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Covid-19 Advice from Funders


Please check this page regularly for the latest advice from our Funders

Funders are very aware that these are challenging times for grant-holders and are doing their best to be flexible and provide advice and guidance. 

We aim to update this page on a regular basis. If you are aware of a funder update we have missed or would like a funder added to the list please email researchservices@rhul.ac.uk

For a list of new funding opportunities available in relation to COVID-19 related research click here.

Some useful articles regarding working from home.

 

COVID-19 Research Project Tracker by UKCDR & GloPID-R

GloPID-R and UKCDR have developed a live database of funded research projects on COVID-19 that will help funders and researchers identify gaps and opportunities and inform future research investments or coordination needs. www.ukcdr.org.uk

 

Useful links

 

Academy of Medical Sciences

4th May 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19) FAQ for AMS applicants and Award holders

AMS will be updating this page regularly in response to the queries we receive from our community. Please continue to contact your primary contacts at the Academy, details for whom can be found on our individual scheme pages. For general queries, please contact grants@acmedsci.ac.uk  For up to date information on the Academy’s response to Covid-19, please see our information hub.

Alzheimer's Research

Alzheimer’s Research

06 April 2020

The current COVID-19 situation will also have serious financial implications for many sectors, and it is very sensible for us to fully consider and understand what the short to medium term implications are likely to be for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

For these reasons, we are looking across our portfolio to delay the start of any new funding or partnerships until the full implications of COVID-19 are better understood.

We have made the difficult decision to postpone our response-mode funding programme until the Autumn. This means that:

  • The Grant Review Board meeting planned for June will be cancelled.
  • All applications currently under review will be discussed at the Grant Review Board meeting in January 2021.
  • We currently plan to open new rounds for funding in the Autumn.

Any disruptions to research funding activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be taken into consideration by our Board to make appropriate adjustments when assessing your record of outputs, research achievements, and career progression.

 

For full statement click here

 

 

British Academy

Award holders should follow the advice of their institution and that of the government. 

The British Academy encourages award holders to investigate, where necessary, all possible alternative ways of continuing to progress their research. However, they understand that the outbreak may impact on the activities associated with some awards and will treat all requests for no-cost extensions to awards and requests for virement of funding between cost headings sympathetically. These should be requested in the usual way. 

If you have been unable to recover costs from a travel operator or insurance, costs can be charged to grants. Grants often end with an underspend and the British Academy expects award holders to be able to absorb these costs through this and other re-arrangements in their budgets. 

 

British Heart Foundation

Research grants

If research institutions shut down for a period of time the British Heart Foundation (BHF) will continue to pay the salaries of staff funded on grants for the same duration. Details of all staff affected must be provided in order to ensure payments are honoured.

If clinical research staff funded on grants are asked to support front line NHS staff, the BHF will also continue to pay salaries, recognising that these costs may be subsequently recoverable from the NHS.

They are are prepared to support requests for no cost extensions to grants to cover any delays caused by the suspension of research. 

If suspension of research is prolonged and costed extensions are required they will consider requests on a case by case basis.

Grants for small meetings

The BHF will honour the payment of grants for small meetings which are postponed and rescheduled within one year of the original date due to COVID-19. Details must be provided as soon as a decision is made to delay the meeting.

If meetings need to be cancelled and cannot be rescheduled they recognise that some costs may not be recoverable.  In these instances the organisation should cancel the meeting at the earliest opportunity to obtain maximum refunds of any costs already incurred in order to mitigate the cost to the BHF.  Full details must be provided before we will release any funds. 

 

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK defers funding panels amid Covid-19

Statement 17 March 2020

CRUK has made the difficult decision to defer all their panels and committees. All applications submitted for the current funding round will be considered in the autumn. Where an application has been made for the renewal of an existing grant, bridge-funding will be provided.

Full statement from CRUK and more news

 

European Commission

29th June update

Statement on scientific advice to European policy makers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic

The statement provides guidance for the provision of scientific advice in pandemic situations that are characterised by complexity and uncertainty. To ensure efficient and effective policies, advice should be multi-disciplinary, and provided through early and frequent exchange with policy-makers. Transparency and openness are crucial. Clarity on what is known, what is not known, and what cannot be known is very important as illustrated by debate around the use of facemasks, the ability of children to spread the disease, or the maximum level of protection offered by a possible vaccine. Also critical is that there is a clear distinction between advice, decision making and implementation roles.

