The HRA has published guidance that relates to Research Ethics Committee (REC) and NHS arrangements. This is a rapidly evolving situation and guidance will be updated in response to feedback.
Please visit the HRA website for further information and guidance.
Innovate UK has business continuity measures in place and is continuing to operate.
If you have an Innovate UK award:
Contact your monitoring officer
If you are an Innovate UK award recipient, also contact your Innovate UK monitoring officer, who will keep us informed and allow us to assess if we can offer support too. The earlier you speak with your monitoring officer, the easier it will be to understand your issues and find potential solutions.
Speak to your local EEN advisor
Specialist advisers from the Innovate UK Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) team, located regionally, are also there to help and support you.
Please visit the Innovate UK website for further information and guidance.
The Leverhulme Trust will continue to take its usual pragmatic approach, and 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.
Please visit the Leverhulme Trust website for further information and guidance.
MRC is aware that due to the coronavirus outbreak, that there is increased demand on the clinical services, and that you may be asked to undertake additional clinical sessions. Whilst they expect Fellows to fully concentrate on their research, they understand that this is an exceptional situation and are fully supportive of any decision you may take to reduce the time spent on your research during the outbreak.
If you do decide to reduce the time spent on your research, MRC will agree an extension to your award. They will also consider supporting some modest consumable/running costs, e.g. maintaining animal colonies during the absence period. As the situation is currently uncertain, please do not submit an extension request until you return to your research full-time. However, you may wish to consider whether a suspension of your award would be appropriate.
Please visit the MRC webpages for information and guidance on grant suspensions and extensions.
The MRC Executive Chair, Fiona Watt, has also published an update in relation to the current situation.
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 also introduced flexibilities applicable to NIH applicants and recipients where the entity is conducting research activities related to or affected by COVID-19, relating to:
The following message has been issued by NIH's Deputy Director of Extramural Research, Mike Lauer:
Responding to Frequent Questions on Flexibilities Related to NIH Funding and COVID-19: 26 March, 2020
"The public health emergency due to COVID-19 is causing difficulties in many aspects of our lives. My colleagues and I here at NIH are well aware of the challenges being felt in the research community as institutions are closing, people are being asked to practice social distancing, and resources and attention are justifiably focused on public health needs. We are listening to your concerns and are working quickly to develop answers to your many questions.
We recently updated our Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients website with a slew of additional FAQs, new funding opportunities, as well as the video message from me, below, where I address some of the most common questions.
Since yesterday’s recording of this video, in response to community concerns about their ability to submit applications in a timely manner, we have published a notice announcing that grant applications submitted late for due dates between March 9, 2020, and May 1, 2020, will be accepted through May 1, 2020. This notice applies to all relevant funding opportunity announcements, including those that indicate no late applications will be accepted.
A cover letter providing a justification is not required. NIH will be extending the expiration date of most FOAs expiring between now and May 1. Be sure to read the notice carefully for details.
Deputy Director of Extramural Research
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.
Please visit the NIHR website for further information and guidance.
The Nuffield Foundation's priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic are to support staff, grant-holders and the young people who participate in their student programmes, as well as to fund research that addresses the wider social significance of the pandemic.
The organisation has published full detail of the response and measures on their website, including information for grant-holders.
Please visit the Nuffield Foundation website for further information and guidance.
The Rosetrees Trust has extended deadlines for its schemes from end of March until the end of April. This may have impact for applicants to the 'Enterprise Fellowships' scheme in particular.
Please visit the Rosetrees Trust website for further information and guidance.
Following the UK government’s advice on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Academy of Engineering has closed its London premises until further notice.
All Academy meetings will be hosted virtually, and all Academy events are being postponed or cancelled until the end of April 2020, unless they can be held online. Events between May and August will be assessed on a case by case basis and the Academy will provide updates on forward plans as soon as practicable.
Please visit the Royal Academy of Engineering website for further information and guidance on the above.
The Academy has also published COVID-19 advice for awardees. Please visit their dedicated webpage for more information.
The Royal Society's offices are closed as of Wednesday 18 March. All staff are working remotely and are contactable via email and telephone channels. 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. Please visit the Royal Society website for further information and guidance.
Update in relation to Newton International Fellowship Deadline:
On 24 March, the following statement was issued by the Royal Society:
"We understand that with organisations closed and new working from home arrangements, applicants may not be able to meet the current deadlines for our Newton International Fellowship call (deadline Thursday 26 March). We will therefore be extending the deadline for Newton International Fellowships as follows:
Newton International Fellowship extended deadline: Wednesday 8 April 3pm (BST).
If you have any queries regarding submitting a grant application to this call, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about the Society's response to the Coronavirus pandemic with regards to grants programmes, please visit their regularly updated information page."
