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Grants policies and positions

Animals in research

The Society maintains that a high regard for animal welfare should be adhered to in all research. The Society’s Terms and Conditions of awards set out the expectations of the Society with respect to the use of animals in research carried out under a Royal Society award. The Terms and Conditions regarding the use of animals in research are summarised as follows:

  • Research must fall within the regulations under the UK Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and its subsequent amendments. Research conducted outside the UK must at least meet the principles of UK legislation covering animals in research
  • The Society must be informed of the number of animals, species and procedures involving animals in an award holder’s research. Any significant change in number of animals or change in species must be communicated to the Society as soon as possible
  • The Society endorses the principles of the NC3Rs (replace, refine and reduce)

For further information, see our policy on animals in research.

Childcare Travel Policy

The Society can provide financial support to Research Fellows for any additional childcare costs that arise when attending conferences, collaborative research visits or invited talks directly related to their fellowship or award. This policy is also applicable to meeting organisers, Chairs and invited speakers when attending a Royal Society organised meeting or event.

For further information, see our Childcare Travel Policy (PDF).

Equality and diversity

The Society is committed to increasing diversity in STEM and will do everything it can to promote and encourage diversity. This includes looking at ways to attract a higher percentage of applications from underrepresented groups and regularly reviewing and revising as necessary promotional materials and processes to ensure that all applicants have an equal chance to succeed. 

Funding decisions are made solely on the basis of the quality of the proposed science but host institutions are expected to provide workplace structures (PDF) which support equality and diversity.

All panel members are given a briefing on unconscious bias in decision making to aim to address potential biases which can arise when making judgements on funding decisions.

Under-represented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

Flexible working and leave

The Society allows for part-time and flexible working arrangements depending on the award holder’s personal circumstances through the University Research Fellowship, Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, Sir Henry Dale Fellowship, Industry Fellowship and Research Professorships.

Individuals on these fellowships are entitled to take the full period of maternity, paternity, adoptive or extended sick leave as provided by their host organisation. Other care-related leave is also considered.

For further information, see our leave policy (PDF).

PhD supervision

If an award holder is supervising a PhD student during the course of their award from the Society, they and their host organisation are expected to adhere to the current good practice guidelines surrounding administration and supervision as outlined in the Quality Assurance Agency’s publication, UK Quality Code for Higher Education (PDF).

Research misuse

The Society expects all award holders to observe the highest standards of ethics and integrity in undertaking their research. Award holders have responsibilities with respect to research misuse as detailed under clause 3.16.1 (e) of the UK Research Integrity Office Code of Practice for Research (PDF).

Research publication

The Society is committed to the widest possible dissemination of research outputs through the awards it supports. 

All recipients of a Royal Society award are encouraged to publish peer-reviewed accepted articles and conference proceedings in open access journals. As a minimum, award holders are expected to follow green routes for open access by publishing in a journal which allows deposit of the accepted version in a repository providing free access with a maximum embargo of 12 months from the date of publication. The Society’s preference is for peer-reviewed publications to be freely accessible on publication to ensure the widest reach and maximum benefit to the scientific community.

Signatories

The Royal Society is a signatory of the following:

The Royal Society's remit

The Royal Society funds researchers at the postdoctoral level and above in the UK and overseas. Undergraduate, Masters and PhD students cannot apply for Royal Society funding.

Research must be within the Society’s remit of natural sciences, including biological sciences, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. For a full list, see our guidance page. The Society does not cover clinical medicine (such as patient orientated research and clinical trials), social sciences or humanities, other than when working in partnership with organisations. Applications for research in psychology may be made as long as they are based on the rigorous methods of experimental psychology and include appropriate statistical analysis of data.

Clinical and patient orientated research is considered to be an interventional study on human participants at the individual or group level, including but not limited to surgical or drug intervention. Eligible use of human participants in research can include investigation where the experiments are conducted in vitro – for example, the use of human tissue or other biological samples, chemistry techniques, mathematical modelling or engineering, translational research and collaborative research with clinicians.

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