1. 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 to be certified under each Scheme.
The Research Fee charged to each producer (CCS/BCS) is relative to the input/throughput tonnage per annum (t/pa) of thier site or plant. The Research Fee increases proportionally to t/pa.
For example, if you are a CCS producer with an input t/pa of between 12,001-20,000 or of between 20,001-50,000, you would pay a Research Fee of £800 or £1200, respectively. If you are a BCS producer with a throughput t/pa of between 15,001-25,000 or of 25,001-50,000, you would pay a Research Fee of £600 or £800, respectively.
The CCS/BCS input categories and the respective Research Fee can be viewed here. Research Fees are charged at initial certification, and each year for continued certification/renewal.
2. How will my Research Fee contribute towards the Research Hub’s research projects?
The Research Hub is managed independently and in a transparent manner, separate from the CCS/BCS. Scheme participants will receive an invoice for the Research Fee from their Certification Body at initial application and renewal, as well as an invoice for certification services. REAL recovers the Research Fee from the Certification Body; the Research Fees collected are ringfenced.
These collected Research Fees are used to fund the research projects selected for commissioning by the Research Panel, as well as funding the Research Hub’s administrative, technical support, and IT costs.
From 2020, at least 70% of the Research Hub’s annual income is available for research projects.
3. Will Scheme (CCS/BCS) producers be provided with the justification/reasoning for chosen research projects?
Yes, as of 2020, producers can contact the Research Hub to obtain the justification/an explanation for the reason(s) a particular research project was selected for commissioning - we encourage you to do so.
The Project Brief compiled for each chosen research project is uploaded to the Research Hub website and among other information, provides a justification for its selection.
4. Will Scheme (CCS/BCS) producers be provided with an explanation for why particular Research Project Proposals weren’t shortlisted/selected?
Yes, as of 2020, producers can contact the Research Hub to obtain the justification/an explanation for the reason(s) a particular research project wasn’t selected for commissioning - we encourage you to do so.
5. Can Scheme (CCS/BCS) producers vote on Research Project Proposals before the shortlisting?
Throughout 2019/2020, the Research Hub ‘Project Selection Process’ did not allow CCS/BCS producers to vote on research projects before they were shortlisted by the Research Panel. However, based on producer feedback, the Research Hub revised the Project Selection Process so as from 2021, producers can cast a vote and provide comments on the research projects submitted, prior to their shortlisting.
These votes and comments will be taken into account by the Research Panel when carrying out their final evaluations.
6. What happens to Research Project Proposals that aren’t shortlisted/selected for funding?
Research Project Proposals submitted to the Hub, whether shortlisted or not, but not selected for commissioning, regrettably, will not be automatically reconsidered by the Research Hub's Research Panel during the next round of evaluation. If you would like your proposal to be reconsidered, please resubmit it to the Hub during the next available call period for revaluation.
7. How much will the selected research projects cost?
The cost of the first project of the Research Hub is £69,000. REAL expects to receive approximately £200,000 per year in Research Fees, 70% of which is available for research projects annually (see FAQ 2. above). Any available funds not spent on research projects is safely stored and ringfenced, and is available to be used for future research projects.
8. What are the timescales for chosen Research Projects?
After completion, the first project of the Research Hub will have spanned a period of eight months; the duration of the second project of the Research Hub is anticipated to last six months. It is the intention of REAL to commission at least one research project per year. Generally, a research project is selected in July, a contractor appointed in November, and the work commences the following January. The Research Hub Project Selection Process is available to view here.