The specific guidance and management strategy is as follows:
2019 trials that were established in 2019 and due to be completed in 2020
- Most of the field work associated with these trials will have been completed in 2019 and these projects should not encounter any field issues
- In the small number of cases where final assessments have yet to be carried out in 2020, we would advise that the contractor should risk assess the final field tasks with their staff and host site (if this is a third party) and should only continue if they are satisfied that any risks can be managed safely
- We accept that it may be necessary to delay or abandon the final assessments if these cannot be delivered safely and the SCEPTREplus programme will cover all costs incurred to date, including interim reporting if some useful regulatory data have been collected
- It is anticipated that report writing can be carried out remotely and it should be easier to manage this part of the process with minimal risk, however it is understood that delays may be encountered due to illness of the researcher or key service providers, such as statisticians
- We may consider the suspension of the current penalty clauses for delayed reports if the SCEPTREplus Team has been provided with full details of any delay and the reasons for any delay as soon as it may arise and prior to the expiry of any deadline.
- All face to face KE plans will be suspended and may be replaced with remote activities or other strategies under the direction of the AHDB KE Team and related costs under the existing contract will be managed in accordance with the revised plan
2020 trials that were established prior to 31/03/20
- The contractor is advised to complete a documented risk assessment to determine their ability to complete the trial as set out in the protocol considering:
- Impact of illness on key workers
- Staff cover in the event of absence of key workers
- Willingness of the site host to continue with the trial (if relevant)
- Ability to manage the trial with no or minimal input from the host
- Likelihood that access arrangements will remain for the duration of the trial
- Please remember that the position of the host farm may change as the disease spreads:
- It is highly likely that some businesses may suspend all third-party access – this has already happened in many cases
- The motivation of host farms to support trials and use the results will be greatly reduced as they focus on day to day challenges
- The priority of the host farms must be to maintain their normal production during this difficult time and this must not be interrupted by any SCEPTREplus projects
- It is anticipated that contractors should already have all the materials that they require to complete the trial if they decide that they are able to continue (eg. experimental treatments, cultures etc), but this should also be included in the risk assessment and may be another reason for suspension if availability cannot be guaranteed
- We anticipate that most contractors will conclude that they are unable to guarantee that the project can be delivered in full due to the risks and the work should therefore be suspended with immediate effect
- SCEPTREplus will cover all trial related costs incurred to date and we will aim to re-start the trial in 2021 on the same cost-base agreed for the 2020 trial, subject to available funds
- Any KE activity that has been included in the plans for 2020 will need to be reviewed with the AHDB KE Team since all grower events have been suspended until further notice
- The KE Team may wish to reallocate the funds to other KE, if appropriate, or delay activities until conditions improve
Trials that are due to be established from 01/04/20
- The same criteria detailed above for trials that have already been established applies to any new trials that have not yet been established
- It is not clear that AHDB will be able to access all the experimental materials required for the trials as set out in the protocol – trials must not be started if key treatments are not available
- It is advised that full and documented risk assessment should be carried out if it is decided to continue
- We anticipate that most contractors will conclude that they are unable to guarantee that the project can be delivered in full due to the risks and the work should not be started
- SCEPTREplus will cover any costs incurred to date with trial planning and we will aim to re-start the trial in 2021 on the same cost-base agreed for the 2020 trial, subject to available funds Impact on CP165
- The SCEPTREplus PSG has already approached AHDB to request that CP165 is extended by 12 months to 01/04/22 to provide additional time to complete any deferred trials
- We acknowledge that there may be some additional costs for the work that needs to be abandoned together with the management of the project and it is hoped that additional funding may be provided to cover these costs so that the suspended programme can be delivered in 2021/22
- We recognise that the risks from the virus may result in the suspension of most of the planned field work which will have a significant impact on the cash flow of contractors and may result in healthy staff being laid-off
- It may be possible to reallocate some SCEPTREplus funds to support desk-based reviews and related studies that address key priority areas (eg. identification of new integrated strategies to manage key targets)
- This will be subject to approval from the PSG and support from AHDB
- Any new projects will need to be delivered by specific individuals with minimal face to face contact (eg. home-based)
- These projects should not have any specific time restrictions - ie. there needs to be sufficient time to complete the work and deliver the results to support the plans for the 2021 programme after allowing for any periods of unforeseen absence through illness (most projects will need to be delivered by 31/03/21 at the latest, but this will be agreed on a project by project basis)
We understand that the delay in completing some of the planned projects may create issues for growers with the loss of key products, but we will endeavour to manage this with the regulators and the crop protection sector. SCEPTREplus recognises that Covid-19 may have a major impact on our planned programme for 2020. We are keen to minimise impact on both growers and researchers, but our primary objective is to protect the health of everyone involved in the SCEPTREplus programme. We will seek to continue our work and activities through remote communications as far as this is possible.
The Turing’s offices at the British Library is closed from 17 March until further notice. The Institute is using a suite of online collaboration tools and platforms to continue to facilitate conversation and engagement with colleagues, universities, businesses, third sector organisations and the public. Please visit the Turing website for further information and guidance.