The statement also announces two forthcoming jointly authored scientific opinions that will make recommendations for better pandemic preparedness and management and on crisis resilience in general.

The statement draws on the principles described by the GCSA Opinion “Scientific Advice to European Policy in a Complex World” (September 2019) and the EGE Statement “European Solidarity and Protection of Fundamental Rights in the COVID-19 Pandemic” (April 2020).

For more details click here.

 

8 April update

For Covid- 19 outbreak updates from the European Commission please visit their new European Research Area (ERA) Corona Platform

The page is still under construction, but already includes links to the COVID-19 FAQs, a list of Horizon 2020 deadlines that have been extended and links to other useful resources. In the future, it will also include links to the relevant pages of EU Member States and will be a one-stop-shop for applicants and beneficiaries of Horizon funds looking for information about the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

COVID-19 and EU Funding

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 might have negative impact on the implementation of many EU projects and the preparation of new applications to Horizon 2020 and other calls. This webpage provides a useful overview of the main messages from the European Commission and other important information. It will be regularly updated with the latest information taken from our daily news articles.

Recent updates to Horizon 2020 funding scheme

02 April 2020

This past week included several updates within the context of Horizon 2020. On March 25th, some of the Work Programmes were updated with some changes to the 2020 calls. If you are planning to apply to one of the calls in the coming year, be sure to visit the Funding & Tender portal to see if any changes are relevant to your topic of interest. Additionally, in light of COVID-19, the EC has already pushed back some of the upcoming Horizon 2020 calls deadlines. To easily stay updated with deadline changes or any other specific guidelines relating to COVID-19 and Horizon 2020, they have launched a very helpful section on their website including FAQs.

More details here

 

COVID-19: Commission Publishes New FAQs on the Funding & Tenders Portal
30 March 2020 - H2020 News

The European Commission has published new answers to several FAQs related to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on current and future Horizon 2020 projects.

For this and other updates please go to their website

 

General guidance

While we are currently awaiting clarification from the Commission on the general situation in relation to research and innovation funding, any projects which have been affected by COVID-19 containment measures should refer firstly to Article 51 of the Annotated Model Grant Agreement covering force majeure, which stipulates that beneficiaries should contact the Commission, or relevant executive agency, to discuss issues that may affect the implementation of projects. We expect further guidance to be made available on the Funding and Tenders Portal shortly. It is also worth noting that the staff of the Commission Services and Agencies are now working remotely and that there is a specific warning on the Funding and Tenders Portal that, due to this non-standard way of working, delayed responses are expected for queries submitted to the IT helpdesk.

Call deadlines

So far, call deadlines have been extended for both Societal Challenge 6 (now 19 March 2020) and Research Infrastructures (now 14 May 2020) calls. Applicants intending to submit to calls on the Funding and Tenders portal should check the 'Topic updates' section of their specific topic to see if their deadlines have been extended. Further information on possible changes to Horizon 2020 call deadlines is expected to be available on the Funding and Tenders Portal shortly.

European Research Council

The ERC have posted a statement on their website stating that they are doing their upmost to remain fully operational during this period, that grant management activities continue as normal (although technical issues may slow some processes down) and that panel evaluations are currently being organised remotely.

Should ERC applicants or grantees have any implementation-related queries regarding coronavirus or otherwise, please contact the ERC UK National Contact Point at: erc@ukro.ac.uk 

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

The Research Executive Agency (REA) have released a statement advising grantees and fellows to follow the travel advice provided by national authorities and to cancel or postpone all non-essential travel where possible. REA will adopt a flexible approach towards projects that fail to meet grant agreement obligations due to the COVID-19 containment measures, and may apply the rules on force majeure, or extend the duration of projects. Projects will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and grantees and fellows should speak to their project officer if they require support. 

Erasmus+

The Commission has released a statement explaining that it will apply maximum flexibility in the implementation of the programme, within the limits of the applicable legal framework. To deal with participants being unable to travel, or return home, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Erasmus+ National Agencies are now permitted to invoke force majeure clauses whereby they may accept additional costs up to a maximum grant amount. Planned activities may also be postponed by up to 12 months per project. Following the Commission's statement, the UK National Agency has published dedicated travel advice for regions affected by the  COVID-19 outbreak.

