This blog post provides assurance that RIS staff will continue to be supporting you whilst we are working remotely. We will be aiming to offer a business as usual service for you. Communication will be best conducted via email with your normal contact (Grants Officers, Operations Team (ris@port.ac.uk), Collaboration Manager –  a full list of staff can be found here

If you are unsure whom to contact, please use the RIS@port.ac.uk email address and we will be able to ensure your enquiry is dealt with appropriately. You will also be able to find specific information on the University’s main Coronavirus FAQs.  This site will be maintained and continuously updated and should be the principal source of accurate and up-to-date information.  

Contact by email for the duration is likely to be the most effective for the time being.

Ethics

For new Ethics Review applications the online ethics screening tool will remain accessible, and new applications to faculty research ethics committees should be submitted (and will be reviewed) as normal. 

External ethics review (from the HRA, MODREC etc.) continues to accept applications as usual.

Applying for Funding

For those submitting bids to external funders, we will be conducting business as usual where possible.  If we have limited resources available, we will work with ADRs and Faculty Innovation Leads to prioritise individual bids if needed. 

Please refer to funders’ websites for any changes to deadlines. For guidance on how to apply for funding please take a look at this blog post.

Useful Resources

One of RIS’s functions is to help support networking activities and events.  As events are now going on-line for the time being if at all possible to avoid them being cancelled, you may find the following links (originally circulated by Deborah Sugg-Ryan) useful sources of information.  We will try and help you with these events if we can, contact us in the normal way.

Online conference:

https://hiltner.english.ucsb.edu/index.php/ncnc-guide/

A forthcoming example here:

https://www.futurestates.org/

Twitter conferences:

https://publicarchaeologyconference.wordpress.com/faq/

Funder News

We have put a new twitter feed on our RIS website to help you access the most up to date information from your funders.  We have also pulled together information from our major funders for you below. You are advised to keep checking these sites as information is changing daily

If your funder is not listed, please check their website for any updates, and if needed contact the sponsor by email copying in research-finance@port.ac.uk.

UKRI update 5/5

Change in flexibility for responsive mode grant start dates

UKRI acknowledges that commencing grants at this time is challenging and therefore a flexibility is being added to the current policy for responsive mode grants and fellowships. The current policy allows a start date to be delayed for up to three months of the announced start date, this is now being extended to six months.

An additional clause will be added to newly offered grant letters for all UKRI responsive mode calls, but will not apply to managed mode calls or grants delivering time critical investments or training, please contact the appropriate funding body for clarification.

Where appropriate you will see the following text on the offer letter.

Notwithstanding RGC 4 Starting Procedures, the start of this grant may be delayed by up to six months from the start date shown in the offer letter, the duration of the grant remaining unchanged.

Unless delivering time critical investments or a fixed start date is a condition of award, UKRI will also extend the latest start date for responsive mode grants in cases where the offer letter was issued before this policy change; Where the offer letter has already been issued or accepted, but the grant has not yet started, you may submit a request via a Je-S enquiry to start your grant up to six months after the date on your offer letter.

For grants funded through strategic and managed mode funding calls the current starting policy will apply. Any extension requests for these calls will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests should be submitted via a Je-S enquiry to be reviewed by the appropriate funder.

If you have any other grant specific queries please feed them back to us using the standard grant enquiry communication route via Je-S. For any other questions please contact us using your normal communication channels.

update 24/4

“We are talking to all parts of the research and innovation system, including researchers, universities, businesses, charities and others. We continue to review and refine our policies to adapt to the significant change in circumstances that the research and innovation community has had to deal with in the last few weeks. This is a step by step process, focusing on the most pressing issues but not losing sight of the fact that there is considerable uncertainty for many people.

We are working with government to identify how we can best support other parts of the research and innovation system. An important issue is the extent to which we can provide costed grant extensions, especially for staff nearing the end of their grant funding. We recognise that making our intentions clear will help research organisations decide how to best support their staff during this uncertain period. We are giving the matter our highest priority and intend to announce our position as quickly as possible.

