Update to the UKRI fEC grant and training grant terms and conditions

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UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has updated its full economic cost (fEC) grant and training grant terms and conditions, as part of its standard biannual update.

In this revision, UKRI has confirmed its position for students in relation to parental leave, caring responsibilities, returning to study following absence and the eligibility of international students for the 2021/22 academic year.

See further information on international student eligibility, including implementation guidance.

Supporting safe environments

UKRI has further clarified its expectations on organisations in terms of mitigating against bullying and harassment, in order to support the fostering of a safe and supportive environment within the research and innovation sector.

Additional grant condition information has also been included to provide further clarity of UKRI’s expectations in relation to collaboration agreements.

International due diligence

Further information has been added to reflect UKRI’s exploitation and impact requirements for research outputs. Additionally, a link to new international due diligence guidance for grant holders has been added.

As part of this exercise, supporting information within the accompanying terms and conditions guidance documents has also been updated; guidance should be read in conjunction with the updated fEC grant and training grant terms and conditions.

UKRI has consulted with the UKRI Research Organisation Consultation Group regarding the impact of these changes.

The updated fEC and training grant terms and conditions will take effect from 2 November 2020 and are now available.

For further information, email Fundingpolicy@ukri.org.

Statement on parental leave for doctoral students

UKRI has amended the training grant terms and conditions in respect of parental leave.

In 2015 Research Councils UK amended the training grant terms and conditions to introduce a Shared Parental Leave (SPL) policy for doctoral students funded by the research councils. The policy sought to emulate the statutory entitlement of employees.

Both SPL and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) are defined in law and operated by HMRC. For a parent to benefit from either SPL or ShPP they must meet the legal eligibility criteria.

This includes a requirement that they are an employee. Doctoral students funded by UKRI are not employees and so are not able to give HMRC the information required to process an application.

Research organisations have therefore not been able to operate SPL or ShPP for UKRI students. One research organisation made us aware of the situation and, after consultation with the Research Organisation Consultation Group (ROCG), we have amended the Training Grant terms and conditions to reflect the correct legal position.

Leave entitlement

UKRI students are still entitled to maternity, paternity, parental and adoption leave if the expected week of childbirth will occur during the period of their award. Where these are taken as paid leave we fund this via our grants, so students do not require HMRC approval.

Where institutions have been able to implement a form of shared parental leave based on a trust system we will continue to support these students.

For full details see the training grant terms and conditions and the UKRI training grant guidance.

As with all policy changes, further engagement with, and feedback from, research organisations, grant holders and students will be used to keep this policy under review.

Further information

For further information, email Fundingpolicy@ukri.org.

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