Get funding for ideas that address COVID-19

Two scientists in a laboratory

There is an open funding opportunity for research and innovation proposals that address problems related to COVID-19.

Before applying, you should check the details of projects that are already funded to avoid duplicating existing work.

See all UKRI-funded COVID-19 projects.

You should also check our priority areas for funding to increase your chances of submitting a successful application.

Areas that are now out of scope include:

  • funding to directly mitigate the effects of the pandemic on specific institutions and businesses
  • longer term research proposals that address the COVID-19 emergency or future pandemics

See our current priority areas for COVID-19 funding (PDF, 152KB).

If you have an existing UKRI standard grant or Global Challenges Research Fund grant, you have the option to re-purpose this by switching it to a priority area. This is quicker than making a new application.

Apply for new funding for a COVID-19 project in the Funding finder.

The deadline to apply for business-led applications is 9 December 2020 11:00am UK time.

The deadline for research applications is 15 December 2020 4:00pm UK time.

Find out if you can switch existing funding to a COVID-19 priority area.

Future funding opportunities

After December 2020, you will be able to apply for new COVID-19-related funding through:

  • standard research council and Innovate UK channels, as part of our ongoing work to tackle the pandemic, with tools available to flag up any COVID-19-related research
  • seed funding for urgent applications
  • further UKRI strategic COVID-19 funding calls that are anticipated in 2021
  • any future funding calls opened by research councils that will be tailored to tackling aspects of the pandemic
  • Innovate UK Smart Grants (open for applications now).

International academics and researchers: information on visas

The criteria for Global Talent visas have been relaxed for international academics and researchers, supporting those from outside of the European Economic Area or Switzerland who want to work on UK-based COVID-19 projects.

Until 31 December 2021, the new criteria are:

  • research grants must have been awarded for 12 months or more (instead of 2 years or more)
  • you must have an employment contract or hosting agreement for 12 months or more (instead of 2 years or more)
  • if you’re already in the UK, you can switch into this route from any other visa category.

The application process is the same, but the statement of guarantee you provide as part of it will need to:

  • confirm that your research project is related to COVID-19
  • include the unique database reference number for your project from the UKCDR COVID-19 Research Project Tracker.

If your research project is not listed on the project tracker, contact before submitting your application so UKRI can get confirmation from the funder.

Apply for a Global Talent visa on GOV.UK.

Last updated: 8 April 2024

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