COVID-19 funding and project management guidance

This page is being added to and updated as we hear from funders about the policies and measures they are putting in place. 

More FAQs about other aspects of research support will also be added in the coming days. 

Guidance from research funders

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Together with the wider research community, the Academy has issued guidance to reassure clinical academics asked to pause their research and focus on patient care.

The Academy's programme of grant funding is continuing to operate, although timings may change. Please visit individual scheme pages for details about specific grant rounds.

Staff are working remotely and will continue to provide support to applicants and awardees. 

The Academy will be as flexible as possible to support all researchers around the challenges to their work from coronavirus. They will continue to consider requests for no-cost extensions on a case-by-case basis. If you encounter problems that may result in a delay to the start of your award, please contact them as soon as possible to discuss this. If you encounter problems during your award, they encourage you to not request a no-cost extension until the last three months of the award, so that all factors can be considered and multiple requests for the same award can be reduced. Please note that all requests for extensions should be made prior to your award end date.

Their information for awardees page will shortly be updated with more information. Please visit individual scheme pages for details about specific grant rounds.


Alzheimer's Research UK are looking across their portfolio to delay the start of any new funding or partnerships until the full implications of COVID-19 are better understood. 

We have postponed their response-mode funding programme until the autumn. This means that:

  • The Grant Review Board meeting planned for June will be cancelled
  • All applications currently under review will be discussed at the Grant Review Board meeting in January 2021
  • They currently plan to open new rounds for funding in the autumn
  • Any disruptions to research funding activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be taken into consideration by their board to make appropriate adjustments when assessing your record of outputs, research achievements, and career progression

Information for grant holders

Alzheimer's Research UK will continue to be flexible across their grant schemes, to help support scientists and minimise the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pioneering dementia research that is being conducted across the UK and internationally. They recognise that in these uncertain times there may need to be significant changes to the way in which projects are carried out due to restrictions on travel, work, recruitment etc and you will have their full support should you need to request any of the following measures:

  • They will respond positively to requests for no-cost extensions
  • They will continue to be flexible with budget virements to ensure that any underspend can be fully utilised to cover unexpected additional costs caused by the COVID-19 situation – for major budget rearrangements, please seek further advice from a member of their team
  • They will consider requests to temporarily suspend grants for a period of up to three months in the first instance – this may be applied in cases where all grant activity/spend has been temporarily halted due to the COVID-19 situation

All requests must be sent in writing to

They are aware that researchers have been asked to help government authorities during the crisis and are fully supportive of Alzheimer’s Research UK-funded equipment and staff contributing to this effort.

If you are a newly-funded grant holder

  • If you are a newly-funded grant holder, they can offer the option to delay the grant start date for a period of up to six months
  • If you have not yet signed your contract and are unable to return a signed contract by the stated deadline due to institution closures, they can offer deadline extensions

If your salary or stipend is paid for by an Alzheimer’s Research UK grant

If a researcher whose salary is paid through an Alzheimer’s Research UK grant is ill, they will defer to the policy of the employing organisation.  

In the event that a researcher whose salary is paid through an Alzheimer’s Research UK grant is in self-isolation due to government advice, they expect them to be able to work from home even if the activities undertaken change. Where self-isolation undermines a researcher’s ability to complete the project within the funded period, they would expect an extension of salary costs to be covered by any underspend on the grant. If this is not possible, Alzheimer’s Research UK will aim to meet the salary costs for up to three months at the end of the grant. 

If you are a clinical academic who is seconded back to the NHS to support the front-line coronavirus response, they will continue to pay your salary but expect you to recover these costs from the NHS when it is possible to do so. Alzheimer's Research UK will not be able to pay for later salary extensions in such cases.

Alzheimer’s Research UK funded meetings/conferences

If you are due to receive Alzheimer’s Research UK support towards a meeting or conference that now needs to be postponed due to the government-induced restrictions regarding COVID-19, they will honour these payments provided your event is rescheduled within 12 months of the original date, and the programme remains essentially the same. If this is not possible, or for any other queries, please get in touch with their team for further advice. 


The Andrew W Mellon Foundation has introduced a three-month grace period for interim and final reports for all grants.

In addition, grants ending in March, April, and May of 2020 will receive an automatic three-month no-cost extension to June, July, and August respectively. Final reports will be due three months after the new grant end date.

They are also prepared to assist with COVID-19-related budget reallocations: 

  • If the request is for 20% or more of total grant funds to be reallocated, or if significant changes are expected to the deliverables of the grant, please send an email to the SC program staff to initiate a COVID-19-related modification
  • If the request does not meet the above conditions, it does not require program staff approval – instead, please report these budget changes in your next scheduled report


The British Academy Flexi-Grant system is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. The deadlines for currently open calls: Newton International Fellowships, the Jordan-UK El Hassan bin Talal Research Chair in Sustainability and the various Knowledge Frontiers symposia remain in force and applicants should submit their applications through Flexi-Grant in the normal way.

The British Academy encourages award holders to investigate, where necessary, all possible alternative ways of continuing to progress their research. However, they understand that the outbreak may impact on the activities associated with some awards and will treat all requests for no-cost extensions to awards and requests for virement of funding between cost headings sympathetically. These should be requested in the usual way, by contacting the British Academy by email and by completing a change request form in the British Academy/Flexi-Grant system. If you have been unable to recover costs from a travel operator or insurance, costs can be charged to grants. Grants often end with an underspend and they expect award holders to be able to absorb these costs through this and other re-arrangements in their budgets.

Applicants who need assistance should contact or or depending on the scheme.

Award holders can also access the change request forms via the application portal under 'available grants' and should use the same contacts if they need to discuss their cases before submitting the change request.


The British Council have advised us that all new contracts are being pushed back to quarter 3 of the next financial year. 

Current research grants

The British Heart Foundation's priority is ensuring that the research they are funding is successfully completed and researchers are fully supported.

If research institutions shut down for a period of time the British Heart Foundation (BHF) will continue to pay the salaries of staff funded on grants for the same duration. Likewise, if clinical studies pause for a period of time, for example due to redeployment of staff or interruption of patient recruitment, the BHF will continue to pay salaries for that duration. 

