skip to content

Research Operations Office


Published on 3 April 2020

News from the Research Office

Since the University has been in its Red phase due to the Coronavirus pandemic for almost 2 weeks, the Research Office like many other teams has been getting used to all of its staff working from home. Whilst this has presented many challenges, we have tried to ensure that our key services are still available and would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.   

As you would expect, the Research Office will be prioritising all activity relating to COVID-19 while continuing to support academic and departmental colleagues as effectively as possible. To manage this, there are several changes to the way in which grant applications will now be dealt with. From 27 April, we will need:

  • a minimum of 4 weeks notice of your intention to submit to a particular scheme
  • a copy of the full proposal at least seven working days in advance of your funder’s deadline

Departments and PIs are asked to keep the Research Office contract teams informed of their discussions with funders and collaborators about potential mitigations and workarounds to their existing contracts.  We will need you to keep complete and detailed accounts of anything you agree in principle in order for us to prepare formal contract variations. This is most urgent in the case of grants that are due to end soon. 

In relation to new grant applications and contracts, Departments and PIs are urged to think about whether the resources, facilities and materials needed to carry out new scopes of work and programmes are likely to be available on time and for the duration of the project (and to plan for what happens if they are not).  We will need to be confident that any new contracts can be fulfilled by the University, and also by the funder ​and we strongly advise the use of upfront payments for those funders deemed particularly at risk.

On the ROO website:

  • For further details of these changes, as well as information about restricted calls, managing awards and contract negotiation, visit the COVID-19 pages on the Research Office website
  • Research funders continue to update their guidance and advise for researchers. We are collating details from the major sponsors and summarising this on our COVID-19 Funder Guidance page
  • In order for us to manage staff absences, we would encourage you to use email correspondence to the shared inboxes for grants, contracts and support teams as these will be monitored on a regular basis.  You can find these details on the Research Office contact page.

Updates from UKRI

This week UKRI have launched a single web portal for streamlined shorter grant and innovation applications, including guidance for researchers currently holding UKRI standard grants that wish to repurpose their funds for COVID-19. As of today (3rd April) they have updated their webpage on Impact of Coronavirus on UKRI-supported research.

Also, the UKRI data team are asking applicants who use the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) System not include the words "Cov-19", "Covid-19" or "Coronavirus" in the Summary or Title sections, unless the application relates to proposed research in this area. This is because from a data analysis purposes, the inclusion of these words can skew the statistics of the type of research projects that are being submitted.