We want to offer some reassurance that as we move through the next few weeks, professional support for our research community is still available.  Teams in Research Finance Services, Research and Innovation Services, Research Governance, Library and Learning, Doctoral Training, TASC and HR are working remotely and are available to contact via email or Teams.

Please note: The FAQ section can be found here. You can also find funder updates at the bottom of this page.

 

Research and Related Grants and Contracts

Research Finance Services (RFS) are online to support new and ongoing research and related grant applications and post-award support for our current projects.  Research Finance Officers and Support Officers are contactable by email and key contacts for queries are:

We understand that there will be concerns around being able to complete tasks required on research grants due to illness, self-isolation, travel restrictions, working with collaborators etc. But encouragingly colleagues are still managing to prepare and submit grant applications, including a number to undertake research into the current pandemic. Requests for extensions to awards will depend on funder terms and conditions and advice at the moment is that in general, these will be assessed on a case by case basis.  We are monitoring current statements from our main funding bodies and will provide updates as they become available. Some current advice:

While the UKRI has indicated that it will cover some additional travel costs and consider no-cost extensions of projects, they haven’t mentioned what will happen to staff on fixed term contracts (Directly Incurred Staff costs) funded by the projects.

Illustrating some responses from the sector, please below a link to a letter sent by the Russell Group to UKRI about this issue and their response. While UKRI haven’t made any commitments, they are considering and consulting more widely.

Letter from Russell Group: https://russellgroup.ac.uk/media/5849/letter-ukri-from-russell-group-18-3-20.pdf

Response from UKRI: https://www.ukri.org/files/news/russell-group-letter-response/

See our separate FAQ page for direct links to updates from our funders.

Note that electronic signatures and email confirmation are acceptable for PRF approvals in current circumstances.

Any concerns regarding individual projects should be sent to your RFS key contact and/or your HR officer in case of employment matters.

We will be in touch shortly to confirm information on projects that will be impacted by the University closure.

Any queries in regard of research-related post award finance (e.g. studentships, service, consultancy etc.) should be directed to your School Finance team contacts

 

Research and Innovation Services (RIS) are still offering full service support for contracts, IP management and commercialisation, research development and industry engagement. If you have any queries regarding impacts of COVID-19 and remote working on any aspect of research and innovation business, please contact us, and we are pleased to be able to support business as usual for all areas.

Note we can sign contracts with electronic signatures in current circumstances and, if required, follow up with wet signatures later.

Our key points of contact are:

If you have questions/concerns about current or future industrially sponsored research, please contact Anne Muir in the first instance to discuss – these will be dealt with on an individual basis.

For questions/concerns about non-commercial research contracts please contact Pauline Cheung  or Julie Mulderry.

For questions/concerns about current or future service or consultancy contracts, please contact Margaret Teven or Jamie Henderson.

All COVID –19 related research will be treated as priority – please follow the normal procedure but you can also use above contacts.

Many contracts cover the type of unforeseen scenario we are in (Force Majeure) – please check the contract covering your research in the first instance and if you need help interpreting the clauses please contact us.

For any new research related contracts including service and consultancy please follow the usual process. We will ensure that appropriate wording is put in to cover start dates and performance.

For any IP-related enquiries please contact Debbie Wyatt .  All patent prosecutions, renewals etc. are uninterrupted and business as usual.

For any spin-out related enquires please contact Anne Muir

For any MTAs – please follow normal route: Material Transfer Agreements

For up-to-date Funding Opportunities information log into Research Connect

 

The team at Tayside Medical Science Centre (TASC) are also available online:

 

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The UK REF Team has advised that the UK REF timetable will be amended and the submission date of 27 November 2020 will no longer apply: REF Timetable   The UK REF team will announce the new deadline no later than eight months prior to that deadline. However, the REF staff census date (31 July 2020) remains unchanged, although we await further information from the UK REF team regarding the implications for impact case studies and environment statements.

