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 

Tackling the impact of COVID-19

UKRI is supporting hundreds of projects that are addressing the key challenges of coronavirus: we have invested more than £400 million in new research and innovation, which tackles the COVID-19 pandemic and its many impacts on business, the economy and society.

This includes major breakthroughs such as:

  • identifying the world’s first treatments for COVID-19
  • leading the global effort to find a vaccine
  • accelerating the UK’s vaccine manufacturing capacity.

We are also funding a diverse range of projects that address the wider consequences – from mental health issues to economic and environmental impacts – as well as helping innovative businesses through these tough times.

Our impact is built on the strength of the UK’s world-class research base and the long-term support from our councils. This is a collective endeavour, with UKRI playing a key role in convening and catalysing efforts to respond to the crisis.

Click here to find out about the impact of research and innovation funding.

MS Society Funding

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 Open for Application

The British Academy provides a variety of grants and fellowships to support academic research, career development and wider engagement across the full range of the humanities and social sciences. Funding opportunities cover UK and international research from the postdoctoral level upwards, supporting the best ideas, individuals and intellectual resources.

Leverhulme Trust Update

Increased Funding for 2021 Early Career Fellowships

The Early Career Fellowships is one of the Trust’s most popular, long-running and successful schemes. The grants offer a bridge into an academic career for researchers with a proven research record, providing them with the opportunity for independent career progression and enabling them to undertake a significant piece of original publishable research. The Fellowships also provide support for movement within the UK, allowing Fellows to gain experience at different institutions and broaden their academic careers. 

The Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships play a vital role in developing the next generation of academics; they have previously brought Nobel Prize winners to join UK research teams; and are highly valued and recognised within the sector. With the availability of support from other postdoctoral schemes very likely to be reduced in the year ahead, the Trust’s investment in early career researchers is more critical than ever. 

In response to these uncertain times and the financial challenges facing universities in the forthcoming academic year, the Leverhulme Trust Board wanted to reassert their confidence in early career academics and invest more in the scheme. The Board will therefore be committing an additional £3.625 million to the Early Career Fellowship competition in 2021 to support an altered funding model, which will be in place for this round only.

In 2021, the Trust will contribute 100% of each Fellow’s total salary costs in year one, up to a maximum of £50,000, and will then contribute 50% of the Fellow’s total salary costs, up to a maximum of £25,000, in years two and three, with the balance to be paid by the host institution. 

The Trust Board hopes this temporary change will give universities across the breadth of the sector the best opportunity to continue to support postdoctoral career development during the worst of the emerging financial crisis.

Full details of eligibility, what the Trust offers and how to apply can be found on the scheme web page: https://www.leverhulme.ac.uk/early-career-fellowships

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

COVID: Information for grant applicants and grantholders

This page has information for anyone applying for one of our research grants, or who holds a Wellcome grant.

Royal Society update

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for applicants and award holders of Royal Society funding

If you are applying for a Royal Society fellowship or grant

The Society’s grants team are currently operating a normal service and we anticipate all calls will run in line with advertised dates.

Some of our grant committee and panel meetings will take place remotely and we will be in contact with you if this affects you.

When applying for certain Royal Society grants, you will be asked to complete a question in the application from relating to the impact of the pandemic on your research. 

If you hold a Royal Society fellowship or grant

The Society’s grants team are currently operating a normal service and are continuing to work 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.

At the end of June 2020, the UK Government, through the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), announced a package of financial support to ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain researchers funded through UKRI and the National Academies.

All researchers who are eligible for this funding have been contacted via email using the email address associated with the researcher’s Flexi-Grant account. 

Nuffield Foundation

The lastest on COVID 19

 

Arts Council England COVID-19 Support

Support from the government

The Culture Recovery Fund: Repayable Finance is making up to £270 million available in long-term loans. 

FIND OUT MORE

The Culture Recovery Fund: Grants programme made up to £500 million available for organisations.

FIND OUT MORE

The Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund has invested £3.36 million in 135 venues at risk of imminent closure. 

FIND OUT MORE

NIHR COVID update

On behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care, the NIHR is playing a critical role in terms of funding, enabling and delivering research into COVID-19.
 
Our primary focus has been on urgent public health research – research that needs to take place during the emergency phases of the pandemic when infection rates are high. Our goal is to gather the necessary clinical and epidemiological evidence that will inform national policy and enable new diagnostics, treatments and vaccines to be developed and tested. We are working in collaboration with the devolved administrations and organisations including Public Health England, UK Research and Innovation, the Health Research Authority, the  Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and NHS England and Improvement.
 
This urgent research is complemented by research being undertaken across our research infrastructure, units and schools and, more recently, by our investment in longer-term ‘recovery and learning‘ research through NIHR research programmes.  Outside the UK, we are funding global health research to tackle COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries, in partnership with UK Research and Innovation.
 
Urgent public health research into COVID-19 continues to be our number one priority. This includes the key vaccine studies and therapeutic ‘platform’ trials such as RECOVERY, REMAP CAP and PRINCIPLE. However, we are also committed to supporting a diverse and active portfolio of research, including important non-COVID-19 studies. To this end, we developed a framework in May 2020 – when the NHS started to restore routine clinical services – to support the restart of research activities that were paused due to the pandemic. Since that time, we have seen a steady improvement in the number of studies and study-sites that are open for recruitment. We fully recognise the pressure the NHS is now under with the ‘second wave’ and the impact this is having on planned care and associated research, and are actively working with partners to build resilience into non-COVID-19 studies so that they continue wherever possible.