The following message has been issued by the Turing's Institute Director, Adrian Smith:
Covid-19 research update: 26 March, 2020
"First and foremost, I hope you and your loved ones are keeping healthy during these challenging times.
I want to ensure the Institute is willing and able to play its part at the forefront of the fight against this global pandemic and explore opportunities to provide immediate frontline support to the UK’s efforts to tackle Covid-19.
To this end, in recent weeks myself and our Programme Directors, most notably Programme Director for Health and Medical Sciences Chris Holmes have been personally engaged in a number of positive discussions with the NHS and others about how our vibrant research community could best support this effort. A number of new opportunities and strands of work are now beginning to emerge, although the situation is fluid and subject to many moving parts.
We are incredibly grateful for all the offers of support and interest to underpin this work while the projects are coming together. It is heartening to see so many from our community wanting to be involved and tackle these critical challenges head on. That said, I know you will understand that it’s also important to be especially sensitive and not put additional burden on the front-line NHS and others. For this reason, our offers of support require a rapid but well-coordinated approach. We are currently working on the detail of how best implement this across the research community, drawing on our university partners and networks, and will be in touch as soon as we can.
In the short-term, we have created a ‘Covid-19’ channel on Slack to be used day-to-day to share ideas and discuss opportunities for the Turing community to develop research around coronavirus. We are also looking at ways to encourage further discussion and collaboration and highlight the Institute’s work in this area.
If you have thoughts on any of these matters, please share them on Slack here in the first instance. This channel will be regularly monitored and the feedback shared with the team.
Please be assured that a great deal of work is going on now to establish the most useful way the Turing, as the UK’s national institute for data science and AI, can help immediately. There will, undoubtedly be longer term projects and the Turing’s Research Leadership will be in touch very soon to take this forward with your support.
I also hope to take part in an all-staff virtual address very soon and will shortly share more details. Continue to do what you do best as best you can - carry on your important work and research and I look forward to hearing if you will be able to participate in this collective effort."
UPDATED May 5: Guidance for the research and innovation communities
UKRI is aware that the ongoing situation regarding coronavirus has significantly impacted the research and innovation community. Following government advice, UKRI office-based staff are working from home. If you need to contact one of the teams, please do so via email and/or mobile phone in the usual way.
UKRI has consolidated guidance into a new website.
This also includes a dedicated section on the impact of Coronavirus on UKRI-supported research, updated on 3 April, 2020.
UKRO has a new section on the web portal to allow subscribers to easily access the latest announcements and advice on the COVID-19 outbreak.
The following articles are available on the portal:
- 45 New COST Actions Awarded: 45 new COST Actions have been awarded to networks of researchers from around the world. Full Article...
- Fast Track Access to Research Infrastructures as Response to COVID-19: The Association of European-level Research Infrastructure Facilities has set up a page consolidating information on Research Infrastructures that provide specific services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Full Article...
- UK Entry Visa Extensions in Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak: The Home Office has announced visas extensions for those who are currently unable to return home as a result of COVID-19. Full Article...
- Societal Challenge 1 - Deadlines Extended: The European Commission has further extended the SC1 'Health, demographic change and wellbeing' calls deadlines, until 4 June and 18 June. Full Article...
- Open Access Publishing Platform Contract Awarded: The European Commission has awarded a contract for the setting up of an Open Access Publishing Platform, as a free service for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe beneficiaries. The platform is expected to launch in early 2021. Full Article...
- UKRO Factsheets on Open Science: Two new factsheets on the topic of Open Science have been launched on the UKRO Portal. Full Article...
- Horizon Impact Award 2020: Deadline Extension: The European Commission have extended the deadline for the 2020 Horizon Impact Award. Full Article...
- Additional COVID-19 Guidance for MSCA Beneficiaries: The European Commissions has published additional guidance for MSCA beneficiaries in light of COVID-19. Full Article...
- UKRO COVID-19 Webinar Follow-up: Answers to Questions Asked - Q9 Updated! UKRO would like to provide clarifications on some of the issues raised by participants in its 'COVID-19 and EU Funding' webinar. Updated with response from REA regarding volunteering (Question 9). Full Article...
Please visit the UKRO website for further information and guidance.
The Wellcome Trust has published its approach to managing grants through the COVID-19 pandemic on the website.
- The Wellcome Trust is not currently making changes to deadlines or committee dates, although they will be running some committees remotely. They can approve the submission of applications for you, but must have permission beforehand
- Where someone is called away to work on the Coronavirus response for one month or more (for example carrying out clinical duties) they will provide extensions and supplements
- Where there are other impacts, they will look to minimise the impact on funded research activities wherever possible. This may be extensions and/or supplements, if there is no insurance
All Wellcome Trust staff who work on grants and applications can work from home and will be contactable by email and phone as usual. Staff are equipped with Teams and BlueJeans for conference calls, and will be able to continue our work with you as best we can in these unusual circumstances.
Please visit the Wellcome Trust website for further information and guidance.