We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities and are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career(s) such as breaks and delays, disruptive working patterns and conditions, the loss of on-going work, and role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic.
Reviewers and panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts of the impact that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the track record and career development of those individuals included in the proposal and will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the research they are proposing. Where disruptions have occurred applicants can highlight this within their application, if they wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.
We acknowledge that it is a challenge for applicants to determine the future impacts of COVID-19 while the pandemic continues to evolve. Applications should be based on the information available at the point of submission and, if applicable, the known application specific impacts of COVID-19 should be accounted for. Where known impacts have occurred, these should be highlighted in the application, including the assumptions/information at the point of submission. There is no need to include contingency plans for the potential impacts of COVID-19. Requests for travel both domestically and internationally can be included in accordance to the relevant scheme guidelines, noting the above advice.
Reviewers will receive instructions to assume that changes that arise from the COVID-19 pandemic, post-submission, will be resolved and complications related to COVID-19 should not affect their scores.
Where an application is successful, any changes in circumstances that affect the proposal will be managed as a post-award issue.
EPSRC does not assess the presence nor value of any matched funding provided by the University before making a funding decision. Unless specified in the call or scheme guidance documentation, EPSRC does not require matched funding, either cash or in-kind to secure funding.
- EPSRC assessment processes including expert reviewing and panels may acknowledge the impact of university contributions, but will not consider the level of matched university funding as a factor on which to base funding decisions.
- Particularly with the increased pressures of Covid-19, EPSRC would like to stress to applicants that any cash or in kind support from the university for a grant is regarded as a benefit to building partnerships but is not expected to equate to cash or its equivalent (e.g. provision of studentships, secondments, training, access to equipment etc.).