How does the Coronavirus lockdown affect funders?

31 March 2020

Every part of our lives has been affected by the current lockdown to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak, and the world of research funding is no exception. Some funders are postponing the deadlines for some or all of their schemes, while others are trying to continue as normal. Here we summarise what we know so far. If you want more information or help on applying for funding, contact the research and innovation services at our three partner universities:

British Academy

The deadlines for currently open calls remain in force and applicants should submit their applications through Flexi-Grant in the normal way. These include Newton International Fellowships, the Jordan-UK El Hassan bin Talal Research Chair in Sustainability and the various Knowledge Frontiers symposia.

It has cancelled public events and conferences up to the end of May.

European Commission

The following new Horizon 2020 deadlines have now been confirmed:

  • H2020-INFRAIA-2018-2020 – Deadline moved from 17 March 2020 to 14 May 2020
  • H2020-INFRAINNOV-2019-2020 – Deadline moved from 17 March 2020 to 14 May 2020
  • H2020-INFRASUPP-2018-2020 – Deadline moved from 17 March 2020 to 14 May 2020
  • H2020-LC-SC3-2018-2019-2020 – Deadline moved from 26 March 2020 to 21 April 2020
  • H2020-NSUP-2020 – Deadline moved from 26 March 2020 to 2 April 2020
  • H2020-INNOSUP-2018-2020 – Deadline moved from 2 April 2020 to 15 April 2020
  • H2020-SC1-BHC-2018-2020 – Deadline moved from 7 April 2020 to 4 June 2020
  • H2020-SC1-DTH-2018-2020 – Deadline moved from 7 April 2020 to 18 June 2020
  • H2020-SC1-FA-DTS-2018-2020 – Deadline moved from 7 April 2020 to 18 June 2020
  • H2020-SwafS-2018-2020 – Deadline moved from 15 April 2020 to 23 April 2020
  • H2020-S2RJU-2020 – Deadline moved from 21 April 2020 to 27 May 2020
  • H2020-SESAR-2020-1; H2020-SESAR-2020-2 – Deadline moved from 24 April 2020 to 16 June 2020
  • Horizon Impact Award 2020 – Deadline moved from 2 April 2020 to 15 April 2020

Details of the European postponements were provided by the UK Research Office in Brussels (UKRO). All the EARC universities subscribe to its service, so do contact them for more information.

National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR)

Public health research around Covid-19 is being prioritised to gather the necessary clinical and epidemiological evidence that will inform national policy and enable new diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines for the disease to be developed and tested.

This means 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. In addition the NIHR CRN is pausing the set up of any new or ongoing studies at NHS and social care sites that are not nationally prioritised COVID-19 studies.

Nuffield Foundation

The Nuffield Foundation is planning to extend some deadlines to give applicants more time and will publish an updated timetable shortly.

Leverhulme Trust

All its 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, but it will need agreement from an appropriate person in your organisation to do this.

Royal Society

As with the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust, all of its funding programmes and calls currently remain open for applications in line with advertised dates. It aims not to make any changes to application deadlines, interview dates or decision dates.

Some of its grant committee and panel meetings will take place remotely and it will be in contact with you if this affects you.

Like the Leverhulme Trust, it can submit applications on your behalf, but will require agreement from your organisation to do so.


UKRI intends for its funding programmes to continue, but it will work to identify any impacts on specific calls or research disciplines. Funding opportunities that are open now will continue to be advertised. All its systems are operating as normal.

Moreover, it recognises that the current situation may present additional challenges to those intending to apply. To help with that, the deadlines on all open funding opportunities will be extended to give applicants more time to submit their applications. These extensions will be managed on a case by case basis.

Wellcome Trust

As with the BA, Leverhulme and Royal Society, Wellcome is keeping all of its funding schemes and calls open for applications.

It has extended the deadlines by one week for any schemes with an application deadline up to the end of April 2020. It won’t consider requests to extend these application deadlines further.

All other application, shortlisting, interview and decision dates will not change. Some of its advisory committee meetings will take place remotely, and it will let you know if you are affected.

As with the funders mentioned above, it can submit an application on your behalf if your organisation can’t do so.

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