We also know innovative businesses are facing particular challenges. As part of the government’s business support package, providing targeted help for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms, Innovate UK will accelerate up to £200m of grant and loan payments for its existing partners. This is alongside additional grants of up to £175,000 for firms not currently receiving Innovate UK funding.

Innovate UK is further supporting these efforts through a £20 million competition for businesses, providing grants of up to £50,000 to develop new technologies and new ways of working during the pandemic that could help boost the UK’s resilience. The response to this initial fast-start competition has been phenomenal with over 8,500 submissions. ” 

16/4 Guidance for the research and innovation community

The ongoing situation regarding coronavirus has significantly impacted the research and innovation community. The nature of these impacts is evolving. Wherever we can we are taking quick decisions, identifying new issues as they emerge and providing answers and support wherever possible.

This page contains the latest information for our supported researchers and innovators and is updated on a regular basis.

Open letter to the research and innovation community from Professor Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation

3/4

“We recognise that almost everyone in research and innovation is either facing major interruptions to their work or a major transition to work on the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the fact that our community is showing real resilience in stepping up to find new and innovative ways of working, taking time to think or craft future proposals and collaborations, there will clearly be major impacts on all existing awards from UKRI.

We are listening carefully to the many questions and concerns we are hearing from both individuals and institutions and are working with the many institutions affected to understand the full extent of the issues. Finding immediate solutions for all of these matters is not something we can do acting alone, but we are discussing daily with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and other government departments and will work to offer further guidance as it is agreed.

Our current plan is for UKRI funding programmes to continue, but we will work to identify any impacts on specific calls or research disciplines. Funding opportunities that are open now will continue to be advertised. All our systems are operating as normal. 

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)

Update 18/3

 

MS Society update 3/4

If you have any questions about MS Society research funding, or would like to subscribe to theri monthly research opportunities email, please contact: research@mssociety.org.uk.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MS Society won’t be launching any open Grant Round funding calls until further notice.
 
They will regularly review their position, making sure they open the next Grant Round funding call at a time that’s practical for everyone.
 
As ever, they are committed to funding the very best MS research and we’re working with current award holders to minimise the impact on their research activities wherever possible.
 
MS Society will publish revised timelines for our funding calls as soon as they can. 

Co-funded fellowships

Collaborative funding

 

British Academy update 28/4

The British Academy, the UK’s academy for the humanities and social sciences, announces a round of Special Research Grants for researchers examining the impact of COVID-19.

Researchers from the humanities and social sciences, which includes subjects such as economics, politics, history and philosophy, can apply for a Special Research Grant to look at the impacts of COVID-19 on people, societies and the economy.

The funding will enable researchers to contribute to a targeted response to COVID-19 and enhance the government and public’s understanding of key challenges arising from the pandemic.

Following an accelerated assessment process, the British Academy will grant a minimum of 20 awards in this round, funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Like the Academy’s Small Research Grants, the COVID-19 awards will equip researchers to undertake individual or collaborative research projects with identifiable outcomes. The insights from these research grants will inform and enrich our understanding and response in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in a variety of ways, from exploring complex, international, and interdisciplinary dimensions of their research to increasing the scope for practical applications.

17/3

Specific advice to award holders is in this update. BA offices are currently closed but the BA remains open remotely.  If you require a no-cost extension to your award, please contact Research Finance in the first instance (research-finance@port.ac.uk priority will be given to grants that are due to finish in the next six months due to a high volume of requests). If you have been unable to recover costs from a travel operator or insurance, costs can be charged to grants. The expectation is that you will be able to absorb costs through the grant budget.

BA have cancelled public events and conferences up to the end of May. Members of the public who have bought a ticket for an event that is cancelled will receive a refund and will be contacted directly about this.

 

Leverhulme Trust Update 23/3

If you are applying for a Grant, Award or Fellowship

  1. All our funding schemes and calls remain open for applications. Application deadlines, shortlisting, and decision dates will not change.
  2. If your organisation is closed and unable to approve and submit an application, we can do this on their behalf, but we will need agreement from an appropriate person in your organisation to do this. Please contact us at grants@leverhulme.ac.uk 

If you hold a Trust Grant, Award or Fellowship

If you have paid costs for an event, fieldwork or travel which has been cancelled, and these costs cannot be reimbursed or claimed for under insurance, you can claim these against your grant.