If clinical research staff funded on grants are asked to support front line NHS staff, please keep a record of any affected staff members, the duration of redeployment (start/end dates) and the salary contributions recoverable from the NHS.

They are are prepared to support requests for no cost extensions to grants to cover any delays caused by the suspension of research. 

If suspension of research is prolonged and costed extensions are required they will consider requests on a case by case basis.

Supporting COVID-19 research

The BHF is fully committed to supporting the national research effort to tackle COVID-19. They fully endorse the NIHR initiative to establish a national prioritisation process for COVID-19 research. To advance efforts to better understand the direct and indirect impacts of the virus on people with heart and circulatory diseases and their risk factors as an integral part of this coordinated effort, we will support the following:

  • Clinical researchers whose posts are directly funded by the BHF, including fellows and chairholders, may at their discretion devote their time and the time of any support staff that they fund in their award to COVID-19 related research, until they are able to return to their normal research activity. Please inform the BHF of your plans by email to
  • Institutions that hold Research Excellence Awards and Accelerator Awards may at the discretion of the award director allocate currently uncommitted funds from their award to supporting COVID-19 related research. Please inform the BHF of relevant activities and their scope (brief outline of project objective, design, duration and cost) by email to

The BHF requests that any such efforts are undertaken in coordination with relevant local or national initiatives, such as those by NIHR or MRC, to ensure synergy and avoid duplication.

They are also in discussions with the leadership of the NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership and the BHF Data Science Centre to consider other coordinated COVID-19 initiatives that the BHF may be able to support. 

Applying for research grants

The BHF's standard grant schemes remain open for applications and they plan to hold grant committee meetings as scheduled by moving them online, although the timing of making any awards will be determined by how the situation unfolds over the coming weeks. To help sustain this key activity, they are counting on the ongoing support of the BHF research community as reviewers and committee members, in trying circumstances.

They expect applications to be submitted through the normal process, while recognising that there may be challenges in obtaining all supporting documentation (for example sign-off on NHS costs). They are prepared to process applications without such documentation, subject to approval of the application by the head of department and administrative authority in the usual manner, but any decision may be deferred until all documentation is received and reviewed.

Should circumstance dictate that submission and assessment of new research grant applications are suspended, they will provide relevant information through an updated statement.

Current grants for small meetings

The BHF will honour the payment of grants for small meetings which are postponed and rescheduled within one year of the original date due to COVID-19. Details must be provided as soon as a decision is made to delay the meeting.

If meetings need to be cancelled and cannot be rescheduled they recognise that some costs may not be recoverable.  In these instances the organisation should cancel the meeting at the earliest opportunity to obtain maximum refunds of any costs already incurred in order to mitigate the cost to the BHF.  Full details must be provided before they will release any funds. 



CRUK is deferring all its panels and committees. All applications submitted for the current funding round will be considered in the autumn. Where an application has been made for the renewal of an existing grant, bridge-funding will be provided.

Where there are additional considerations that they need to discuss with an applicant, a member of the CRUK research team will be in touch in due course. 

They plan to open for applications to the autumn funding round as normal, but this is a rapidly developing situation and they will communicate any changes as soon as they can. 

Any disruptions to research funding activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be taken into consideration by their panels and committees to make appropriate adjustments when assessing your record of outputs, research achievements, and career progression.


If you’re a researcher or student funded by CRUK, to help minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, they will provide the following support.

They will follow the policy of your institution if any staff on a grant or students:

  • are unwell
  • need to self-isolate
  • have caring responsibilities for someone affected

For staff whose salaries are grant-funded, paid sick leave entitlements can be charged to the grant in accordance with the institution's usual policy. Where an individual's salary is part-funded by the grant, paid sick leave entitlements may be charged to the grant on a pro-rata basis.

For non-clinical students, CRUK are currently reviewing their policy on paid leave entitlements.

As the situation progresses, they are aware that clinical academics, clinical research training fellows (CRTFs) and research nurses may be seconded back to the NHS to support front line service delivery. CRUK will fully support this request. The urgent patient care comes first and you can return to clinical practice if required. The exceptions would be in those situations where there would be a duty of care for cancer patients on certain clinical trials. Such decisions must be made locally.  

For clinical academics seconded back to the NHS, CRUK's expectation is that the NHS will cover their salary whilst working on the COVID-19 response. Grant holders can also request a no-cost extension to their grant.

For other grants which may be affected (for example, if an institution closes), CRUK will look to minimise the impact on their funded research activities wherever possible. 

They will offer increased flexibility across grants to enable you to manage your award.

You can delay the start date of your grant by delaying the activation of the grant by up to 6 months.

They will be flexible on the use of underspend and budget virements to cover any exceptional and additional costs incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic to keep research activities going.

CRUK grant conditions usually stipulate you can’t ordinarily vire from a post vacant for 6 months or more. Given the present circumstances, they will waive that stipulation if a post is affected by delays due to COVID-19. If you need to repurpose funds from a post vacant for 6 months or more, they will consider those requests.

CRUK's default position will be to offer a no-cost extension if needed. No-cost extension requests should be made in writing. 

They will consider requests to put a grant into abeyance, suspending the grant if you want to pause payments and activities. 

If you are a researcher or student funded by CRUK who now cannot travel due to government/official advice, or because it poses a risk to you (due to an underlying medical condition etc) you can use underspend to cover reasonable incurred costs, where it is not covered by insurance. This includes reasonable travel, subsistence, childcare and conference costs where the purpose of the planned travel related to the grant and costs were eligible under their costs guidance.



Econic Technologies ask that all accounts-related correspondence (invoices, credit notes, statements) be emailed to rather than sent by post. 

General guidance

While we are currently awaiting clarification from the Commission on the general situation in relation to research and innovation funding, any projects which have been affected by COVID-19 containment measures should refer firstly to Article 51 of the Annotated Model Grant Agreement covering force majeure, which stipulates that beneficiaries should contact the Commission, or relevant executive agency, to discuss issues that may affect the implementation of projects. We expect further guidance to be made available on the Funding and Tenders Portal shortly. It is also worth noting that the staff of the Commission Services and Agencies are now working remotely and that there is a specific warning on the Funding and Tenders Portal that, due to this non-standard way of working, delayed responses are expected for queries submitted to the IT helpdesk.

