UKRI’s COVID-19 rolling funding opportunity to close in December

Researchers and innovators are advised to submit any proposals for short-term projects that address the coronavirus pandemic before UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s COVID-19 rolling funding opportunity closes.

The ongoing UKRI COVID-19 rolling funding opportunity, which has been welcoming urgent applications on a wide range of coronavirus pandemic-related research and innovation, is due to stop accepting new proposals:

  • the final deadline for business-led applications has been extended to 9 December 2020 11:00 UK time
  • the deadline for research applications has been set as 15 December 2020 16:00 UK time.

UKRI is advising anyone planning to submit any further proposals to do so well ahead of the closing date to avoid a late surge in applications. Unless absolutely essential, any proposals received close to the deadline will be processed in January in line with our current process.

As UKRI prepares to move into the next stage of the pandemic, as we adapt to living with the virus, we are embedding the pandemic response into ongoing business and researchers and innovators will be encouraged to apply for 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 opportunities that are anticipated in 2021
  • any future funding opportunities opened by research councils that will be tailored to tackling aspects of the pandemic
  • Innovate UK Smart Grants (open for applications now).

UKRI launched the funding opportunity in March 2020 to inspire short-term projects to address and mitigate the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Charlotte Deane, COVID-19-Response Director at UKRI, said:

This has been a challenging year for all research and innovation communities, but we’ve witnessed first-hand the amazing agility and creativity of our world-class sector to tackle the urgent questions posed by the pandemic. We’d like to say thank you for your gargantuan efforts so far.

We are preparing to move from the initial phase, which required an urgent response to this crisis, to a longer-term approach as the world learns to live with and manage the pandemic. This means we are closing the rolling funding opportunity before Christmas.

I encourage anyone who has a proposal they want to put forward to not wait until the deadline on 15 December and please put in your best ideas as soon as you can.

If we have a steady stream of applications, it will mean we will be more able to process them.

A late surge will potentially overload our programme managers and importantly our many peer reviewers, who have been working incredibly hard over the last six months.

Close to the festive season, processing and response times will be longer than usual. Proposals received close to the deadline will be processed in the new year unless absolutely essential, with the hope that this will give everyone the chance of a break over the Christmas period.

We know that there’s still lots more to do to get on top of the pandemic and its consequences. Rest assured you will be able to continue to submit your research and business ideas through our normal funding channels.

Further information

Remember to check the portfolio of funded projects and our strategic priorities (PDF, 148KB) to avoid duplication and give you the best chance of successful funding.

Please note that the stated deadline of 25 November 2020 is for the latest round of applications only and a further smart round will open immediately after this date.

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