Furthermore, the UK government has issued its own advice for UK education providers regarding staff and student overseas travel and project participants are advised to speak to their providers about arrangements. Participants under 18 are advised against all overseas education trips, while those over 18 who are due to travel should consult their education institutions on whether the travel should continue as planned. For any UK participants already overseas, they should continue to monitor the latest FCO travel advice and comply with any COVID-19 control measures put in place in their current host nation.

Creative Europe

The Commission has released a statement saying that it understands that containment measures may have consequences for Creative Europe projects, and are adopting a position of maximum flexibility in regards to implementing the programme, while still working within the applicable legal framework. They are also in close communication with the national Creative Europe desks.

COST Actions

The COST Association has recommended that, from 13 March 2020 to 3 April 2020 (minimum), all physical meetings, training schools and short-term scientific missions be suspended or cancelled. They encourage participants to explore video conferencing and remote networking tools as an alternative. Any participants currently attending COST events should follow the instructions of the host country and host institution. 

Horizon 2020

European Commission Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on Horizon 2020 Projects

​The European Commission has published answers to two Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on Horizon 2020 projects and calls for proposals:

Can the clause on “force majeure” in the Horizon 2020 grant agreement be invoked in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak?

"Article 51 of the H2020 MGA sets out the conditions in which the force majeure clause can be used. ‘Force majeure’ relates to an extraordinary and unforeseeable event or situation that is beyond the beneficiaries control and that prevents them from fulfilling their obligations under the action.  If such a situation occurs, beneficiaries must immediately inform the Commission/Agency/Funding Body, which will examine on a case-by-case basis the possible application of the rules on force majeure. Moreover, beneficiaries must immediately take all the necessary steps to limit any damage due to force majeure (e.g. try to cancel the flight ticket, claim the reimbursement from the cancellation insurance (if applicable)).

Costs will be eligible, if they fulfil the general eligibility conditions set out in Article 6 H2020 MGA like any other costs incurred under the action. For example, if a meeting/event cannot take place due to force majeure, travel and accommodation costs may still be charged to the H2020 action if they fulfil the cost eligibility conditions, even if the beneficiary did not travel and did not take part in the meeting/event. If force majeure entails extra costs for the implementation of the action, these costs may be eligible if necessary for the implementation for the action (e.g. a cancelled conference is reorganised at a later stage). However, the maximum grant amount cannot be increased."

Will the deadlines for Horizon 2020 calls be extended related to the COVID-19 outbreak?

"The recent escalation of restrictions related to the COVID-19 outbreak may hamper applicants’ ability to prepare and finalise high-quality proposals. For this reason, for Horizon 2020 calls with original deadlines between now and 15 April, extensions will be applied. The precise new deadlines for each call and topic will be published on the call and topic pages on the Funding and Tenders Portal.

Confirmed new deadlines for Horizon 2020 calls

The following new deadlines have now been confirmed on the Funding and Tenders Portal:

  • H2020-INFRAIA-2018-2020 – Deadline moved from 17 March 2020 to 14 May 2020
  • H2020-INFRAINNOV-2019-2020 – Deadline moved from 17 March 2020 to 14 May 2020
  • H2020-INFRASUPP-2018-2020 – Deadline moved from 17 March 2020 to 14 May 2020
  • H2020-LC-SC3-2018-2019-2020 – Deadline moved from 26 March 2020 to 21 April 2020
  • H2020-NSUP-2020 – Deadline moved from 26 March 2020 to 2 April 2020
  • H2020-INNOSUP-2018-2020 – Deadline moved from 2 April 2020 to 15 April 2020
  • H2020-SC1-BHC-2018-2020 – Deadline moved from 7 April 2020 to 15 April 2020
  • H2020-SwafS-2018-2020 – Deadline moved from 15 April 2020 to 23 April 2020
  • Horizon Impact Award 2020 – Deadline moved from 2 April 2020 to 15 April 2020

All deadlines are at 17:00 CET (Brussels time) and are provided by UKRO for information only. For legally binding information on call deadlines, please, visit the Funding and Tenders Portal.

Important Announcements: Horizon 2020

Research Executive Agency

On 18 March, the Research Executive Agency (REA), responsible for the implementation of several parts of Horizon 2020,  updated its pages on business continuity measures. In addition to earlier messages about extended Horizon 2020 call deadlines, new information on remote evaluation and grant management is now available.  Evaluations of ongoing and upcoming proposals are being organised remotely. Furthermore, grant management activities are continuing, however REA response time may be affected due to IT constraints. Finally, beneficiaries are encouraged to follow @REA_reseach on Twitter, as decisions may change anytime due to exceptional circumstances.

