Disability and accessibility support for UKRI applicants and grant holders

We can provide guidance and support if you are applying for UKRI funding or already hold an award, if you are disabled, have a long-term health condition, are neurodivergent or have a learning disability.

We welcome you to share information about the reasonable adjustments you may need. You don’t need a formal diagnosis.

We have a duty in our assessment processes and funding of researchers under the Public Sector Equality Duty and equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland, to have considered and have due regard to the need to provide support for disabled researchers.

Support for UKRI grant and fellowship applicants

Support in the application process

If you need support when applying for funding, you should speak to your host organisation first.

If you need additional support on the opportunity you are applying to, contact the funding opportunity lead to discuss your individual needs.

For example, we can discuss funding opportunities, submission deadlines and the application process.

Please contact us as early as possible if you require any reasonable adjustments or disability-related support whilst using our funding systems.

Support in the assessment process

Support and reasonable adjustments are available throughout the process. This could include but is not limited to:

  • providing a longer response time to respond to reviewer comments
  • asking questions in a clear and descriptive way
  • providing additional support if the assessment involves an interview (interviews may take place via Zoom or in person)

If you need additional support for any part of the assessment process, contact the opportunity lead.

Requesting eligible costs for reasonable adjustments

In most cases you should request adjustments from your host organisation. As part of employer’s obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland, they have a duty to provide reasonable adjustments and to remove barriers that place you at a substantial disadvantage due to your disability.

Your host organisation must pay any costs associated with reasonable adjustments as part of your employment.

You must not use UKRI funds to repay the cost of support already provided by your host organisation.

UKRI support with costs for reasonable adjustments

When applying to UKRI for a grant, you can request costs associated with reasonable adjustments where they increase as a direct result of working on the project.

For example, if you do not normally need support in your role but you need adjustments to enable you to carry out your research, such as having an assistant travel with you for fieldwork, these would also be an eligible cost.

If you wish to discuss costs you will be requesting in your application, contact the funding opportunity lead.

Information in your CV

The Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) has an optional additions section. If you wish to, you can use it to provide context for the rest of your R4RI, such as:

  • details for career breaks
  • alternative career paths
  • information about your disability or long-term health condition

This information will be visible to expert reviewers and panellists.

If you would like to share any other information that you do not wish to be reviewed by experts, such as barriers you have or may experience, or any extenuating circumstances, contact us at:

Support for existing UKRI grant and fellowship holders

You may be able to get additional support:

  • if you did not know what reasonable adjustments you needed when you applied for UKRI funding
  • or if your circumstances have changed during your award

If a change in your circumstances happens during the award, you should discuss this first with your host organisation. In most cases they will provide the support you need.

If your host organisation cannot provide the adjustments you need to enable you to continue your project, we may be able to offer support including, but not limited to:

  • flexible working
  • no-cost extensions
  • parental leave

Contact us to discuss your needs by emailing grantspostaward@funding.ukri.org

For further information, see Meeting terms and conditions for funding.

Access to work

You can also apply to the UK Government Access to Work scheme. It can provide a grant to cover workplace support if you are disabled or have a long-term condition.

Support for UKRI-funded studentships

If you have a disability, you may be entitled to a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) on top of your studentship. For more information on doctoral funding and studentship support, see Studentships and doctoral training.

How we handle your personal data

We treat sharing of disability information and requests for support with respect, objectivity and confidentiality.

All personal data provided to UKRI in connection to funding applications will be processed in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and the EU General Data Protection Regulations 2016/679 (GDPR) where appropriate.

To find out more about:

Future steps

We are committed to identifying and removing barriers to our assessment and decision-making processes so that our funding opportunities are open, fair and transparent to all.

By collaborating with our communities and listening to their needs, we will be able to build an evidence base for ‘what works’. Monitoring and evaluating interventions will allow us to learn and continue to improve the funding experience, providing an inclusive system for all. Please continue to check this page for updates.

We have developed this page in partnership with the National Association of Disabled Staff Networks.

Further information

Find out more about:

Last updated: 2 April 2024

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