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  • Opportunity 8 – Funding for ideas that address COVID-19

Opportunity 8 – Funding for ideas that address COVID-19

7th April 2020


UKRI will support excellent proposals up to 12-18 months duration which meet at least one of the following:

• new research or innovation with a clear impact pathway that has the potential (within the period of the grant) to deliver a significant contribution to the understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.
• supports the manufacture and/or wide scale adoption of an intervention with significant potential
• gathers critical data and resources quickly for future research use

If a grant is awarded, they will provide funding at 80% of the FEC.

What they’re looking for

Proposals should:
• describe the approach you will take and put it in the context of the national response to COVID-19. International collaboration is permitted, so long as the research is of relevance to the UK
• explain the level of urgency, and why the activity is important now
• demonstrate that the proposal has the necessary critical mass to make a difference. Where relevant, demonstrate the strength of links to relevant decision makers.
• demonstrate a clear route to impact within the timescale of the project.
• confirm whether the research requires any access to the health and care system and if so describe how you will comply with the newly established NIHR single, national process for prioritisation of COVID-19 research studies (see Additional information).
• give an estimate of the resources required (within 10%)
• as part of the submission, the proposal may include requests for access to UKRI experimental, analytical or computational capabilities that are currently operational.
• name the team that will run this and describe their ability and capacity to deliver
• UKRI can help provide access to pooled research staff from UK facilities, including research software engineering support and staff data scientists. Indicate on the form if help assembling the team is needed.
• provide evidence that the host institution or business supports the proposal and that the research can be carried out under present institutional or business restriction.

NB: You will need to show why it is not possible to resource the work by repurposing existing funds you may have available.

Proposals that are out of scope

These include:
• funding to directly mitigate the effects of the pandemic on specific institutions and businesses
• proposals more appropriate to other existing funding calls and /or other research funders
o UKRI will act to transfer proposals to appropriate other calls that are open, so do submit here if you are unsure.
o longer term research proposals that address the COVID-19 emergency or future pandemics that don’t meet the urgency guidelines should be submitted through normal responsive mode.

Project length: Up to 18 months
Closing date: none – apply at any time
Funding: 80% of the full economic cost (fEC)
Award range: There is no specific budget for this call. They are interested in funding research of any scale that can demonstrate it will deliver impact in the project length.

Proposals are invited for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Who can Apply
Proposals will be accepted from anyone who is normally eligible to apply for UKRI funding. This includes any company or SME that would normally be eligible for Innovate UK grant support. You will need to show that you can start work within 4 weeks of the funding being confirmed.

Researchers holding existing UKRI standard grants can apply to switch their funding to address the objectives of this call.
Only one active bid can be under submission from a researcher or business at any time.
You may be asked to become part of wider consortia or join with already existing efforts.

If you intend to work with international co-investigators:
You should provide information on all costs that you believe are needed for the research, including for international co-investigators. These costs will be examined further and justification sought if the proposal is looked at for potential funding.

Health impacts
For proposals that could lead to a UK, and potentially an international, health (whether clinical or public) benefit within 12 months and which meet this scope (PDF, 68KB) and are seeking funding, you should make your submission to the joint UKRI/DHSC rolling call via the NIHR single portal site.

They recognise that there are proposals that may fall out with the UKRI/DHSC rolling call scope and which could lead to health benefits within 12 months. For such proposals you should submit to this UKRI rolling call, selecting the most appropriate lead council.

Applications previously submitted to the DHSC/UKRI initiative’s earlier calls cannot be resubmitted to the DHSC/UKRI rolling call and, unless addressing a non-health impact within 18 months, are also not eligible for submission to the UKRI rolling call. Applicants seeking support for proposals with potential health impacts beyond 12 months are expected to seek standard response mode funding support.

Getting approval from your host institution, company or organisation
You need approval to confirm that the work is achievable under whatever constraints are currently in place in your department/university/company, and that they are content for you to focus on this work under 80%fEC funding. The approval can be from whoever has authority to give such assurance whether that is your department head, university research office or pro-VCs office.

Please note that they would like to see evidence that work could begin within four weeks of confirmation of funding.

How to Apply

To apply you need to:

1. Fill in the application form (Word, 54KB)
All proposals must utilise the provided form and be accompanied by:
– The regulatory requirements annex that forms part of the application form.
– A CV for the Principal Investigator and any Co-Investigators. Each CV to provide relevant key publications/outputs and grants and other relevant information indicating their suitability to lead/support the research as described in the application (no more than 1xA4 page per CV using Arial 11 point. These can be inserted into the form as a pdf).
– An optional document of supporting figures, GANTT chart and/or data tables (no more than 1xA4 page). If this is included, applications must be collated into a single pdf in the following order – Form plus Annex, Document of supporting figures, GANTT chart and/or data tables

2. Email your single PDF to CV19researchinnovation@ukri.org
Receipt will be acknowledged within 48 hours and in most circumstances PIs will have a response on the proposal within 10 days.

Proposals should be sent through this route for any research or innovation relevant to the above regardless of funding Council or whether relevant to multiple Councils.

Information relating to proposals may be shared, on a confidential basis, across UKRI councils, and with other organisations to support the national and international coordination of research to combat COVID-19 and to seek funding contributions from third parties.

Further information

For the full details of this opportunity and for further information Click here:
How they will assess your application
Additional information

Source: https://www.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/ukri-open-call-for-research-and-innovation-ideas-to-address-covid-19/

Here to Help – The Big Medilink Ask
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If not, then to ensure that we know how you can help during this Covid-19 crisis and so that we can send direct to you or your team opportunities such as this register on the MedilinkWM ‘Here to Help – The Big Ask?

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