 

Knowledge Transfer Network

Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)

26 March 2020

KTN has established a Covid-19 hub containing information about funding, links to online events, requests for support to help combat Covid-19 and its impact and links to business support sites. Click here to visit the page.

We have now moved all our events and meetings, where possible, online for the foreseeable future.

Funding

Whilst we all get used to new ways of working there are still funding calls and competitions operating.  KTN will continue to support these by signposting our network to them and by holding online briefing events.  It is vitally important to keep money coming into business and we will be updating our funding pages with new calls as well as highlighting existing competitions.

Online events

KTN helps businesses get the best out of creativity, ideas and the latest discoveries, to strengthen the UK economy and improve people’s lives, so wherever possible, we’re moving our events online to help keep you connected and continue innovating. More online events are being added to our events listings on a daily basis, so please check our website regularly to make sure that you don't miss out.

 

 

Leakey Foundation 

March 2020

University travel restrictions and personal health considerations due to COVID-19 may impact Leakey Foundation grant project timelines.

All project end date extension requests due to COVID-19 will be approved. If you are a grantee and your project end date is far in the future, you do not need to request an extension at this time. Immediate extension requests are only necessary if grant spending will be affected by an approaching end date. If you do need an extension, please coordinate with your institution’s sponsored programs office to make a request.

Full statement here

 

Leverhulme Trust

The Leverhulme Trust will allow reasonable changes to budget lines and/or no-cost extensions to grants to enable grant holders to manage their research in the best way for their circumstances.

Contact grants@leverhulme.ac.uk to agree extensions and budgetary changes in advance.

 

NIH

NIH

27 March 2020

https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-20-086.html

The US’s NIH have published a compliance notice over “Flexibilities Available to Applicants and Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance Affected by COVID-19”, from a post-award perspective the headlines are:

Salaries:

NIH understands that many researchers may be unable to work as a result of or related to the effects of COVID-19. If a recipient organization’s policy allows for the charging of salaries and benefits during periods when no work is performed due to the effect of COVID-19, regardless of the funding source, including Federal and non-Federal, then such charges to NIH grant awards will be allowable.

Reminder: NIH awarding Institutes/Centers (ICs) may request documentation to confirm the requirements of institutional policies.

Stipends:

Institutions affected by COVID-19 may continue to provide stipend payments to fellows and trainees who may be unable to work as a result of or related to COVID-19. Recipients should notify the assigned grants management official, and provide documentation demonstrating the effect of COVID-19, and how long the institution will be affected.

Travel:

Non-refundable costs associated with grant-related travel that has been cancelled due to COVID-19 may be charged to the NIH award if they would have otherwise been allowable. See NIH GPS 7.9.1 for detailed information on the allowability of travel expenses.

Conference Registration Fees:

Non-refundable registration fees for conferences, symposiums or seminars that have been cancelled due to COVID19 may be charged to the NIH award if they would have otherwise been allowable (e.g. necessary to accomplish program objectives

Full NIH statement here

 

When delays occur because the applicant or recipient organisation is officially closed or unable to submit grant applications due to the effects of COVID-19, the NIH will consider accepting applications late, on a case-by-case basis, under certain circumstances.

The NIH has introduced flexibilities applicable to NIH applicants and recipients where the entity is conducting research activities related to or affected by COVID-19, relating to:

  • pre-award costs
  • extension of post-award financial and other reporting
  • prior approval requirement waivers
  • cost-related flexibilities/expenditure of award funds
  • extension of closeout
  • extension of single audit submission

The NIH has issued guidance on clinical trials and human subject studies affected by COVID-19. They encourage recipients to consult with their institutions about potential measures to protect participants and research staff. Recipients may submit late financial and progress reports if research is delayed due to COVID-19, and may carry over unobligated balances on active grants without requesting prior approval.

Frequently asked questions on proposal submission and award management related to COVID-19 are also available:

 

NIHR

27 April 2020

 

COVID-19 Urgent Public Health Research is being prioritised to gather the necessary clinical and epidemiological evidence that will inform national policy and enable new diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines to be developed and tested for COVID-19. For additional information on the prioritisation process please see the Q&A document.

 

Look at the Department of Health and Social Care review process to be considered f or this support

 

Clinical and academic health and care professionals currently funded by NIHR who are working on topics other than COVID-19 should prioritise frontline care, where requested to do so by their employing organisations. Similarly, research staff with other relevant skills, such as pharmacists and laboratory technicians, should also prioritise support to frontline care. In addition, researchers should consult with their employers to make facilities which currently support research studies available for frontline care. 

