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Costed grant extensions

At the end of June 2020, the UK Government, through the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), announced a package of financial support to ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain researchers funded through UKRI and the National Academies. 

All researchers who are eligible for this funding have been contacted via email using the email address associated with the researcher’s Flexi-Grant account.

If you have any questions about applying for a costed grant extension, please contact the Grants team via email or phone on +44 (0)20 7451 2666. 

Applications now open

Applications are now open. The link to the application form has been sent to all eligible researchers.

Submission deadlines:

Awards ending 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020 and Newton International Fellowships ending 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021: Apply by 18 September 2020

Awards ending 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021 and Newton International Fellowships ending 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022: Apply by 30 September 2020

Awards ending from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022: Apply by 13 November 2020

 

If you are unable to submit your request by the deadline outlined for your end date, it will be considered as part of the next group.  Please do not submit a request after 13 November 2020 as it may not be considered.  

Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply for a costed grant extension?

Researchers whose end dates fall in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years (1 April 2020 – 31 March 2022) and are supported through the following programmes: 

  • University Research Fellowship
    • GCRF-funded University Research Fellows are ineligible for these extensions.  
  • Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship
    • GCRF-funded Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows are ineligible for these extensions.  
  • Newton International Fellowship (including Royal Society – Kohn / Shooter / K C Wong / SBFT International Fellowships and certain Newton Fund supported Newton International Fellowships, excluding Royal Society – SERB Newton International Fellowships)
  • Research Professorship
  • Industry Fellowship
  • Short Industry Fellowship
  • PhD students or PDRAs either fully or partially funded by the Royal Society through:
    • Wolfson Research Merit Awards  
    • Wolfson Fellowships  
    • Enhancement Awards or research expenses from University Research Fellowships, Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships or Research Professorships   
    • Industry Fellowship PhD studentship programme   

Sir Henry Dale Fellows in need of additional financial support should contact the Wellcome Trust to enquire about additional funding. 

APEX Award holders and Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellows whose delivery of research has been compromised by the COVID-19 pandemic may apply to the Leverhulme Trust directly for a costed grant extension. Costs can be requested at the currently funded (i.e. 2020-21) levels for a teaching replacement salary and research expenses. Applications for an extension of up to three months, or exceptionally up to six months where research has been significantly affected, will be considered. Applications will be considered on a case by case basis. Email grants@leverhulme.ac.uk and copy in apex@royalsociety.org with the email subject 'FAO Academy Awards' for further details.

I am funded via the Newton Fund or Global Challenges Research Fund, am I eligible to apply for a costed grant extension? 

Newton Fund supported Newton International Fellows, excluding Royal Society – SERB Newton International Fellows, are eligible to apply for a costed grant extension up to 31 March 2021.

We are unfortunately unable to provide costed grant extensions to researchers who are supported through the UK Government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) via Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). If you are currently funded through GCRF and have an urgent and genuine requirement for additional assistance, please contact the Grants team via email

I have a PhD student supported through a Royal Society grant, are they able to receive additional funding?

A costed extension can only be requested for those PhD students supported on your Royal Society grant who are currently in the final two years of their doctoral studies.

Priority will be given to those students who are due to end their PhD before 31 March 2022.

We recognise that there will be cases where the pandemic may have had a disproportionate impact on Royal Society supported PhD students who will not have completed their PhD by 31 March 2022 and/or are not in the final two years of their studies. We will support no-cost extensions for such cases and a request for costed extension can be submitted for consideration.

Please note that support is not guaranteed as priority consideration will be given to those whose salaries/stipends end by 31 March 2022.

Value and duration

What costs am I able to request as part of the costed grant extension? 

The Society will support requests to extend grants at currently funded (i.e. 2020-21) levels for: 

  • PI salary and on-costs for certain Research Fellowships with end dates which fall in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years (1 April 2020 – 31 March 2022), in line with the guidance set out in the scheme notes of the relevant Research Fellowship. This will correspond to 80% of PI salary and on-costs for University Research Fellowships and Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships; 100% PI salary and on-costs for Research Professorships; and 100% of the Society's contribution to the PI salary only (on-costs not provided for these Research Fellowships) for Industry Fellowships and Short Industry Fellowships. In the application form, enter the value you expect to receive as set out above.
  • Where the Society entirely funds a PhD studentship, 100% of PhD stipend and fees for Royal Society-funded PhD students in the final two years of their project. The current PhD stipend and fees rates are £15,285 annual stipend and £4,407 annual fees. London weighting can be added where applicable and this is estimated at £2,000 per annum.
  • Where the Society partially funds a PhD studentship, 100% of the agreed contribution to the PhD stipend and fees for Royal Society-funded PhD students in the final two years of their project. 
  • 80% of salary and on-costs of Royal Society-funded PDRAs in the final two years of their contract. Extensions will be funded in line with the current funding level for the award. In the application form, please enter the 80% value you expect to receive.
  • Newton International Fellows (including Royal Society – Kohn / Shooter / K C Wong / SBFT International Fellowships and certain Newton Fund supported Newton International Fellowships, excluding Royal Society – SERB Newton International Fellowships) with end dates which fall in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years (1 April 2020 – 31 March 2022): 
    • 100% of stipend for the Newton International Fellow.   
    • 100% of visa renewal and immigration health surcharge costs for the Newton International Fellow and their dependents.   

