UKRI COVID-19 Extension Allocation
Page Updated 07 January 2021
The new national lockdown - with increased restrictions on travel and the closure of schools - may mean that research projects will face new disruption due to COVID.
In the summer of 2020, we were awarded a grant by UKRI to fund additional costs for projects that have been affected by COVID. We have so far allocated funds to several projects but do have money remaining that we can use to allocate funds to projects affected by this 3rd lockdown. This could be for projects facing further disruption or recently awarded projects that are facing disruption for the first time.
If your project is encountering disruption due to COVID which is likely to impact on the ability to finish on time and/or to budget, then please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note, there are restrictions to the funding - see section below:
Guidance on CoA
What funding will CoA provide?
In order to make the funding available to as many projects and staff working on grants who have faced disruption as possible, we intend to fund DI costs (staff, consumables) as a priority.
In the unlikely event that all of the CoA isn't allocated, we may award additional PI/CoI time (based on the extra hours researchers have spent) to the projects that have suffered the greatest level of disruption.
When does the CoA funding have to be spent by?
The end date for expenditure is currently the 30th September 2021. We are able to support grants ending after this date if necessary by moving expenditure to the CoA and then the grant picking up the later funding.
Are there any ineligible costs and activities under CoA?
The following are ineligible:
generic estates and infrastructure costs not associated with grants
permanent RO administrative staff
studentships or undergraduate activity
new research or gathering preliminary data for new research bids
costs usually categorised as 'exceptional' such as equipment
topping up the salary of furloughed staff
Can I provide costs to overseas organisations?
Unfortunately, not - the terms and conditions of the CoA grant only allow funds to be used for UK organisations.
Projects ending before 30th September 2021
UKRI published revised terms for CoA on the 25th August and these now state that non-ODA projects ending before 30th September 2021 will not be able to benefit from a no-cost extension and receive CoA support if UKRI did not approve the no-cost extension before the 31st July 2020 unless the no-cost extension requests are to accommodate parental leave or sickness.
Therefore, we are asking PIs of these non-ODA grants finishing before 30th September 2021 that may need additional funds, to hold off on submitting no-cost extension requests (unless they are only for parental leave or sickness) until the survey has been completed and we have determined whether or not funds will be needed and/or allocated to these projects.
ODA projects ending before 30th September 2021 will be able to benefit from a no-cost extension and receive CoA support if a no-cost extension has been accepted by 31st October 2020, or if the no-cost extension is to accommodate parental leave or sickness.
If a project doesn't need any additional funds then a no-cost extension can be sought but this will make it ineligible for CoA in the future.
In order to ensure that the CoA funds go to those projects that have faced disruption:
PIs can vire between heading within their own grant i.e. to use savings on travel to pay for additional staff time etc
If project progressed has not been impacted and an extension to the current end date is not needed, you should not request any additional funds from CoA via the survey (but please complete the survey!)
If staff employed in the grant have been furloughed, then there should be sufficient funds within the grant to extend the contracts of the affected staff by the length of their furlough period. CoA cannot be used to pay for or top up furloughed staff. We would normally expect grants with furloughed staff to seek no-cost extensions to spend existing grant funds and only apply for CoA funds in exceptional circumstances (for example if grants have to restart activities and therefore significantly more research staff time is required)
If you need a little extra time to complete your work but have sufficient funds within the grant remaining to cover all foreseeable expenditure, then you should not ask for any additional funds via the survey and a No-Cost Extension should be requested through Je-S. Please check with your research accountant.
Which projects are eligible to receive this funding?
All live UKRI grants including Innovate UK grants apart from:
Those subject to restricted or non-competitive renewals such as:
o block grants with automatic renewals
o strategic funding for Institutes
o NERC National Capability
o capital funding calls
o services or activities that have been provided for separately such as studentships
Some Innovate grants:
o OLEV, ATI, APC and CCAV grants
Projects finishing before 30th September 2021 that have been granted a no cost extension by UKRI after 31st July 2020 (see above)
Please note we can't extend projects that have already finished.
Collaborative grants with other UK institutions
If the University of Reading is the lead organisation, the UoR PI should contact their co-investigators at other UK organisations to determine if additional funding is needed and how much that might be. If additional funding is required by the other UK organisations, we will amend collaboration agreements and provide funds to any affected organisations.
Please note we can only provide funds to other UK organisations in roughly the same proportions as the original budget split.
If we are co-investigators on collaborative grants where progress has been disrupted and additional funds are needed, the UoR PI should discuss this with the overall project PI and see if we can access funds via the lead organisations' CoA fund. In the (hopefully unlikely) event that the lead organisation does not have funding available, we will endeavour to cover this from our own allocation.
For further details on CoA please see the UKRI webpages.