This will mean that many research studies funded by NIHR, or supported by NIHR (via the Clinical Research Network and other NIHR infrastructure) may need to be paused, to free up NIHR-funded staff to help bolster the frontline response to COVID-19. In addition, NIHR recognises that award-holding organisations may need to pause research studies for locally determined public health reasons. 

However, clinical trials or other research studies which are funded or supported by NIHR should continue if discontinuing them will have significant detrimental effects on the ongoing care of individual participants involved in those studies. These are clinical decisions which will need to be made on a case-by-case basis by local decision makers on the basis of local risk and capacity assessments.

All organisations holding NIHR awards that are paused will, in the short term, continue to receive payments from DHSC in line with existing NIHR contractual payment schedules. This will be reviewed and, if necessary, payment schedules will be updated as usual following the annual statement of expenditure. Where necessary, contract deliverables will be rescheduled, allowing staff to concentrate on frontline care and COVID-19 research. 

NIHR suspends non-Covid-19 studies to focus on coronavirus

Statement 19 March 2020

Until further notice, the NIHR Clinical Research Network is pausing the site set up of any new or ongoing studies at NHS and social care sites that are not nationally prioritised COVID-19 studies. This will enable our research workforce to focus on delivering the nationally prioritised COVID-19 studies or enabling redeployment to frontline care where necessary. These studies are enabling the clinical and epidemiological evidence to be gathered to inform national policy and will enable new treatments, diagnostics and vaccines to be developed and tested. The complete focus of the NIHR Clinical Research Network will be on delivering these highest priority COVID-19 studies. During this time, the MHRA and HRA will continue to provide an approvals service for all studies, prioritised in accordance with the national situation, ensuring site set-up can restart promptly in due course.

Full statement from NIHR and other news

 

 

Nuffield Foundation

18 May 2020

The social implications of COVID-19

We are funding research on the social implications of the COVID-19 pandemic as they emerge in real time, including how best to mitigate the impact on those who are worst affected. Findings so far include:

  • Youth unemployment could rise by 600,000 this year - taking the total above one million. Read more
  • Nearly half of people questioned in a survey about lockdown said they will find it harder to follow the rules the longer it continues. Read more
  • Some ethnic groups are dying in disproportionate numbers from COVID-19. Many are also economically vulnerable. Read more
  • Well-being during lockdown is lowest for people aged 18-29. Read more
  • Families with dependent children are likely to be negatively affected by the pandemic - especially those living in poverty. Read more
  • Views of the UK government response are highly polarised along political lines. Read more

Visit their website for their latest Covid News and funding calls.

 

30 March 2020 - update

Nuffield foundation is extending some deadlines for their next funding rounds (e.g. Strategic Fund) and have closed applications to their Seed corn funding until further notice. This is due to current difficulties faced by researchers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

For more information please visit their website here  and/or contact the specific programme manager.

 

Nuffield Foundation to extend application deadlines

26 March 2020

The Nuffield Foundation, which funds research on social wellbeing, has said it will extend some grant application deadlines in light of the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement published on 23 March, the funder, which encompasses the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory and the Ada Lovelace Institute, said its priority was to support staff, grant-holders and those who participate in its student programmes, as well as to fund research related to the pandemic.

Full statement from Nuffield Foundation

 

Royal Society

The Royal Society's offices will be closed from 5pm on Wednesday 18 March and all staff will be working remotely. Grants teams will still be contactable via grants@royalsociety.org or +44 (0)20 4751 2666.

Applications

All funding programmes and calls currently remain open for applications in line with advertised dates. The Royal Society will endeavour not to make any changes to application deadlines, interview dates or decision dates.

Some grant committee and panel meetings will take place remotely and they will be in contact with any affected applicants.

If an applicant's institution is closed and unable to approve and submit an application, the Royal Society can do this on their behalf, with agreement from the institution.

Awards

To minimise the impact of the global health situation on award holders, the Royal Society will provide as pragmatic support as possible, recognising the impact of the coronavirus on research is significant and evolving.

The Society is working with award holders and their organisations as well as the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to ensure that fair and appropriate support is in place.

They will be aiming to minimise the impact of the coronavirus on funded activities as far as possible.