If you will need to rebook an event, fieldwork or travel at a later date, then these costs can be charged to your grant. In the first instance we would expect these costs to be managed within the existing budget.

We will generally allow requests to extend your grant if you don’t need additional costs.

You can also opt to delay the start of a new award or suspend a current award, if this would be a better option to manage your research.

We do however, require you to email and request any of the changes above: grants@leverhulme.ac.uk 

If there is the potential for research to be lost or severely compromised, then an application for a costed extension may be considered. You should approach the Trust only when you are in a position to be clear about the length of an extension and the cost involved. We will then advise you of the process to follow. Applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

The 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 Research Finance at research-finance@port.ac.uk to agree extensions and budgetary changes in advance to existing awards (priority will be given to grants that are due to finish in the next six months due to a high volume of requests).

 

Wellcome Trust update 1/5

Here is the updated Wellcome grant funding advice and regulations

New grant applications

We aim to continue to deliver our funding schemes during the pandemic, but we may have to make changes as the situation develops. We will publish any changes to application, shortlisting, interview and decision dates on the affected scheme web pages.

If your organisation is closed and unable to approve and submit an application, we can do this on their behalf. But we will need agreement from your organisation to do this. Your organisation should email gtsupport@wellcome.ac.uk to confirm their agreement.

Our advisory committee meetings will take place remotely and we may need to change the review process. If this affects your application, we will let you know.

Funding for COVID-19 related research

Our targeted funding call for COVID-19 related research is now closed. For any COVID-19 related research enquiries, email epidemics@wellcome.ac.uk.

 

Royal Society update 24/3

For queries relating to a specific grants programmes, see our contacts page.

For information regarding the extended deadlines for the Newton International Fellowship and International Collaboration Award calls, see our updates.

For further details about the Society is working to limit the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on award holders, read our FAQs.

To minimise the impact of the global health situation on our award holders, the 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.

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

update 17/3

The RS offices are shut and all staff are working remotely. You can continue to contact the team with any enquiries via grants@royalsociety.org or 020 4751 2666. All funding programmes and calls currently remain open for applications in line with advertised dates. Some grant committee and panel meetings will take place remotely and you’ll be contacted if this affects you. They are aiming to minimise the impact on funded activities as far as possible.

 

Nuffield Foundation update 23/3

We understand that our grant-holders’ ability to deliver their Nuffield-funded projects as originally proposed is likely to be affected by the pandemic. We are advising anyone affected to get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity and we will work with you to determine the best way we can support you to achieve the objectives of your project. We will endeavour to be flexible wherever possible and to respond promptly to all enquiries.

Changes to our application timetable

We will continue our assessment process of all funding applications currently underway, including outline applications submitted by last week’s deadline. However, we are mindful that applicants may wish to reconsider their proposals in light of the pandemic and are encouraging them to adjust and resubmit should that be the case.

For future funding rounds, we are keen to give applicants the time they need to prepare proposals in light of the fundamental changes to our society. We will therefore extend some deadlines to give applicants more time and will publish an updated timetable shortly.   

 

Arts Council England update Open funding programme

16/4

Arts Council England have produced a Covid-19 support page which includes latest advice, guidance and emergency funding measures the Arts Council have put in place to address the Covid-19 crisis.

We are making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and we have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of our funding, to help alleviate pressure on them as best we can.

read more: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19

7/4

Our emergency funding- Your top queries

We know you have a lot of questions about what our Emergency Response Package means for you – especially if you’re thinking of applying for funding as an individual or an organisation.

Our Customer Services team have been answering your queries by email, and here’s a list of the most common questions they’ve been receiving, along with our answers! If you do need to get in touch with a question, please double check the answer isn’t here already. You can find more FAQs for both our Emergency Response funds at the bottom of this webpage, for more information.

https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/news-and-announcements/our-emergency-funding-your-top-queries

 

Royal Astronomical Society

Full Update 17/3

Staff are working from home and email contact is preferred.

