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UKRI confirms COVID-19 Grant Extension Allocation


UKRI confirms COVID-19 Grant Extension Allocation

UK Research and Innovation has announced it will deploy £180 million of funding for organisations to sustain UKRI grant-funded research and fellowships affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is part of a wider package announced by Government to support the continuation of research and innovation activities.

UKRI’s grant extension allocation will ensure crucial world-leading research and innovation funded by UKRI will continue tackling major environmental, medical, social and economic challenges.

UKRI will issue COVID-19 allocations to universities and organisations to support research and technical staff to realise the outcomes of their research where this has been disrupted.

Organisations will have the flexibility to target these funds towards research projects that are disrupted to ensure research can be completed.  Within the framework set out by UKRI this could include supporting salaries of research and technical staff employed on grant-funded projects or supporting research infrastructure costs during this disruption.

The total investment from UKRI is £180 million. In addition, a permitted change in use for existing UKRI grant funding (for grants ending after FY2020/21) of up to £80m will give the sector further flexibility to redistribute likely grant underspends due to COVID-19 disruption.

Individual allocations to organisations will be calculated based on the value of the UKRI grants held by an organisation whose funding finishes between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.

Organisations will be contacted by UKRI in due course with details of their grant allocation.

Professor Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), said:

“UKRI is acutely aware of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost everyone in our research and innovation community is either facing major interruptions to their work, or a major transition to work on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been working hard, within our remit, to establish support for the sector through additional money or revised policies. This additional support is critical as many research staff supported through UKRI grants are employed on fixed term contracts tied to the academic year.

“The purpose of today’s announcement is to help sustain UKRI grant-funded research, research talent and the capability of UK research organisations all of which will underpin the post-pandemic, national recovery. This is vital support for UKRI funded research but will not address all the challenges the sector faces. UKRI continues to work closely with the government on how best to support recovery.

“Providing an allocation direct to research organisations recognises that the impacts of the pandemic will be many and varied. Organisations are themselves best-placed to determine priorities for additional support to sustain their UKRI-supported research and research staff, capabilities and infrastructure. This gives them the flexibility to respond swiftly to their local needs.”

The COVID-19 grant extension allocation will build on previously announced support including additional financial support for UKRI funded PhD students and the bringing forward by Research England of £100 million of Quality-related Research (QR) funding to eligible Higher Education Institutions in acknowledgement of the immediate pressures.

For more information please see our page – Guidance for the research and innovation communities

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