 

 

UK Government

Government announces support for higher education sector

04 May 2020

A range of measures have been announced by government to protect students and the higher education sector from the impact of coronavirus.

Further details here

 

UKRI

13 July 2020 - update

UKRI to switch over its COVID-19 open call to JeS and IFS

The application process for UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) COVID-19 open call will change on 31 July 2020. After this date, instead of submitting a proposal via email, researchers and businesses must apply via UKRI’s online submission systems, the Joint Electronic Submission (JeS) and the Innovation Funding Service (IFS), respectively. UKRI is advising any researchers and businesses to check their access to these systems and register before 31 July. Applicants will not be able to submit proposals via email after this date.

As the pandemic has progressed, the nature of the research questions that need to be addressed has evolved - while some projects still require urgent action, others can be addressed with less urgency. UKRI is therefore moving to a new way of managing proposals to its COVID-19 open call.

Proposals continue to be accepted on a rolling open basis.

More information here

UKRI-funded research projects and other awards related to COVID-19 (Excel, 876KB)

 

9th July 2020 - update

COVID-19 ethics support for researchers and innovators

UKRI remains committed to supporting ethical research and responsible innovation during the Covid-19 pandemic. The World Health Organisation, UNESCO and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, for example, have produced bespoke ethics guidance on adapting to emergency contexts. There are also accelerated ethics approval processes for researchers working during emergencies.

Key resources and guidance:

  1. Nuffield Council on Bioethics – COVID-19 ethics resources
  2. The Global Health Network – epidemics ethics resources
  3. Nuffield Council on Bioethics: Research in global health emergencies: ethical issues 
  4. World Health Organization: Guidance for managing ethical issues in infectious disease. World Health Organization website. Published October 27, 2016.
  5. Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences – International ethical guidelines for health-related research involving humans (PDF)
  6. NHS Health Research Authority - COVID-19 research
  7. MHRA regulatory flexibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19)
  8. NC3Rs and the 3Rs during COVID-19
  9. UKCDR: Safeguarding during COVID-19
  10. BBSRC policies page
  11. EPSRC ethics pages
  12. ESRC ethics pages
  13. Innovate UK responsible innovation guide
  14. MRC ethics pages
  15. MRC Regulatory Support Unit
  16. NERC policy pages

 

27th June 2020 - update

Further information

UKRI COVID-19 Grant Extension Allocation

UK Research and Innovation has announced it will deploy £180 million of funding for organisations to sustain UKRI grant-funded research and fellowships affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see news story.

To see a summary of the policy please see here (PDF, 128KB).

Further clarification on the new policy is provided in the Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 655KB).

For a copy of the equality impact assessment please see here (PDF, 745KB).

Please see the template for the Governance Plan (Word, 46KB) – you must complete and submit the Governance Plan within 28 days after the receipt of the Offer Letter.

Please see the Terms and Conditions here (PDF, 122KB).

 

Open letter to the research and innovation community

01/06/2020

In this letter, Professor Sir Mark Walport gives a further update on what UKRI is doing to support the UK research and innovation system during and after the pandemic.

In recent weeks the government has published details of a package of measures to support students and the higher education sector, including guidance on the use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in Higher Education Institutions. This recognises the complexity of funding and clarifies how institutions should be using the scheme. You can find the relevant guidance here. It’s worth noting that researchers who continue to be paid through UKRI grants-funded research cannot also be supported through the furlough scheme.

Further support will come through Research England, part of UKRI, which will bring forward £100 million of Quality Research (QR) funding to eligible institutions. UKRI is also part of the government’s university research sustainability taskforce that is examining how best to respond to the challenges for the sector resulting from COVID-19.

The government wants to understand how the pandemic is having an impact on researchers and research groups.  We are supporting, alongside Universities UK, a survey run by Vitae to help gather evidence to inform policy considerations. You can access the survey here before the closing date of 9th June.

In the meantime, UKRI is providing 6-month costed extensions for UKRI funded PhD students in their final year. For those students not in their final year, our guidance is that costed extensions should be considered on a case by case basis.  I encourage all UKRI students to talk to their supervisors or programmes about whether they need to adjust or amend their project to ensure they can complete their PhD. We have tried to minimise paperwork, balancing the student’s needs against the need to account for the public money being provided.

For more information click here.

 

24 April 2020 update: 

Open letter to the research and innovation community

An open letter to the research and innovation community, from Professor Sir Mark Walport.

