UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine.
Our thoughts remain with everyone affected including colleagues and academic partners who may be dealing directly or indirectly with the effects.
We offer our compassion, support, understanding and respect, regardless of nationality.
We also want to reassure the Ukraine research and innovation community that UKRI stands by them.
We are now prioritising Global Talent visa endorsement applications from Ukrainian national researchers, technologists and other specialists.
The Global Talent visa and Temporary Work visa already offer permanent and temporary routes to enter and work in the UK. We are working closely with the Home Office and partners to develop additional support.
UKRI has been undertaking a detailed review of all Russia projects and related collaborations funded by our research councils and Innovate UK since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
We have supported the UK government’s response by pausing all Russia grant payments while the review is underway.
We have also been monitoring and working closely with those at various stages of Russia-related applications to ensure staff are supported, risks are managed and projects are stabilised.
The number of grants affected across UKRI’s portfolio is very small. Given the sensitivities and security issues for those working on projects, we will not be going into detail about grants or people affected by this review.
Supporting UK government
UKRI’s action is in no way a reflection or judgement on any individual researchers or projects in the UK or the region.
We are following government advice and support the UK government’s sanctions of those with direct links to Russia’s government and President Putin.
We will continue to support the sector as we embark upon what is clearly going to be a long period of instability in the region.
UKRI believes freedom to work without fear of reprisals is essential and international collaboration is vital in addressing the global challenges we all face.
It connects expertise, shares knowledge and pushes the boundaries of what research and innovation can achieve.
Questions and answers
What guidance is UKRI giving to research organisations?
We have written to all those whose grants or pending grants have been paused and have asked them for more information to ensure our actions are appropriate and targeted.
We continue to work closely with the sector to better understand related issues.
Our representation at several cross-Her Majesty’s Government or sector working groups allows us to highlight concerns with the appropriate organisations, including the safety and security of researchers.
Events are moving rapidly, and we are continuing to review as they unfold.
The insights shared by the sector with us are hugely important. They continue to inform ongoing discussions to aid the development of a collaborative response to the challenges Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have presented.
Will UKRI be taking further action?
The support for researchers and the paused payments are our initial response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
UKRI is currently undertaking a more wide-ranging review of all aspects of our Russia-related work in line with the government’s announcement of a comprehensive review across the sector.
How is UKRI supporting Ukrainian researchers?
The Global Talent visa and Temporary Work visa offer permanent and temporary routes to enter and work in the UK.
We are prioritising Global Talent visa endorsement applications from Ukrainian national researchers, technologists and other specialists.
We’re working closely with the Home Office and partners to develop additional support.
What does this mean for Russian nationals working on UKRI funded projects?
UKRI doesn’t make awards directly to individual researchers. The grants are awarded via research organisations including universities and businesses.
We are working closely with the academic sector, government and other organisations and businesses to understand and flag any issues and concerns and to develop advice and guidance.
For Russian nationals working and studying through regular established means in the UK with a UK research organisation, nothing should change.
The nationality of academics and researchers is irrelevant unless an individual has been sanctioned.
This is an incredibly sensitive time for all our colleagues and academic partners, especially those from countries directly affected by Russia’s invasion.
They need our compassion, support, understanding and respect; behaviours we expect of everyone working for and with UKRI to demonstrate, but especially so at this time.
How many grants have had their payments paused and what is the total value of these grants?
This impacts a very small proportion of UKRI’s overall portfolio in terms of grants and budget.
Given the sensitivity for staff working on these projects and security issues, UKRI will not be providing any further details.
Top image: Credit: Kathrine Andi, iStock, Getty Images