Call deadlines

The European Commission has further extended the submission deadlines for calls under the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 1 'Health, demographic change and wellbeing'.

The new deadlines are as follows: 

The extension is intended to allow medical professionals to focus on their fight against the coronavirus and give more time for preparing their applications.

The deadline was also extended to 14 May 2020 for the Research Infrastructures call.

Applicants intending to submit to calls on the Funding and Tenders portal should check the 'Topic updates' section of their specific topic to see if their deadlines have been extended. 

European Research Council

The ERC have posted a statement on their website stating that they are doing their upmost to remain fully operational during this period, that grant management activities continue as normal (although technical issues may slow some processes down) and that panel evaluations are currently being organised remotely. They do not currently anticipate any delays to evaluations or application deadlines. 

The results of the first stage of Starting Grant 2020 evaluation are expected imminently. Second stage evaluation (for those who are successful at first stage) normally includes face-to-face interviews in Brussels. These interviews would normally be in late May to early June. The ERC is considering the situation and expects to be able to announce arrangements for second stage evaluation by mid-April.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

The Research Executive Agency (REA) have released a statement advising grantees and fellows to follow the travel advice provided by national authorities and to cancel or postpone all non-essential travel where possible. REA will adopt a flexible approach towards projects that fail to meet grant agreement obligations due to the COVID-19 containment measures, and may apply the rules on force majeure, or extend the duration of projects. Projects will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and grantees and fellows should speak to their REA project officer and to the Research Services European & International team ( if they require support. 


The Commission has released a statement explaining that it will apply maximum flexibility in the implementation of the programme, within the limits of the applicable legal framework. To deal with participants being unable to travel, or return home, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Erasmus+ National Agencies are now permitted to invoke force majeure clauses whereby they may accept additional costs up to a maximum grant amount. Planned activities may also be postponed by up to 12 months per project. Following the Commission's statement, the UK National Agency has published dedicated travel advice for regions affected by the  COVID-19 outbreak.

Furthermore, the UK government has issued its own advice for UK education providers regarding staff and student overseas travel and project participants are advised to speak to their providers about arrangements. Participants under 18 are advised against all overseas education trips, while those over 18 who are due to travel should consult their education institutions on whether the travel should continue as planned. For any UK participants already overseas, they should continue to monitor the latest FCO travel advice and comply with any COVID-19 control measures put in place in their current host nation.

Creative Europe

The Commission has released a statement saying that it understands that containment measures may have consequences for Creative Europe projects, and are adopting a position of maximum flexibility in regards to implementing the programme, while still working within the applicable legal framework. They are also in close communication with the national Creative Europe desks.

COST Actions

The COST Association has recommended that, from 13 March 2020 to 3 April 2020 (minimum), all physical meetings, training schools and short-term scientific missions be suspended or cancelled. They encourage participants to explore video conferencing and remote networking tools as an alternative. Any participants currently attending COST events should follow the instructions of the host country and host institution. 


The Ford Foundation will contact grant holders individually to discuss arrangements. They recognise that the kinds of flexibility required may include postponing or cancelling activities, delaying grant deliverables, or delaying submission of proposals or reports.

They are willing to formalise changes to grant agreements, specifically:

  • for grantee partners receiving project support, converting current project grants to general support
  • changing grant payment schedules
  • grant funds will not be rescinded if a programme, conference, or other grant activity is cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19



Innovate UK advise businesses with concerns about their financial position, particularly cashflow issues, to speak with their investors and their bank. 
If you are an Innovate UK award recipient, you should also contact your Innovate UK monitoring officer, who will keep Innovate UK informed and allow them to assess if they can offer support too. The earlier you speak with your monitoring officer, the easier it will be to understand your issues and find potential solutions.

Specialist advisers from the Innovate UK Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) team, located regionally, are also there to help and support you. Please contact your adviser if you need assistance or go to the EEN website to be connected with an adviser.
Innovate UK will continue to monitor the ongoing impact of coronavirus on the companies they support to ensure they can provide the best support whilst managing public money appropriately.


IDRC acknowledges that project activities may be delayed, the responsiveness of the project personnel may be impacted by measures taken at their workplace, the preparation of technical and financial reports may be delayed, and that the organisation of meetings, events, and travel plans may be affected.

If events organised through IDRC-funded projects must be cancelled or postponed, they will consider the costs associated with the changes as allowable project expenses, provided they align with IDRC policies. For future events, IDRC suggests that recipients purchase cancellation insurance or travel, accommodation and venue bookings that are at least partially refundable. Additional costs for planning in this way will also be considered acceptable, provided it allows for reimbursement or credit in case of cancellation.

In addition, travel for participation in events directly sponsored by IDRC has been suspended.

IDRC is committed to supporting its recipients and to the successful completion of the projects it supports. They invite recipients to reach out to their IDRC project officer to discuss the impact on their project and the specific areas where difficulties and higher costs may be of concern. 

For applicants under review 

If your proposal is under review, the Foundation's review process will continue as planned, and you are welcome to reach out to the programme team assigned to your proposal with any queries or updates that you might have about start dates and proposed project timelines.

For grantees with approved proposals

If you have an approved proposal but do not have a signed grant agreement, please contact your programme team member if you would like to revise the start date or request a revised project timeline. They are willing to be as flexible as they can in adjusting start dates and timelines. If they do not hear from you, they will continue to process grant agreements in accord with what was requested in the proposal materials. They ask you to think carefully about whether you can begin a project on time and work within the project timeline. Please note that it is easier for the Foundation to make adjustments to projects prior to signing the grant agreement. Once you begin your project activities and spend grant funds, they will have much less flexibility to consider no-cost extensions.

For current grantees 

The Foundation's first priority is to do all that they can to ensure you have the resources you need to complete your work on time or to make adjustments to project timelines and stated outputs for the grant. They are willing to work with you to consider your requests to revise budgets, change outputs and adjust project timelines.


If you are applying for a grant, award or fellowship

All funding schemes and calls remain open for applications. Application deadlines, shortlisting, and decision dates will not change.

If your organisation is closed and unable to approve and submit an application, the Trust can do this on their behalf, with their agreement.