Where posts are being currently supported on a part time basis, costs must be prorated on the same basis (e.g. a post held at 0.6FTE can request maximum costs equivalent to 0.6FTE). However, requests to increase the FTE of the fellow’s posts will be considered where justified but not guaranteed to be supported. 

Awards that will be extended into 2021-22 and 2022-23 will have annual indexation applied to salaries as part of the standard annual cycle. 

Where justified, we will also provide additional research expenses needed to replace resources critical to the research that were lost due to lockdown (for example, animal purchase and maintenance). However, we encourage award holders to utilise underspends that may be identified, for example from lower than expected travel costs incurred.   

Ineligible costs include other materials and consumable costs, equipment, travel, indirect and estate costs and other overheads, other directly allocated costs, and access costs. 

I need additional funding to cover costs which have been classed as ineligible. What can I do? 

Any research, travel or events costs that can no longer be used for their original purpose can be used for other research expenses on the basis that the change in expenditure remains within the funded aims and objectives of the research, and remains eligible in the context of the scheme. 

Where there are specific limits on consumable spend, these will be removed temporarily. You do not need our consent to make these changes. 

For programmes such as International Exchanges and Newton Mobility Grants where we have previously limited the amount that can be spent on research, we are currently waiving these limits as long as the funds are being used to support the original research aims outlined in your proposal. You do not need our consent to make these changes. 

Limits on the award holder's salaries, indirect costs, estate costs, management costs and equipment remain in place and changes may only be made with the Society's written agreement. 

How long can I request a costed grant extension for? 

A maximum of six months in additional costs will be provided for PIs, Newton International Fellows (including Royal Society – Kohn / Shooter / K C Wong / SBFT International Fellowships) and PDRAs, however a further no-cost extension may also be requested and is subject to approval.  

Newton Fund supported Newton International Fellows (excluding Royal Society – SERB Newton International Fellowships) are able to apply for a costed extension up to 31 March 2021.

Costed extensions of more than six months may be considered in exceptional circumstances where lockdown and COVID-19 can be proven to have exceptionally impacted the researcher and their work. 

A maximum of six months in additional costs will be provided for eligible PhD students. 

If you have received a no-cost extension since 1 April 2020 related to COVID-19, you can request costs back-dated to 1 April 2020. 

Applying

How do I apply for a costed grant extension? 

All researchers who are eligible for this funding have been contacted via email using the email address associated with the researcher’s Flexi-Grant account. If you believe you are eligible for this funding based on the eligibility criteria stated above, yet have not received an email, please contact the Grants team via email

All applications will have to be signed off by your institution’s research office. We have contacted all research offices with eligible researchers to make them aware of the process and we encourage you to reach out to them as soon as possible to make them aware of your intention to apply as well as to discuss the costs. 

We have written to university research offices to provide details of the eligible grants as well as the requirements to be met. At appropriate intervals, we will send a summary of the requests received from their organisation and the research office will need to confirm the details and costs as correct.  

In order to ensure that your request is considered in sufficient time, please submit your request no later than 31 October 2020. It is anticipated that no additional funding will be awarded after 31 December 2020. 

What will the application form entail? 

The application form has been designed to be to be as light touch as possible, recognising the challenges and pressures bought on by the pandemic for many individuals, whilst still ensuring we meet our duties as a funder to carry out our due diligence as necessary and to report back to BEIS. 

The application form will ask you to reflect on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on you, your research and your research group (if applicable). You will also be asked to consider what the impact will be on your research if you are not awarded additional funding. 

I have an additional Royal Society award associated with my primary award (e.g. Enhancement Award, Research Grant for Research Fellows), will that also be extended and do I have to submit multiple forms if so? 

You will have been told in your invite email which of your Royal Society awards are eligible for a costed extension including whether you have multiple eligible awards. 

It may be the case that the PhD studentship or PDRA costs included in your awards are eligible for extension rather than the entirety of the award. This will be indicated in your invite email e.g. ‘PhD - University Research Fellowship’ or ‘PhD, PDRA – Enhancement Award’. 

You only need to submit one form on Flexi-Grant which will allow you to input multiple eligible awards. 

When will I know whether my application has been successful?

In view of the large number of extensions we are expecting, we are prioritising those awards for which the time pressure is greatest. We are aiming for all eligible awards to extended by the end of the calendar year (i.e. by 31 December 2020). 

If you have more than one award eligible for a costed extension, the timeline is dependent on the award which finishes first. We will assess all of your eligible awards together. 

The provisional timetable below provides time frames and will be subject to change, based on the demand, to provide more time for award holders:

Award and end dates Submission date Notification of outcome
Awards ending 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020 and Newton International Fellowships ending 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021   By 18 September 2020  By 30 September 2020
Awards ending 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021 and Newton International Fellowships ending 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022   By 30 September 2020  By 30 October 2020
Awards ending from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022   By 13 November 2020  By 30 November 2020

If you are unable to submit your request by the deadline outlined for your end date, it will be considered as part of the next group.  Please do not submit a request after 13 November 2020 as it may not be considered. 

Is the application process competitive? 

The additional funding available is limited and we want to ensure that additional costs are distributed with as much parity as possible.  Whilst the process is not competitive, the eligibility criteria must be met fully. Due to the limitations on the funds available, we cannot guarantee that you will be awarded the full value requested.  

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