The implications for the University’s REF planning and internal deadlines will be discussed with Associate Deans for Research and by REF Steering Group and UEG. The outcomes of these discussions will be communicated as soon as possible.

The central REF Team (Clive Randall, Rebecca Coatswith and Nicky Millar) are all working from home and can be contacted via REF@dundee.ac.uk for general queries or directly by personal e-mail for more specific queries.

 

Research Governance and Ethics

In accordance with Government advice and University policy on reducing social contact due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) has agreed the following measures for non-clinical research involving human participants, effective immediately:

  • You should stop any face-to-face interaction with participants until further notice.
  • Where it is not possible to change from face-to-face to remote interactions with participants the planned data collection must be paused until after the current situation is resolved.

If researchers are undertaking or planning to undertake clinical research they should contact TASC (Tayside Academic Science Centre) research governance by e-mail at: TASCgovernance@dundee.ac.uk.

Further information is available on the UREC Website.

 

Library and Learning Centre Research Services

The Library and Learning Centre (LLC) are continuing to support online services and scholarly researcher activity:

  • The LLC Discovery team are supporting OA requests remotely and other LLC Research Services continue where possible. Any enquiries can be emailed to discovery@dundee.ac.uk
  • The LLC Eresources team are providing remote support for journals and accessing eresources off campus. Any enquiries can be emailed to llc-eresources@dundee.ac.uk
  • Thesis Submission continues as an online service and Research Post Graduate students can find information on depositing their thesis in the Discovery Research Portal, where students will also find a link to the Thesis Deposit Agreement form used to manage embargoes and deal with copyright issues. Please contact discovery@dundee.ac.uk if you require any further information or assistance.
  • For any general enquiry of the Library and Learning Centre, access Library Chat on www.dundee.ac.uk/library.

 

Postgraduate Research

The Doctoral Academy team remain available online to provide dedicated support to our postgraduate researcher community. We will continue to provide updates, guidance and details of online opportunities throughout this time.

Any general enquiries can be emailed to: doctoralacademy@dundee.ac.uk  and for more specific queries our key contact details are:

Postgraduate researchers are encouraged to stay in regular contact with their supervisors and adapt their research activity accordingly. Please refer to our guidance document for further information about key aspects of the research degree process that have been modified to support ongoing progression and online opportunities that may be of interest.

Post-doctoral Research Staff

Here at the University, we recognise that working through the lockdown has been challenging for our research staff community. Not just the restrictions on access to labs and facilities, also the need to juggle work and care demands from home within technical and physical environment constraints, have impacted on how we can continue our research. We have adapted a poster, to show you some ideas of activities that you might be able to do when your research project is interrupted.  However, no matter the challenge you are facing, within the University community we are looking to support each other. Your line manager and relevant professional services are available for support should you need them.

Please note that if you have been furloughed you should follow the guidance as set out by HR in relation to undertaking activity while on the job retention scheme as discussed with your line manager and in the letter from HR. For updated FAQ's see: https://www.dundee.ac.uk/hr/news/2020/furloughing---frequently-asked-questions.php.  Remember that whilst being furloughed, you are still part of the University community and you can still get support and support others, keep in touch with colleagues and engage in your professional development.

Human Resources

The Human Resources and Organisational Development Directorate has put in place a number of measures to mitigate the potential impact on the services we provide to colleagues, job candidates and other contacts.  The team are working remotely with secure access to email and our HR systems, including the Payroll system. 

Our priority is to support colleagues across the University at this difficult time for everyone and, importantly, to ensure there is no impact on staff receiving their salary payments into their bank account at the end of each month.

The situation is evolving quickly and we will continue to monitor UK and Scottish Government advice and to work in close contact with colleagues across the University sector to respond to the latest developments and to questions, concerns and suggestions of staff.  We are also continuing to work closely with the Campus Trade Unions.