If you hold a Leverhulme grant, award or fellowship

If you have paid costs for an event, fieldwork or travel which has been cancelled, and these costs cannot be reimbursed or claimed for under insurance, you can claim these against your grant.

If you will need to rebook an event, fieldwork or travel at a later date, then these costs can be charged to your grant. In the first instance the Trust would expect these costs to be managed within the existing budget.

They will generally allow requests to extend your grant if you don't need additional costs.

You can also opt to delay the start of a new award or suspend a current award, if this would be a better option to manage your research.

They do however, require you to email and request any of the changes: 

If there is the potential for research to be lost or severely compromised, then an application for a costed extension may be considered. You should approach the Trust only when you are in a position to be clear about the length of an extension and the cost involved. They will then advise you of the process to follow. Applications will be considered on a case by case basis.



When delays occur because the applicant or recipient organisation is officially closed or unable to submit grant applications due to the effects of COVID-19, the NIH will consider accepting applications late, on a case-by-case basis, under certain circumstances.

  • Institutions must submit applications or reports as soon as possible after reopening or resuming operations so that grant applications can be submitted, not to exceed the number of days the institution was officially closed or unable to submit grant applications
  • Institutions must submit a cover letter with the applications with enough detail about the delay so that NIH staff can make a determination whether circumstances justify accepting the application late
  • Institutions need not request advance permission to submit late due to this declared emergency

The NIH has introduced flexibilities applicable to NIH applicants and recipients where the entity is conducting research activities related to or affected by COVID-19, relating to:

  • pre-award costs
  • extension of post-award financial and other reporting
  • prior approval requirement waivers
  • cost-related flexibilities/expenditure of award funds
  • extension of closeout
  • extension of single audit submission

The NIH has issued guidance on clinical trials and human subject studies affected by COVID-19. They encourage recipients to consult with their institutions about potential measures to protect participants and research staff. Recipients may submit late financial and progress reports if research is delayed due to COVID-19, and may carry over unobligated balances on active grants without requesting prior approval.

Frequently asked questions on proposal submission and award management related to COVID-19 are also available:


Prioritising funding and support for COVID-19 research across the UK 

Working with partners across the health and care system, NIHR is leading, enabling and delivering world-class COVID-19 research, a key element of the government’s overall response to the pandemic. Given the extraordinary pressures currently being faced by the health and care system, they must also ensure that they are making best use of the limited resources and capacity available to support research.

They have done this by establishing and implementing a single, national process to allow the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) / Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) for England to draw on expert advice to prioritise the COVID-19 studies which hold the most potential for tackling the challenges we face.

This process covers funded studies irrespective of whether they are funded by the public sector, industry or charities and also, in partnership with UKRI, studies that require funding. It aims to prevent duplication of effort and to ensure that the capacity of the health and care system to support research is not exceeded.

With regard to HRA approvals, researchers should make an application through the national prioritisation process first and will be signposted for expedited regulatory approvals so that approval review can progress in parallel to the system of assessment leading to a view from CMO/DCMO on prioritisation.

All NHS trusts, health and care providers and universities will need to prioritise support for studies which have been nationally prioritised. A live list of these studies is being collated.

Organisations may support COVID-19 research activity only when this does not impact on the system’s ability to recruit participants and/or provide the resources (including staff, samples and data) needed to support nationally prioritised research. Organisations will be expected to pause any local studies that impede their ability to contribute to national research efforts.

Pausing set-up of new or ongoing non COVID-19 studies

Until further notice, the NIHR Clinical Research Network is pausing the site set up of any new or ongoing studies at NHS and social care sites that are not nationally prioritised COVID-19 studies. This will enable the research workforce to focus on delivering the nationally prioritised COVID-19 studies or enabling redeployment to frontline care where necessary. These studies are enabling the clinical and epidemiological evidence to be gathered to inform national policy and will enable new treatments, diagnostics and vaccines to be developed and tested. The complete focus of the NIHR Clinical Research Network will be on delivering these highest priority COVID-19 studies. 

During this time, the MHRA and HRA will continue to provide an approvals service for all studies, prioritised in accordance with the national situation, ensuring site set-up can restart promptly in due course.

Clinical and academic health and care professionals currently funded by NIHR who are working on topics other than COVID-19 should prioritise frontline care, where requested to do so by their employing organisations. Similarly, research staff with other relevant skills, such as pharmacists and laboratory technicians, should also prioritise support to frontline care. In addition, researchers should consult with their employers to make facilities which currently support research studies available for frontline care. 

This will mean that many research studies funded by NIHR, or supported by NIHR (via the Clinical Research Network and other NIHR infrastructure) may need to be paused, to free up NIHR-funded staff to help bolster the frontline response to COVID-19. In addition, NIHR recognises that award-holding organisations may need to pause research studies for locally determined public health reasons. 

However, clinical trials or other research studies which are funded or supported by NIHR should continue if discontinuing them will have significant detrimental effects on the ongoing care of individual participants involved in those studies. These are clinical decisions which will need to be made on a case-by-case basis by local decision makers on the basis of local risk and capacity assessments.

Impact of COVID-19 on research funded or supported by NIHR

All organisations holding NIHR awards that are paused will, in the short term, continue to receive payments from DHSC in line with existing NIHR contractual payment schedules. This will be reviewed and, if necessary, payment schedules will be updated as usual following the annual statement of expenditure. Where necessary, contract deliverables will be rescheduled, allowing staff to concentrate on frontline care and COVID-19 research. 


The Rockefeller Foundation anticipate that many grant holders will need to extend their grant terms and change the due dates of deliverables and reports due to delays caused by COVID-19. Grant holders may also need to revise their budgets. They encourage grant holders to discuss requirements with their grant officer.

Those with grants currently in the approval process will be contacted by programme teams to incorporate any scheduling changes as necessary.  

If a grant included funding for an event that was cancelled, the Foundation is ready to provide support to work on a refund or credit, donate goods, hold payments and/or extend or amend the contract to reschedule the event later in the year. If an event has not yet been cancelled or finalised, they will work with the grant holder to amend the terms of the grant in order to reschedule it for a future date.

The Rockefeller Foundation will not hold any events in their offices or facilities during this time, but are committed to holding as many of the planned convenings as possible through virtual, online technology, or postponing them.



