Submitting COVID-19 proposals after the close of the rolling call

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The agile rolling call for COVID-19 projects and the opportunity to switch existing funding to tackle the pandemic both come to an end on 15 December 2020. After this date, all proposals for COVID-19 related projects will be embraced back into UKRI normal funding streams.

COVID-19 funding streams

In the new year, applicants with great ideas to tackle the impact of the virus can apply through:

  • standard research council and Innovate UK channels, as part of our ongoing work to tackle the pandemic – apply for funding
  • seed funding for urgent applications
  • further UKRI strategic COVID-19 funding opportunities that are anticipated in 2021
  • future funding opportunities by research councils, tailored to tackle aspects of the pandemic

Highlighting COVID-19 proposals

For those applying through any of these streams, proposals that meet the below criteria should add “CV-19” at the start of their grant title:

  • new research or innovation with a clear impact pathway that has the potential to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts
  • supports the manufacture or wide-scale adoption of an intervention with significant potential for COVID-19
  • gathers time-critical data and resources related to COVID-19 quickly and secures them for future research use
  • builds capability in areas that will be necessary to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts in the future.

Urgent proposals after 15 December 2020

If your proposal requires:

  • urgent collection of data/samples, or
  • rapid turn-around of essential initial research to secure future research or inform urgent policy or national/international decisions

and cannot be submitted through the standard grant routes, you can apply for seed funding, up to £80,000 at any time.

The maximum duration of an urgent grant is 6 months and applicants must show a clear strategy for taking the research forward once the urgent phase is completed. Extensions to current activities (for example, already funded COVID-19 activities) would not normally be accepted through this route.

Urgent applications will be reviewed on a 2-week basis with the expectation that the project would start within a month.

Applicants for urgent proposals should email in the first instance.

Do not wait until the deadline day of 15 December 2020 to submit your rolling call COVID-19 proposals. Apply as early as you can.

Professor Charlotte Deane, COVID-Response Director at UKRI, said:

Although as a community, we’ve made huge strides in helping to understand and mitigate the effects of the pandemic, we know we’re far from being out of the woods yet. Rest assured, there will be plenty of opportunities to apply for COVID-19 funding after the closing of the rolling call on 15 December.

We’ll maintain an oversight of all COVID-19 related proposals and ensure there is seed funding available for those projects that are really urgent.

If you’re planning on submitting a proposal before the rolling call closes, we’d urge you to do so as early as possible before the deadline, so we can avoid a surge in applications on deadline day.

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