 

If you need to contact members of the HR team, please make contact by email or MS Teams in the first instance.  Contact details for each School and Directorate are available on our HR contact pages .  If you are unsure which member of the team you should contact, or have a general enquiry or question please email hr@dundee.ac.uk.

 

Communications and updates from funders

 

Funder

Current Awards – Information for Grant Holders

 

UKRI

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

Wellcome Trust 

For staff who are unwell, need to self-isolate or have caring responsibilities for someone affected, WT will supplement your grant for the costs your employing organisation incurs paying their salary while they're away, less any recoverable statutory pay.

The policy guidance for individuals that have had to take time off for child care have not yet been finalised

Costs associated with staff being called away to work on Coronavirus for one month or more will also be covered.

WT have automatically supplemented awards due to end before December 2021 to cover staff salaries and student stipends.  They have also extended these grants by up to six months.

For staff placed on furlough, WT have confirmed that grant funds can be used to cover any shortfall in salary payments.

 

Academy of Medical Sciences

 

AMS acknowledge that Covid-19 may be impacting on your original research plans. They are currently discussing the financial implications of this with the funders of their schemes.

Requests for no-cost extensions to Awards that have been impacted by Covid-19 will be granted.

 

British Academy

 

BA will treat all requests for no-cost extensions to awards and requests for virement of funding between cost headings sympathetically. 

 

British Heart Foundation

 

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

If suspension of research is prolonged and a costed extension is required, BHF will consider requests on a case by case basis in due course.

BHF encourage employing institutions to make use of the furlough scheme for staff funded on grants and will pay the unrecoverable portion of the salary.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

All no-cost extensions, supplements and any other changes to grants will go through the BMGF case-by-case decision-making process.

 

Cancer Research UK

CRUK has estimated a 20-25% drop in income for FY20/21 and has made the decision to make some cuts to research funding.  See open letter to cancer researchers.

Current award holders will be informed in writing on how their grant is affected.

CRUK fully support clinical academics, clinical research training fellows and research nurses being seconded back to the NHS to support front line service delivery, but expect salary costs to be met by the NHS.

For staff who are unwell, need to self- isolate or have caring responsibilities for someone affected, paid sick leave entitlements can be charged to the grant in accordance with the Host Institution’s usual policy.

CRUK encourage employing institutions to make use of the furlough scheme for staff funded on grants and have confirmed that grant funds can be used to cover any shortfall in salary payments.

Carnegie Trust

 

The Trust will take a sympathetic and pragmatic approach to enable researchers to make reasonable changes to research grant budgets. They will also allow no-cost time extensions to enable grant recipients to adapt and manage their research schedule as best as possible.

 

CSO

CSO Response Mode Grants

For grants awarded, but not yet set up, grant payments will be paused and re-profiled when the project  commences and a no-cost extension will be granted

For projects underway funding will continue in order to cover staff salaries, however if staff are redeployed to other funded projects or NHS roles, their costs should be covered.  Costed extensions will be provided when projects resume.

These arrangements will cover the period 23 March – 30 September 2020, but will be kept under review.

European Commission  

Horizon 2020 grants can only provide EU funding for the hours actually worked in the action; either in the premises of the participant or on teleworking. However, if the employee cannot telework during the mandatory confinement period set out by national or regional authorities, that period would qualify as a special absence.

This guidance applies to grants with actual salary costs (so not MSCA with its unit costs - in MSCA the current guidance is still that the project would need to be suspended for the period of "furlough").

 

EC Erasmus Plus

FAQs on the EC response to Coronavirus impact on the Erasmus plus programme

 

European Research Council

 

ERC grantees and their host institutions should flag any problems to their usual counterparts in the ERC's scientific and granting departments. ERC are collecting and analysing these requests, and we invite ERC grantees to consult the FAQs for beneficiaries of the Horizon 2020 Programme to find adequate solutions using the flexibility provided by the grant agreement.

 

Leverhulme Trust

 

The Trust will continue to take its usual pragmatic approach, and will allow reasonable changes to budget lines and/or no-cost extensions to grants, to enable grant holders to manage their research in the best way for their circumstances.