If you have any concerns about fulfilling the terms of an active grant under the current circumstances, please get in touch with your programme manager. The Academy will accommodate necessary changes to your projects/activities as much as possible and will honour costs that you have incurred in good faith whether plans go ahead or not.

The Academy anticipates that most grants that involve international travel or collaboration will require significant extensions and is working with its funders to put suitable plans in place.

Meetings and travel

All Academy meetings will be hosted virtually rather than in person. Instructions for joining a meeting remotely will be sent out by the meeting organiser.

For all other travel and meetings, please follow the advice of your employer and the government. Where that advice is not yet clear, the Academy strongly recommends precautionary measures and the use of digital tools wherever possible.  

Events at the Academy  

All Academy events are being postponed or cancelled until the end of April. Events between May and August are being assessed on a case by case basis and are mostly unlikely to go ahead in the traditional format.

If you are due to attend an Academy event you will hear from the event organisers if a decision has been taken to postpone it.

Support from Academy staff

Academy staff have been instructed to work from home unless it is essential to the business for them to go into the office. The Academy is well equipped for remote working, and support for grant holders will continue as usual. Your main point of contact will continue to be your programme manager, and they will alert you to an alternative contact if they are unavailable for a period of time. 



The Royal Society's offices are closed and all staff are working remotely. Grants teams are still contactable via or +44 (0)20 4751 2666.


All funding programmes and calls currently remain open for applications in line with advertised dates. The Royal Society will endeavour not to make any changes to application deadlines, interview dates or decision dates.

Some grant committee and panel meetings will take place remotely and they will be in contact with any affected applicants.

If an applicant's institution is closed and unable to approve and submit an application, the Royal Society can do this on their behalf, with agreement from the institution.


To minimise the impact of the global health situation on award holders, the Royal Society will provide as pragmatic support as possible, recognising the impact of the coronavirus on research is significant and evolving.

The Society is working with award holders and their organisations as well as the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to ensure that fair and appropriate support is in place.

They will be aiming to minimise the impact of the coronavirus on funded activities as far as possible.



The Stroke Association understands that there is currently a lot of uncertainty, and that COVID-19 is likely to cause serious disruption to research studies, particularly as many of its grant holders are working in the clinical environment and directly with vulnerable groups, such as stroke survivors. They want to support Research Award holders and be flexible around the disruption.

The health and well-being of funded researchers and people affected by stroke is a priority. They would not want anyone to be exposed to any unnecessary risk and are aware that many universities and hospital trusts will be issuing guidance regarding suspending ongoing studies. Also, that clinical staff involved in studies may be called to clinical work related to the recent outbreak.

They understand therefore that studies may be suspended and might not be completed within the agreed timescales. They will review any extension requests on a case-by-case basis and will work with grant holders to agree a solution at the appropriate time. Where possible, they ask that you explore alternative solutions, such as remote working, teleconference meeting or re-ordering parts of your study. They realise that budget impact of changes to your study may not be known for some time, but ask that you keep in touch. As a charity funded by voluntary donations, they have limited flexibility in their funding allocation, but ask to be kept informed.

For grants which are in the early stages or have an appropriate stop point, they would be happy for grant holders to delay recruitment of staff or put the award into abeyance for a period. Please contact them to discuss this further.

The Stroke Association Research Team can be contacted at


The decision to pause or close any research will be made by your institution. The Brain Tumour Charity will support any local decision to move staff to frontline healthcare duties and will work with teams after the crisis to explore ways to enable research projects to recover.


They expect that local institutions will cover the cost of grant-funded salaries during any period of closure due to COVID-19 and encourage institutions to take advantage of any local or national government schemes to assist with this. However, where this isn’t the case, get in touch with them to discuss further. Where clinical staff are moved to frontline healthcare duties they would expect salaries to be covered by the healthcare system.

Grant timelines

They will support no-cost project extensions required directly due to COVID-19 and will consider requests for costed extensions on a case-by-case basis.

Progress report submission

Deadlines for submission of all progress reports (annual and final) remain unchanged, but where these can’t be met they will be flexible on a case-by-case basis.

Projects which have not yet started

Any project which has been funded but not yet started should be paused. No further start certificates for new projects will be accepted until further notice.

It’s important for the charity to understand how COVID-19 is affecting your research. Therefore, please let them know the impact on your project by emailing and keep them updated on future developments.



Grants and awards

UKRI will work with the many institutions affected to understand the full extent of the issues and will discuss these with the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and other government departments.

They are planning that UKRI funding programmes will continue, but will work to identify any impacts on specific calls or research disciplines. UKRI's funding systems – Je-S, IFS and _connect – are operating as normal. They will review call deadlines and, if required, extend or reopen calls in light of the impact of coronavirus. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the appropriate Council or fund. They will continue to receive and decide quickly on grants relevant to the management and follow-up of the coronavirus pandemic.

No-cost extension requests to grants impacted by coronavirus will be allowed.   

UKRI has issued an open call for research and innovation ideas to address COVID-19. Researchers holding existing UKRI standard grants can apply to re-purpose this funding to address the objectives of the call. 

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The REF team has written to heads of institutions to outline the UK higher education funding bodies’ current position in relation to contingency planning for coronavirus for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. 

UKRI open access review consultation

UKRI have extended the deadline for submissions to its open access review consultation by six weeks to noon on Friday 29 May 2020. 

Training grants/students

UKRI recognise that students may find themselves unable to complete essential tasks and/or experiments in order to be ready to submit their thesis, for example due to departmental or institution closures. To avoid unnecessary pressure on students, extensions to submission dates should be awarded.

They recognise that extensions to submission dates due to COVID-19 will be reflected in research organisations' future submission data. Student health and wellbeing should be the priority during this unprecedented and uncertain time and no penalties will be applied to research organisations as a result of COVID-19 extensions.


Where travel is impacted, if researchers or students cannot travel due to government/official advice, or it poses a risk to the individual (due to an underlying medical condition etc), this can be charged to the grant in line with any other cost. If that cost cannot be absorbed by any overall underspend on the grant then UKRI will cover that small addition.