Open Letter to UKRI Students

The following letter is for doctoral students at UKRI research council programmes. It will also be of interest to training grant holders, research organisations, and co-funding partners.

UPDATED May 5: Guidance for the research and innovation communities

The ongoing situation regarding coronavirus has significantly impacted the research and innovation community. The nature of these impacts will evolve and increase over the coming weeks and months.

22 April 2020

International development research funders publish guidance to anticipate, mitigate and address harm in research

On behalf of major funders of international development research, UK Collaborative for Development Research (UKCDR) has published best practice guidance to prevent and tackle harm and abuse across the international development research sector in general as well as in emergency situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

20 April 2020

UKRI plays a key role in billion-pound support package for innovative firms hit by coronavirus

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is playing a key role in a £1.25 billion government support package announced by the Chancellor today (Monday 20 April) for UK businesses driving innovation and development.

 

Update on 3 April 2020

UKRI recognises that the current situation may present additional challenges to those intending to apply. To help with that, the deadlines on all open funding opportunities will be extended to give applicants more time to submit their applications. These extensions will be managed on a case by case basis. 'No-cost' extension requests to grants impacted by coronavirus will be allowed.

Please refer to the call guidance documentation or contact specific councils for more information. Calls already extended will be revised regularly and, if necessary, extended further. In exceptional circumstances, calls may be reopened.

Follow this link for a list of all open and coming calls with their current deadlines and their extensions: 

Calls April - May (PDF, 103KB)

For Innovate UK or Research England funding please visit their webpages for more information.

 

Update on 31st March 2020

UKRI Coronavirus Hub

This link provides you with all the latest information from UKRI in response to Covid-19. https://www.ukri.org/research/coronavirus/

Open Call for Research and Innovation Ideas to address Covid-19

Following Sir Mark Walport’s recent open letter to the Research and Innovation community, a call is now open inviting proposals for short term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please see https://www.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/ukri-open-call-for-research-and-innovation-ideas-to-address-covid-19/

Impact of Coronavirus on UKRI Supported Research

For guidance on the Impact of Coronavirus on UKRI Supported research, please see here: https://www.ukri.org/news/coronavirus-impact-on-ukri-supported-research/. It would be useful to refer back to this and the UKRI Coronavirus Hub for further updates as the situation evolves.

EPSRC is aware of the impact that the current crisis is having on applicants’ ability to respond to existing and future funding opportunities. In line with UKRI communications, EPSRC is looking at all its current calls and where possible will be looking to extend the call deadlines. Where there are constraints around financial profiles we are seeking further guidance and advice.

EPSRC and UKRI councils have also had many queries regarding Costed Extensions. We understand the pressures research institutions and individuals are facing, and are sympathetic to the need for further guidance around costed grant extensions.  We are keen to hear from the sector to understand the wider issues and priorities you are facing. We are working closely with colleagues in government to provide further clarification on this issue as a matter of urgency.

COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database 

Over the past few weeks, Parliament has seen a surge in need for access to research expertise as it engages with the COVID-19 outbreak.  In this rapidly evolving situation, Parliament needs quick access to researchers who can provide expert insights relating to both Coronavirus and its impacts. Parliament and Parliamentarians use these insights to help carry out their function effectively; that is to say, to represent the people, scrutinise the Government, debate important and pressing issues and pass legislation.

To speed up the process of Parliament accessing relevant research expertise, Parliament’s Knowledge Exchange Unit (KEU) are creating a COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database. If you feel you have any expertise relating to the COVID-19 outbreak or its impacts, the KEU would be very grateful if you would sign up to the database. Signing up does not commit you to contributing in anyway, it’s simply so that Parliament has your details to hand and can contact you very rapidly; if they contact you and you aren’t able to respond, they will fully understand.

 A link to the sign-up form can be found here.

Other: Infrastructure Advisory Committee Call for Members

We wanted to ensure you were aware that an Infrastructure Advisory Committee (IAC) Call for Members went live on Monday. As you may know, UKRI are seeking up to three additional, external members to join a new committee which will provide advice and guidance on long term infrastructure investment priorities and prioritisation of investments.  To apply, candidates should submit a CV and either a statement of interest in the role, or short covering letter to infrastructure@ukri.org by 12:00 on Sunday 24 May. 