 

Michael J Fox Foundation

All currently funded research projects will receive a six-month no-cost extension (NCE). 

For staff placed on furlough, MJFF have confirmed that grant funds can be used to cover any shortfall in salary payments.

NIHR

Given that many grant-holders and staff appointed on NIHR grant funding also provide direct care to patients and the public, 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 the short term, organisations that need to pause NIHR funded research will continue to be paid in line with their existing payment schedules. This will be reviewed and payment schedules will be updated as usual following the annual statement of expenditure exercise, if contractors indicate that profiles need to change to reflect revised spending plans. NIHR will be sympathetic to extending contracts so that research paused or delayed because of COVID-19 has longer to deliver. Applications for funding to cover additional research costs due to contract extensions will be considered. 

 

Royal Academy of Engineering

Please be assured that the Academy will accommodate necessary changes to projects/activities as much as possible and will honour costs incurred in good faith whether plans go ahead or not.

RAEng anticipate that most grants that involve international travel or collaboration will require significant extensions and are working with our funders to put suitable plans in place.

Royal Society

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

 

 

Funder

New Calls / Applications

 

UKRI

UKRI funding programmes will continue, but they will work to identify any impacts on specific calls or research disciplines.  UKRI will review call deadlines and, if required, extend or reopen calls in light of the impact of coronavirus.

 

Wellcome Trust

 

All WT funding schemes and calls remain open for applications.  WT will publish any changes to application, shortlisting, interview and decision dates on the affected scheme webpages. 

Academy of Medical Sciences

 

AMS is still open for business and their programme of award funding is continuing to operate, although timings may change. Please visit individual scheme pages for details about specific Award rounds.

 

British Academy

 

The deadlines for currently open calls remain in force and applicants should submit their applications through Flexi-Grant in the normal way.

British Heart Foundation

 

BHFs standard grant schemes remain open for applications and they plan to hold the immediately forthcoming grant committee meetings as scheduled by moving them online.

 

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Grant deadlines remain unchanged at this time.

Cancer Research UK

CRUK has made the difficult decision to defer all 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.  CRUK 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. 

 

Carnegie Trust

 

The review of applications for this year’s round of PhD Scholarships is proceeding as normal and the Trust aim to email applicants with the outcome of this year’s competition by mid-May 2020. The Trust are about to start reviewing the March 2020 RIG submissions, with the aim of reaching decisions by the end of June. 

 

CSO

CSO have suspended the activities of their response mode grant committees and have cancelled the June 2020 outline application round.  Applicants invited to submit full proposals to the June 2020 committee meeting will now be considered in December.  The next deadline for new outline applications is 8th January 2021.

European Commission  

Reacting to the Covid-19 crisis, deadlines for some calls are extended to give more time for applicants to prepare their proposals.  The calls included can be accessed from the link.

 

European Research Council

 

Grant deadlines remain unchanged at this time.

Leverhulme Trust

 

Grant deadlines remain unchanged at this time, but the situation will be kept under review

Michael J Fox Foundation

MJFF intends to continue funding research during the pandemic – current funding opportunities can be found here: MJFF Funding Opportunities

If you were invited to submit a full proposal, please let MJFF know how your submission could be affected by filling out their online form as soon as possible.

 

NIHR

Urgent public health research into COVID 19 continues to be the priority for NIHR.  However they are also now looking to restart research activities which have been paused because of the pandemic and also to open up to new studies. The framework to support this restart process can be found here: NIHR restart of research activities

 

Royal Academy of Engineering

The Academy recognises the critical role that engineers can play in managing the impact of the pandemic, and is asking its Fellows, awardees and partners to use their combined engineering expertise and UK and global networks to help identify solutions, organisations and contacts that could help governments address challenges and assist the public health response.  The Academy is supporting the following calls for assistance

 

Royal Society

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