UKRI offices

UKRI’s office-based staff are being advised to work from home where possible. If you need to contact a member of its teams please do so via email and/or mobile phones in the usual way. If you were due to visit one of UKRI's office locations, institutes/research establishments or Catapult for a pre-arranged meeting, please contact the relevant team before setting off.

UKRI has contingency plans in place to prioritise its core operations but there will inevitably be some disruption in the short term.

Russell Group response

The Russell Group has written to UKRI to ask for support to protect the UK’s research workforce from the disruption caused by the response to the COVID-19 virus threat.

See also


Versus Arthritis have asked that any invoices for research awards sent via post only from 9 March onwards be resent by email to ensure that they are received and can be processed.

All future invoices should be sent by email to
They have also asked institutions to identify where they are behind on quarterly invoicing and send these the them as soon as possible.


All funding schemes and calls remain open for applications. Application deadlines, shortlisting, interview and decision dates will not change.

Wellcome will not consider requests to extend application deadlines. If an organisation is closed and unable to approve and submit an application, Wellcome can do this on their behalf, with the organisation's agreement.

Some advisory committee meetings will take place remotely. Wellcome will let you know if you are affected.


Wellcome will follow the policy of the employing organisation if any staff employed on a grant:

  • are unwell
  • need to self-isolate
  • have caring responsibilities for someone affected

They will supplement the grant for salary costs less any recoverable statutory pay. See their sick leave policy for more information.

They will pay the following costs for staff called away to work on the coronavirus response for one month or more (for example carrying out clinical duties):

  • grantholder – the running costs and salaries of anyone employed on the grant
  • fellow – fellow’s salary (unless provided from elsewhere), running costs and salaries of anyone employed on the grant
  • member of staff employed on a grant – salary, unless provided from elsewhere (for example, the NHS)

Wellcome will pay these costs and extend the grant for the period of time staff are away. 

If you have paid costs for an event or travel which has been cancelled, and these costs cannot be reimbursed or claimed for under insurance, you can claim these against your grant.

For other grants which may be affected (for example, if an organisation closes), Wellcome will look to minimise the impact on funded research activities wherever possible. This might be an extension or supplement to the grant, where it’s not covered by insurance.


Guidance from Research Services and Research Accounts


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University research support is largely still functioning in the online environment. Please do email your departmental research facilitator/support officer and/or Research Services grants contact to discuss your idea and plan for submission at the earliest opportunity, so we can plan your preparation and submission and alert the appropriate approvers.


Research Services remains operational, however please allow extra time ahead of the funder submission deadline, and ensure your head of department and/or head of administration and finance are available to approve. Most funders have an online submission portal, and departmental/faculty approval of budgets through X5 is also performed online. If your departmental approvers are not available, please contact your research facilitator/support officer, or your Research Services grants contact as soon as possible so we can assist.


Please contact your research facilitator/support officer and Research Services grants contact as soon as possible so that we can fast track your application through approval and submission processes.


Most funders are taking a pragmatic approach to dealing with the evolving situation, and we are aware that some deadlines have been extended. However, this is likely to be funder and/or scheme specific so please check the funder website for further information. We will also be keeping our information on this page as up to date as possible.


Arrangements are in place to try to ensure contracts are signed in a timely manner. However, we strongly urge you to contact your departmental administration team and Research Services contracts contact at the earliest opportunity if the contract is particularly urgent or is connected with a specific deadline.


We are aware some funders are delaying or postponing review panel decisions as a result of impact. Funders will notify applicants about the outcome of applications in due course.


Most funders are taking a pragmatic approach to dealing with the evolving situation. This is likely to be funder and/or scheme specific so please check the funder website for further information. We will also be keeping our information on this page as up to date as possible.


Online systems continue to be supported with staff working remotely.


Contact the X5 helpdesk as usual. 

We are currently unable to deliver X5 training but are working on online alternatives for new users.


Please contact Julia Haynes or Sue Douglas as usual, by email rather than phone if possible.


Support arrangements are unchanged. Details can be found on the IRAMS page



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Research Services remains operational. Please liaise with your usual Research Services grants contact. If your acceptance requires a ‘wet’ signature we do have procedures in place to make this possible, and will work with you and the funder to ensure this is complete.


Where allowable within the funder’s terms and conditions  (and with the exception of essential research relating to COVID-19) we would advise considering delaying the start of your project to ensure there is minimal impact on your research through any delays caused by COVID-19. Please contact your Research Services grants contact for advice where the funder is not clear.


Yes, however, please consider delaying the start if possible (see question above on delaying the start of new projects).


We are receiving confirmation from some funders that they fully support this direction and will provide no-cost and/or cost extensions to projects where staff have returned to clinical duties to support the coronavirus pandemic. There may be an expectation from some funders that the NHS will ultimately reimburse the project for associated salary costs incurred. 


Presuming this is in line with the contract (for example the work has been completed, or advance payments were agreed), please ensure your subcontractor sends the invoice electronically to the email address in the agreement with all the relevant backing documentation and this will be paid. 

No paper invoices, PRFs, expense claims, or advance requests should be sent to Research Accounts at Hythe Bridge Street. All documents should be handled electronically.

Please consult with your departmental administration. Payments are being prioritised by the University. Given the capacity of the payments process, please consider whether a subcontractor payment is urgent.  


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have a current notification (posted 17 March 2020) to avoid all non-essential travel, worldwide. We will be in contact with funders on alternative arrangements and possible no-cost extensions to grants where international travel is required, but cannot take place until a safer period.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has published information on the travel insurance implications of coronavirus.

Research staff and students are now required to pause or postpone ongoing or planned non-essential University research involving face-to-face interactions with human participants (unless arrangements can be made for the research to be conducted remotely or online).

Students will not be able to undertake fieldwork involving face-to-face interaction with participants that may have been planned for Trinity term. The same may apply to some other types of project, such as those that require access to materials that are only available in hard-copy archives. We recognise that some students may already have started a project that cannot now be completed, and that the scope will need to be dramatically altered. 

Students affected by this change should consult the course director in their department or faculty to postpone or agree an alternative project that can be completed from their desk (such as literature reviews, data analysis, conducting interviews by telephone or via teleconferencing, using online surveys or computer modelling). 

If students have any questions about the above, please contact your college or department/faculty in the first instance. 