Further information can be found in our recruitment pack which is available for download from the UKRI Infrastructure webpage. Please feel free to circulate this link to anyone you think may be interested in applying or forwarding this onto their networks. We will also be promoting the call for members on social media from @UKRI_News using #infrastructures and would be grateful for your support in the form of shares and retweets to help us attract a broad range of applicants. For further information, please contact infrastructure@ukri.org

UKRI’s office-based staff are being advised to work from home where possible. If you need to contact a member of its teams please do so via email and/or mobile phones in the usual way. If you were due to visit one of UKRI's office locations, institutes/research establishments or Catapult for a pre-arranged meeting, please contact the relevant team before setting off.

UKRI has contingency plans in place to prioritise its core operations but there will inevitably be some disruption.

UKRI is working to understand the nature of any impacts on its funded projects to ensure the appropriate support or advice is in place via its Councils and grants teams. This work is ongoing.

UKRI is taking a very pragmatic approach. For instance, where travel is impacted, if researchers or students cannot travel due to government/official advice, or it poses a risk to the individual (due to an underlying medical condition etc), this can be charged to the grant in line with any other cost. If that cost cannot be absorbed by any overall underspend on the grant then UKRI will cover that small addition. In the same circumstances, no cost extension requests to grants would be allowed.

 

MRC update- for funded researchers regarding the coronavirus situation

18 March 2020

https://mrc.ukri.org/news/blog/an-update-for-mrc-funded-researchers-regarding-the-coronavirus-situation/

Message from MRC Executive Chair, Fiona Watt

As MRC Executive Chair, I would like to reassure you that we are well aware that there may be delays in your grant expenditure or that you may incur additional costs. We will deal with these as sympathetically and flexibly as possible.

Some MRC researchers may need to prioritise other activities, for example deployment in the NHS, and we are, of course, very happy to consider requests that grants are held in abeyance or have a no-cost extension. If you have any queries about these matters please e-mail our grants team (rfpd@mrc.ukri.org). We will do our best to keep our funding panels operational over the next few months and would really appreciate it if you can rally round to help make this happen by helping with our review processes if asked. Also please take care of one another – individual researchers may be anxious about delays in their projects or may be far from home.

 

Universities UK

10 April 2020

A package of measures has been proposed by Universities UK to government outlining the actions needed to be ensure universities can weather the serious financial challenges posed by COVID-19.

A paper from Universities UK sent to the Chancellor, Secretaries of State for Education and Business, and to the Ministers for Universities and Science, Research & Innovation, highlights the significant risk that the impact and capacity of higher education could be severely damaged without mitigations and support.

WELLCOME Trust

18 May 2020

Wellcome Trust have updated their webpage for guidance to applicants and grant-holders on COVID with information on furloughing. This can be found under the ‘managing a grant’ section.

They do not currently foresee any further major changes to our guidance; however, they advise that you occasionally check the page (the date of the latest update is given at the top) and contact them if you have any further queries.

 

Applications

All funding schemes and calls remain open for applications. Application deadlines, shortlisting, interview and decision dates will not change.

Awards

Wellcome will follow the policy of the employing organisation if any staff employed on a grant:

  • are unwell
  • need to self-isolate
  • have caring responsibilities for someone affected

They will supplement the grant for salary costs less any recoverable statutory pay. See their sick leave policy for more information.

They will pay the following costs for staff called away to work on the Coronavirus response for one month or more (for example carrying out clinical duties):

  • grantholder – the running costs and salaries of anyone employed on the grant
  • fellow – fellow’s salary (unless provided from elsewhere), running costs and salaries of anyone employed on the grant
  • member of staff employed on a grant – salary, unless provided from elsewhere (for example, the NHS)

Wellcome will pay these costs and extend the grant for the period of time staff are away. 

For other grants which may be affected (for example, if an organisation closes), Wellcome will look to minimise the impact on funded research activities wherever possible. This might be an extension or supplement to the grant, where it’s not covered by insurance.

 

World Health Organisation (WHO)- Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) R&D

Global research and innovation forum: towards a research roadmap

On 30 January 2020, following the recommendations of the Emergency Committee, the WHO Director-General declared that the outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). World scientists on COVID-19 met at the World Health Organization’s Geneva headquarters from 11 to 12 February 2020 to assess the current level of knowledge about the new virus, agree on critical research questions that need to be answered urgently, and ways to work together to accelerate and fund priority research that can contribute to curtail this outbreak and prepare for future outbreaks.

As part of WHO’s response to the outbreak, the R&D Blueprint has been activated to accelerate diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for this novel coronavirus.

Further details here