nature and requirements of each project. Cost is considered during the Research Panel’s project evaluation/selection process and when PMTs evaluate bids for potential delivery contractors. In this way, the Research Hub aims to ensure good value for money on all projects commissioned. 

8. What are the timescales for chosen Research Projects?

Research Hub project timescales have ranged from six months to over a year. Individual project timescales depend on the nature and requirements of each project.

REAL intends to commission at least one research project per year.

The Research Hub Project Selection Process detailing the expected annual timeline for selecting projects can be found here.