UKRI Emergency Route for Time-Critical COVID-19 Research Call

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has launched the Emergency Route for Time-Critical COVID-19 Research call to support short-term time-sensitive collection of data/samples or rapid turn-around research/analysis to:

Inform urgent policy or national decision making, or

Secure data for future research use.

Funding for the call is provided by the following UK research councils: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

This is a rarely awarded emergency route for exceptional circumstances, which will only be valid in exceptional situations. The normal route to apply for support for COVID-19 research is through existing standard research council funding opportunities.

Strict criteria must be adhered to in order to be eligible, including, but not limited to:

Demonstrating the time-critical nature of the research or data/sample collection.

Demonstrating a clear and rapid route to impact through existing partnerships.

Showing how a normal grant timeframe is unsuitable.

Justifying why an application was not submitted to any of the previously available UKRI COVID-19 funding schemes.

Having a clear plan to take this research forward including, if necessary, using normal grant routes.

Proposals are expected to focus on rapid turnaround research, urgent data or sample collection, and essential initial analysis only. Before applying, applicants should check the details of projects that are currently being funded to avoid duplicating existing work. Applicants should also consult UKRI’s current COVID-19 priority areas.

Proposals will be accepted from anyone who is normally eligible to apply for UKRI funding. (Business-led proposals are not eligible for funding through this call.)

There is no specific funding allocation for this scheme. All applications will be prioritised by research councils according to their existing budgets. However, the maximum funding that can be sought is £80,000 (80% full economic cost) and includes any facilities costs. Support is available for projects lasting three to six months.

This scheme has no set deadline and applications can be submitted at any time.

The application process starts with an Expression of Interest (to be submitted via email). The Expression of Interest document will be passed to a research council for review. If the Expression of Interest is accepted, the research council will contact the applicant to inform them of the next steps.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.