If you are considering overseas travel, note that the FCO’s advice is against all but ‘essential’ travel. It is unlikely that research, teaching and other University business will be considered essential, although there may be exceptions such as travel connected with tackling the coronavirus outbreak. 

For further advice about overseas travel and fieldwork (including advice about how the University’s insurance will operate), please see the University Safety Office’s COVID-19 guidance


If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance covers issues including visa arrangements, travel back to the UK, quarantine while you are abroad, and advice to follow if you cannot return to the UK. 

For further advice about overseas travel and fieldwork (including advice about how the University’s insurance will operate), please see the University Safety Office’s COVID-19 guidance.


Please consult the University’s guidance on coronavirus for latest information on access to University buildings and facilities. 

Funders are releasing guidance and many are confirming that no-cost extensions in such circumstances will be allowed. Overall we expect funders will be pragmatic when considering requests to extend projects, although some may wish consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. Please see the Guidance from research funders section at the top of this page.


This will vary dependent on the funder and the nature of cost. The University is actively engaging with our major funders and UK government to seek clarity and appropriate measures on this. Some funders (including the Wellcome Trust) have indicated some intention to provide additional funding, however the mechanisms and details for this have not yet been finalised.


We anticipate that funders will adopt a pragmatic approach on this, however it is likely to be variable, so please refer to the individual funder’s guidance.

Where travel plans have been cancelled upon government advice, the costs should be recovered from the travel supplier where possible. If you booked travel via Key Travel please contact them directly.

The Insurance team are experiencing an extremely high volume of queries at the moment and are therefore unable to comment on specific and/or hypothetical insurance related queries regarding cover. 

Our advice remains the same for travellers who have taken out the University Travel Insurance. Please ensure that all FCO advice is followed and additionally any advice given by the insurance assistance provider –  AON Protect Assistance. Disregarding advice will likely mean cover will not remain in place. Please follow advice and take reasonable and pragmatic decisions. Any subsequent claims will be looked at in the coming months. 

Please note that AON Protect do not advise on insurance coverage and policy terms but will advise on travellers' individual circumstances and can assess on whether it is sensible to return and if this is in their best interest.


Please consult with your departmental administration team. Further University guidance around recruitment during the current period of disruption is expected. 

If your research requires (or has already received) ethical review and approval by the Central University Research Ethics Committee (via one of its subcommittees), please see the guidance on research involving human participants


Online systems continue to be supported with staff working remotely.


Support arrangements are unchanged, as detailed on our MARS webpage.


Support arrangements are unchanged. Please email for user access set-up/changes/removal and email for BI queries in the first instance.


Support is by email to the Oxford Researchfish Support Team at

Symplectic Elements

Support is by email to

Queries will be resolved on the same day if possible. More technical queries may take a little longer to resolve due to staff availability.


New COVID-19 studies

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As early as possible. If your research will involve OUH patients, staff and/or resources, you should contact

The OUH/OU COVID-19 Clinical Research Review Group chaired by the deputy heads of the Medical Sciences Division for research and translation, and with representation from the Joint Research Office and the major areas of activity (acute medicine/ITU, respiratory, immunology/inflammation), will triage all proposals for clinical research studies and trials at a very early stage in order to ensure that those that are prioritised can be given the fullest and quickest support by the respective Joint Research Office teams.

A template form will be provided and this form must be submitted for review prior to any funding applications being submitted. For further details please contact


Yes. On CTRG advice, obtain an IRAS number and we will review new COVID-19 studies swiftly and will negotiate expedited review of the study by the appropriate regulatory bodies, who now have systems in place for this.

Changes to existing studies due to COVID-19

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This should be treated as an urgent safety measure. Make the change, and then notify the REC and MHRA (if applicable) as soon as you can by telephone, and then in writing within three days.

CTRG should also be informed within three days of implementation of the measure.

A substantial amendment should subsequently be submitted to cover the changes made. Consider using separate specific information sheets detailing the additional tests, rather than amending the existing participant information sheet. 


This requires a substantial amendment which will receive expedited review by CTRG and relevant regulators.

When you submit to CTRG, please note in the subject header that the amendment is COVID-19 related. If the study will involve OUH, the OUH/OU COVID-19 Clinical Research Review Group will need to review the amendment.

Non-CTIMPs where the changes will not impact participant safety

Submit a non-substantial amendment to CTRG for authorisation. CTRG will process it as a Category C minor amendment not requiring HRA/HCRW approval (if relevant) and once authorised you can implement this and send it out immediately to all your sites. 

Non-CTIMPs where the changes will impact participant safety

This requires a substantial amendment, which will receive expedited review by CTRG and relevant regulators. When you submit to CTRG, please note in the subject header that the amendment is COVID-19 related. 


Changes to visit methods and/or frequency should be risk assessed, notified to CTRG, and documented in the Trial Master File along with a record of any protocol deviations. In the current circumstances, a formal amendment is not required for CTIMPs to implement these changes, and they will not be considered a serious breach of the protocol.  

Considerations for all studies

Participants should not be included into a trial unless you can confirm they meet the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Similarly, if the safety of a participant is at risk because they cannot complete key safety checks, you must consider whether to discontinue that participant.

Where necessary, urgent safety measures may be implemented first followed by a subsequent substantial amendment. In this case, the REC and MHRA (if appropriate) must be informed as soon as possible by telephone and then in writing within three days.

CTRG should also be informed within three days of implementation of the measure. A substantial amendment should subsequently be submitted to cover the changes made. You should also consider whether it is appropriate to temporarily halt recruitment (see question 11), or the study as a whole (see questions 12, 13 and 14).


This should be risk assessed and documented in the Study/Trial Master File, and a non-substantial amendment submitted to CTRG for authorisation.

CTRG will process it as a Category C minor amendment not requiring HRA/HCRW approval (if relevant), and once authorised you can implement this and send it out immediately to all your sites.

Verbal agreement that participants are happy with the arrangements should be documented in their notes. 


This should be risk assessed and documented in the Study/Trial Master File, and a non-substantial amendment submitted to CTRG for authorisation.

CTRG will process it as a Category C minor amendment not requiring HRA/HCRW approval (if relevant), and once authorised you can implement this and send it out immediately to all your sites.