Extensive advice and FAQs for awards are given here.

 

UKRO FAQ page

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. 

 

EU H2020 

COVID 19 Guidance Update

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:

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 Coronavirus- Business Continuity Measures

At the ERC we are aware of the disruptive impact of the pandemic on many of our grantees and their projects. The crisis harmed the ERC too with the majority of our staff working remotely. We are doing our best to remain fully operational during this exceptional period, while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our own staff and the people with whom we work.

Remote panel evaluations

Since March 2020, all panel evaluations of project proposals are organised remotely. We’ve been able to finish the evaluations of 2020 Starting Grants on time. This year’s Synergy Grants and Consolidator Grants evaluations are in their final stages and proceed on schedule. The Advanced Grants call was closed as planned on 26 August.

During the remote interviews for the Consolidator Grants (September/October 2020), the applicants will be able to present their proposals orally. However, using presentations, screen-sharing and other visual material or support will not be allowed. Each panel has defined the duration of the oral introduction. In order to test the videoconferencing system, before the interview each applicant will be offered a trial session of around 10 to 30 minutes. All applicants have been informed about this new set up of the interviews.

Currently, we do not anticipate any delays in upcoming evaluations. We are grateful to our panel members and applicants for their flexibility and understanding, and to our staff for working under challenging circumstances.

Postponing your project start or extending duration of a project

Many grantees and their teams are facing disruption that requires postponing the start date of new ERC projects or extending the duration of ongoing projects. The ERC provides a flexible framework to introduce such changes to ensure that the highest quality research can go on in Europe despite all the constraints of the health crisis.

Beneficiaries may request a suitable extension of the action. In line with the rules applicable to the whole EU research and innovation programme, any request to extend the initial project duration up to 6 months, due to the COVID-19 situation, would be decided on favourably and in a speedy manner. Requests to extend the initial project duration for more than 6 months due to the Covid-19 situation will be granted on case-by-case assessment by the Agency. These extensions will not count against another potential extension under H2020 ERC grants, which will follow the normal rules and procedures. The ERC will follow the same flexible approach concerning any request to postpone the start date of projects.

We are inviting ERC grantees and their host institutions to inform their usual counterparts in the ERC’s scientific and granting departments about any relevant problems they face. We are collecting and analysing these requests and information. Please also consider consulting the FAQs for beneficiaries of the Horizon 2020 Programme to find adequate solutions using the flexibility provided by the grant agreement.

Reorienting your project to COVID-19

Some grantees have contacted us to enquire about the possibility of addressing COVID-19-related problem in their ongoing project. ERC grants make it possible for researchers to adjust their projects, provided that the changes are scientifically justified and broadly relevant to the proposals’ original aims. If you are considering such a change, please contact your usual counterparts in the ERC Executive Agency, so we can see how best to support you and guide you through the process.

Along the same lines, should your ERC project result in any outcome that may be beneficial in providing solutions to COVID-19 crisis (e.g., structural and molecular mechanisms, host-pathogen and/or species interactions, new diagnostic and therapeutic avenues, AI and medical devices, epidemiological aspects, societal behaviour and impact), please do not hesitate to inform us.

Flexibility on teleworking and time commitments

The ERC has introduced maximum flexibility on the eligibility of personnel costs, in particular on teleworking costs. Such costs are deemed eligible for researchers during the confinement period. ERC grantees are also encouraged to shift their tasks, whenever possible, and are assured that the related costs would be assessed in a flexible manner.

Regarding the time-commitments of ERC grantees, the normal rules of the grant apply. However, the time spent on teleworking from outside the EU or the Associated Countries, if the ERC grantee is blocked from returning to the EU or the Associated Countries due to the pandemic, may count as time spent on the ERC project and in the EU or the Associated Countries. The ERC Executive Agency must be notified about such specific arrangements.

Maximum grant amounts

Despite the various flexibility measures put in place to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 crisis, the EU financial contribution to the project cannot be raised. The ERC has no resources to satisfy the requests of ERC grantees to provide additional budget e.g., to extend the contracts of the personnel involved in the implementation of projects. The maximum grant amount indicated in Article 5 of the Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement cannot be increased. The additional personnel costs arising from the extended grant duration can only be funded within the defined EU financial contribution.

We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will provide further information as necessary to grantees and applicants. We invite you to consult this website and our social media accounts regularly for updates.

MSCA updates

Coronavirus: Information for the MSCA Community

Following the revision of the Erasmus+ 2020 Annual Work Programme announced earlier in August, the two new calls were launched on 25 August 2020. They each provide €100 million to respond to the educational challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The call for digital education readiness will support projects in school education, vocational education and training, and higher education. This call will aim to enhance online, distance and blended learning – including supporting teachers and trainers, as well as safeguarding the inclusive nature of digital learning opportunities.
  • The call for ‘partnerships for creativity’ will support projects in the fields of youth, school education and adult education. The call aims to develop skills and competences that encourage creativity and boost quality, innovation and recognition of youth work.

Both calls will help link education, training and youth organisations with those in the cultural and creative sectors.

The deadline to apply is the 29 October 2020. Interested organisations should contact the Erasmus+ National Agency in their country.

Further information and explanations of the calls are available in the second corrigendum to the 2020 Erasmus+ Programme Guide.