 

Brain Tumour Research

Full Update 17/3:

A statement has been released, but no updates on the impact on any research grants as yet.

 

NIHR update 27/4

New information for the public on COVID-19 research 

NIHR has updated its resource for patients and the public, the Be Part of Research website, with new information and links about COVID-19 and research underway into the condition

update 26/3 

Prioritising funding and support for COVID-19 research across the UK

Working with partners across the health and care system, NIHR is leading, enabling and delivering world-class COVID-19 research, a key element of the Government’s overall response to the pandemic. Given the extraordinary pressures currently being faced by the health and care system, we must also ensure that we are making best use of the limited resources and capacity available to support research.

We will do this by establishing and implementing a single, national process that will allow the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) / Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) for England to draw on expert advice to prioritise the COVID-19 studies which hold the most potential for tackling the challenges we face.

This process will cover funded studies, irrespective of whether they are funded by the public sector, industry or charities and also, in partnership with UKRI, studies that require funding. It aims to prevent duplication of effort and to ensure that the capacity of the health and care system to support research is not exceeded.

update 16/3

Extensive advice and FAQs for awards are given here.

 

UKRO update 1/4

The European Commission has published a list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ and official responses regarding the effects of COVID-19 restrictions on Erasmus+ actions.​

The list itself includes issues raised by Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps participants and covers issues such as student and staff mobility, how to approach suspension or postponement of activities and the eligibility of project costs during this period. The responses complement the advice provided by the UK’s national agency.

The Commission will continue to update the FAQ page, with the ambition to clarify and simplify the application or rules and procedures where necessary in cooperation with Erasmus+ National Agencies and the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

Further general information on the effects of COVID-19 on EU funding programmes is available in a dedicated UKRO resource page.

update 26/3

All UoP academics can create an account to UKRO as we are a subscribing institution. Please use your port.ac.uk  email address.

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several research infrastructures have set up specific services, such as rapid or fast track access, to allow researchers to obtain results as soon as possible. The Association of European-Level Research Infrastructures is collecting relevant information on these services to facilitate their use by researchers. Research Infrastructures, which have adjusted their service offering to support the COVID-19 pandemic are invited to detail their services through a brief questionnaire

The aim of the initiative is to help the research community find suitable support. A list of relevant research infrastructures, along with the resources available for researchers and labs working on COVID-19, is available on a dedicated webpage, which has been compiled with support from the ERIC Forum. This will be updated based on the questionnaire responses received. 

The questionnaire itself was set up in the frame of the Central European Research Infrastructure Consortium (CERIC)-coordinated ACCELERATE project, funded by Horizon 2020. 

update 18/3

UKRO are the European Office of UKRI and support UK participation in European funding.

UKRO has prepared a new section on the Portal to allow subscribers finding the latest announcements and advice on the COVID-19 outbreak easily. This new page is available in the ‘Resources’ tab and 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 UKRO’s daily news articles, which are now tagged with the ‘COVID-19’ hashtag for easier identification.

 

EU H2020 update 8/4

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and in addition to the extended call deadlines that UKRO had communicated in the recent days, the following calls now have new deadlines:

update 2/4

Reacting to the Covid-19 crisis, deadlines for some calls are extended to give more time for applicants to prepare their proposals. This concerns the following calls:

update 18/3

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. Check the ‘Topic Updates‘ section for your specific topic to see if your deadline has been extended. Further information on possible changes to H2020 call deadlines is expected to be available on the portal shortly. Follow the FAQs for the latest advice.

For award holders, Article 51 of the H2020 MGA sets out the conditions in which the force majeure clause can be used. 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.

 

ERC update 16/3

The ERC have issued a statement to say that panel evaluations are being organised remotely. They do not currently anticipate any delays to evaluations or application deadlines.

