COVID-19: support and information for researchers

We are beginning to see the impact of COVID-19 on the research community. Research studies are being delayed or are needing to adjust protocols etc. Many funders and sponsors are sympathetic to the situation and guidance has been issued from major research governance/funding bodies on this. 

Please find below links to key information and guidance regarding conducting research in these unprecedented times. The information in this area is rapidly changing so we will continue to update and add guidance as it is issued:

Key guidance:

HRA guidance for sponsors, sites and researchers,

MHRA advice for management of clinical trials in relation to coronavirus

NHS Research Scotland guidance for sponsors, sites and researchers.  

NIHR guidance on the impact of COVID-19 on research funded or supported by the NIHR

Health and Care Research Wales: COVID-19 Statement

Health and Care Research Wales: Guidance for Health and Care Research Wales Support and Delivery Service regarding pandemic preparedness and response to COVID-19 outbreak

HSC R&D Division, Northern Ireland: COVID-19 Impact on Funded Research

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 contingency planning

Clinical Academics and COVID-19.
Advice from the Royal College of Physicians on behalf of major research funders on returning to clinical practice. This advice also applies to NMAHPs. 

British Geriatric Society: recommendations for COVID-19 research with older people.

Information from majority charity funders

OrganisationGuidanceSummary of information

Wellcome Trust

Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for grant applicants and grant holders 

  • Funding schemes and calls remain open for applications 
  • Will pay salary and running costs in some situations if researchers are called to the front line  
  • For other affected grants will consider extension or supplements 

Cancer Research UK 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for grant applicants and grant holders

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and cancer

  • Information for patients page now includes text on clinical trials

The Stroke Association

Research Awards and COVID-19 Arrangements
  • Will review any extension requests on a case-by-case basis to agree a solution at an appropriate time.
  • Researchers asked to explore alternative solutions such as remote working, teleconference meetings or re-ordering parts of their study.
    • For grants which are in the early stages or have an appropriate stop point, grant holders can delay recruitment of staff or put the award into abeyance for a period.

British Heart Foundation

Statement on Coronavirus and grants
  • If research institutions shut down for a period of time, BHF will continue to pay the salaries of staff funded on grants for the same duration.
  • If clinical research staff funded on grants are asked to support front line NHS staff, BHF will also continue to pay salaries, recognising that these costs may be subsequently recoverable from the NHS.
  • Prepared to support requests for no cost extensions to grants to cover any delays caused by the suspension of research.
  • If suspension of research is prolonged and costed extensions are required BHF will consider requests on a case by case basis.


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