Verbal agreement that participants are happy with the arrangements should be documented in their notes. 


The changes should be risk assessed, and the impact on the study documented in the Study/Trial Master File.

If confidential information will be handled in a manner that is not outlined in the participant information sheet, this will require a substantial amendment which will receive expedited review by CTRG and relevant regulators. When you submit to CTRG, please note in the subject header that the amendment is COVID-19 related.

Otherwise, submit a non-substantial amendment to CTRG for authorisation. CTRG will process it as a Category C minor amendment not requiring HRA/HCRW approval (if relevant), and once authorised you can implement this and send it out immediately to all your sites.  


Consider alternative methods to demonstrate approval, for example email confirmation. You should document any deviations from your normal processes, but you do not need to submit an amendment to inform CTRG of such a change. 


Protocol waivers are not acceptable.  

Ensure that any deviations from formal processes are recorded. An increase in deviations related to COVID-19 will not be considered a serious breach (unless participant safety is affected).

The MHRA acknowledge that reporting timelines for SAEs, DSURs and End of Trial notifications may be delayed due to capacity issues. Such temporary deviations from the reporting timelines stated in the protocol do not have to be notified as a substantial amendment, and normal processes should resume as soon as possible once the capacity issues have been resolved.

Every effort should be made to notify the MHRA, and CTRG, of SUSARs within the required timelines.   

Halting study activity due to COVID-19

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You don’t need to seek any approvals for this, but you need to place a file-note in the Study/Trial Master File recording the temporary halt. Once the current emergency is over, you can restart recruitment.

Please notify CTRG of any halts to recruitment and also when recruitment is restarted. If you need to make changes to protect participant safety when restarting, this will need to be handled as a substantial amendment. 

If you also need to make changes to procedures for existing participants, please refer to question 5.


Submit a non-substantial amendment to CTRG for authorisation. CTRG will process it as a Category C minor amendment not requiring HRA/HCRW approval (if relevant), and once authorised you can implement this and send it out immediately to all your sites.

If the halt will have a direct effect on participant safety, this will require a substantial amendment which will receive expedited review by CTRG and relevant regulators. When you submit to CTRG, please note in the subject header that the amendment is COVID-19 related.   


This only requires a substantial amendment if it will have a direct effect on participant safety. In this case, it will receive expedited review by CTRG and relevant regulators. When you submit to CTRG, please note in subject header that the amendment is COVID-19 related. 

Otherwise, you just need to place a file-note in the Trial Master File recording the temporary halt, and notify CTRG of the halt and also when the trial restarts. If you need to make changes to protect participant safety when restarting, this will need to be handled as a substantial amendment.


You should contact the MHRA directly, by phone or email, as they can escalate this to the DHSC. Please also notify CTRG if this situation arises. Submission of an amendment is not required in this instance

If no further treatment would have been provided to participants according to the protocol

You should submit an End of Study declaration to the REC, MHRA (if appropriate) and to CTRG. You need to follow this up with your final report within one year. 

If further treatment would have been provided to participants according to the protocol

This will require a substantial amendment if the post-study care will be different to that set out in the participant information sheet and thus will differ from what participants have consented to. You will need to discuss with CTRG whether expedited review of this amendment will be required.

COVID-19 and clinical investigations of medical devices

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Devices that will directly impact the COVID-19 emergency will be fast-track reviewed by the regulators. Please refer to question 1 for the initial steps to follow.

Also obtain an IRAS number and contact CTRG as early as possible to give advance notice of your application. Please note in the subject header that the investigation is COVID-19 related.


Yes, in this exceptional situation the MHRA may authorise the supply a non-CE marked device in the interest of the protection of health. To apply to the MHRA for exemption from the Devices regulations:

If the DHSC has already approved your device

Send the MHRA your application for exemption from the Devices regulations. 

If the DHSC has not already approved your device

Contact the MHRA by emailing, providing the information outlined on the MHRA website. They will advise on exemption from the Devices regulations. 

CTRG does not need to be informed of your application to the MHRA for exemption, unless the outcome is that the Devices regulations will apply. In this case, please contact CTRG to further discuss.   


Amendments need to be authorised by CTRG and the relevant regulators as normal, but those that are due to the impact of COVID-19 will receive expedited review. When you submit to CTRG, please note in the subject header if the amendment is COVID-19 related.

Note that the MHRA requires information on any changes made to:

•    the device under investigation
•    study documentation, including the clinical investigation plan
•    investigators or investigating institutions
•    changes requested by an ethics committee


You need to notify the MHRA, by emailing, and CTRG, as soon as possible.

Before you restart, both bodies will need to be provided with a summary of the actions taken and whether there was any impact on participant safety. It is important that you keep a record of all your actions and correspondence.


You should ensure that any deviations from formal processes are recorded. CTRG and the MHRA do not need to be notified of deviations related to COVID-19, unless participant safety is affected.


Contact the MHRA as soon as possible at They will review and advise on a case-by-case basis. It would be helpful to note in the subject header that the investigation is COVID-19 related. Please include CTRG in your correspondence with the MHRA. 


Carefully document all actions and risk assessments you take in response to COVID-19 to determine the impact. Your main focus should be on the safety of participants in your clinical investigation. Please contact CTRG and/or the MHRA if you need further advice. 

Human tissue governance


Contact the Human Tissue Governance Team at and put 'COVID' in the subject heading.  

If you plan to import material from Scotland or abroad, download the International Collaboration Checklist from the Oxford Global Research website and see section 'I'.  

General FAQs about Human Tissue Authority licensing can be found on the Human tissue governance FAQs page.

REF 2021

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The REF funding bodies have announced that the 27 November deadline no longer applies.

More information:


REF project managers are all currently able to work from home, so will be able to support you as usual (albeit remotely).

If you are not sure who your usual divisional contact is, or if you need support from Research Services, please email


Yes, you can still seek feedback on a decision or appeal a decision in the way outlined on our REF webpages


If you are unable to deposit a research output because of major disruption to your usual work due to illness, caring responsibilities, or clinical duties, we should be able to apply one of the exceptions to the Open Access policy.

Please deposit into Symplectic Elements when you can and the Open Access team will work on the output as usual.

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