Our grant management activities are continuing as usual, although it is not excluded that certain technical and/or IT access constraints might affect our response timeline. The competent central services are doing their best to minimise the impact.

We are aware that many ERC funded research projects are facing disruption and delays that will require postponing the start date, for those which have not started yet, or extending the project duration, or other actions. We invite ERC grantees and their host institutions to flag any problems to their usual counterparts in the ERC’s scientific and granting departments. We are collecting and analysing these requests, and we invite ERC grantees to consult the FAQs for beneficiaries of the Horizon 2020 Programme to find adequate solutions using the flexibility provided by the grant agreement. Please note responses from the ERC to such requests may take a bit longer than usual due to current circumstances, but we will get back to you as soon as we can with further guidance on how to proceed.

MSCA updates

Coronavirus: Information for the MSCA Community

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused major disruptions for many researchers, projects and organisations, including those working with EU funding. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are therefore seeking to provide responsive, up-to-date information for all MSCA researchers and projects.

Researchers, project managers and interested stakeholders can access information on relevant news and initiatives, call updates or frequently asked questions, and also learn about inspiring stories on how MSCA researchers and projects are working to tackle the spread of coronavirus and its wider effects on our society.

21/4

COVID-19 and paid extensions for MSCA individual fellowships projects

The European Commission will continue to ensure as much flexibility as possible under the existing framework

The European Commission (EC) appreciates the current crisis may have critical effects on some projects, and will continue to ensure as much flexibility as possible under the existing framework.

MSCA beneficiaries (host institutions) are strongly encouraged to continue running their projects, even if the research training activities cannot be implemented as planned. Recruiting institutions are encouraged to shift project tasks (to the extent possible) to allow for work to continue. For instance, activities requiring a physical presence (e.g. experiments/lab work) may be postponed until the confinement measures are over.

With due consideration of the national confinement measures, MSCA fellows are encouraged to telework or to use other forms of remote working (the corresponding costs are considered eligible). MSCA researchers can work during the confinement period on project-related tasks that can be done remotely (e.g. desk research, publication(s), reports and/or patent applications, virtual trainings).

MSCA beneficiaries must continue to ensure the working conditions set out in the MSCA IF grant agreement are respected during the COVID-19 crisis. Suspension of projects, or changes to part-time working arrangements can be accepted only if the researcher has explicitly agreed with these measures and with any resulting temporary suspension/reduction of the salary, and as long as the researcher’s contract is extended accordingly to allow him/her to finalise the work.

Part-time arrangements could for example allow fellows to work on other facilities such as health agencies and hospitals and apply their expertise in COVID-19-related matters.

In addition, the unit-cost funding system of MSCA IF provides sufficient flexibility to cater for this exceptional situation. For example:

  • Periods in which a researcher is absent for 30 consecutive days or less (for reasons other than normal annual leave) may still be charged to the IF project, i.e. the costs remain eligible.
  • Unspent institutional unit costs can be used to maintain the salary of the researchers during suspension periods. Recruiting institutions may also cover these expenses from dedicated national or own resources.
  • The monthly living allowance paid to the MSCA IF researchers is a gross amount, including compulsory deductions under national law, such as employer/employee social security contributions. This means that MSCA IF researchers should also be able to benefit from national social security systems if they are left temporarily out of work. If necessary, MSCA National Contact Points will be able to provide detailed information. The respective Project Officer in the Research Executive Agency can also provide assistance.

In light of the evolving situation, the Commission services are continuing to monitor the situation and are absolutely committed to ensuring the MSCA is flexible enough to face these unprecedented challenges.

16/3

The Research Executive agency have issued 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, which 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 project. Projects will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and grantees and fellows should contact ris@port.ac.uk if they require support.

Erasmus+ update 13/3

The EC has issued 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. A complete list of extended Erasmus+ deadlines is available on the European Commission website.

Coronavirus impact FAQs

Other research activities advice:

Guidance for clinical researchers – amendments to existing projects

The Health Research Authority has released guidance for clinical researchers, sponsors and sites with regard to COVID-19. 

An alternative representation of this information can be founded on The University of Oxford research support website here.