Diabetes UK Research Funding Position Statement on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Like all of you, we’ve been closely following the development of the COVID19 outbreak both globally and in the UK, and we’re doing all we can to understand the ongoing effect this will have on all of us.
Everyone at Diabetes UK is working very hard to make sure we can support everyone who needs us.
We understand the challenge COVID-19 presents to the Diabetes UK funded research community. It may mean that research studies funded by Diabetes UK need to be paused for a number of reasons, including to free up staff to help support the frontline response to COVID-19.
Diabetes UK is keen to support the research community during this difficult time and in recognition of this we have outlined our current position below.
- If you wish to return to clinical practice, or are asked to, please do so with our full and complete support. In these circumstances the Principal Investigator should contact Diabetes UK with details of the staff affected, to discuss next steps and the impact on their award.
- Principal Investigators should contact Diabetes UK as soon as possible if it is necessary to suspend a Diabetes UK funded award due to COVID-19, to discuss the impact on the project. Diabetes UK will be supportive of no cost extensions to cover the period of the delay.
- If COVID-19 results in the prolonged suspension of a Diabetes UK funded project, applications for costed extensions will be considered on a case by case basis.
- Clinical trials should be put on hold if there is a significant risk of COVID-19 to patients taking part in the trial. However, clinical trials or other research studies should continue if discontinuing them would have significant detrimental effects on the ongoing care of individual participants involved in those studies. These are clinical decisions which will need to be made on a case-by-case basis by local decision makers on the basis of local risk and capacity assessments.
To support existing research projects Diabetes UK will be flexible and allow virements between budget headings. So we are asking grant holders to review their project plans and associated costs to assess whether any funds can be vired between budgets, without impacting the delivery of project aims. In most cases we will be able to approve virements, with the exception of those proposing the purchase of additional animals which would need to go through a review process. If this is possible please contact us and we will ask you to complete the relevant form.
If the project cannot continue at present, grant holders are able to freeze the award until it is able to commence.
Some institutes are looking to use the Government Job Retention Scheme to furlough charity funded staff on grants if the project is not able to continue for the time being or if contracts are due to end in the coming months. If this is the case for your project, we encourage you to contact your institute HR Team and start those discussions to protect some of the posts on the grants. If you have already furloughed staff, please do get in touch to let us know.
We welcomed and fully support the updated statement from the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) that encourages universities to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until paused projects restart and urges universities not to make furloughing of researchers conditional on charity funders topping up the additional 20% of salaries not funded by the scheme. You can read the full statement here.
The details of how we will extend awards to allow you to finish your research will take a little time to work out, but please be assured that you will not be disadvantaged by the current circumstances.
The COVID19 outbreak is a fast changing situation, but we’re doing everything we can to make sure the most up-to-date information on its impact to people with diabetes and the research community is available to you. Please refer to this notice regularly, as our position may change as the COVID-19 outbreak progresses.
Congratulations on being awarded a Diabetes UK grant.
We require an annual and final report on the progress of your grant. These are linked to the financial cycle of the grant and should be submitted via our online grants management system.
One year into the grant, depending on the length of your grant, you will be required to submit an annual report within two weeks of the anniversary of your award. Failure to do so will result in suspension of further payments.
If your grant is running for 12 months or less, or you are in the final year of your grant, we require a signed final report with a financial summary, within six weeks of the end of the grant. The final report must be submitted via the online grants management system and a wet-in signed copy sent by post. The final quarterly payment is automatically withheld until receipt and approval of the final report.
Please note that annual and final reports should detail progress adequately and the Diabetes UK Research Team may ask for more information before accepting an annual or final report.
Please also note that our supporters raise funds for our research through programs like the Adopt a Project scheme, and that prompt reporting of progress is essential to feedback to our supporters.
Measuring our impact
We no longer require our researchers to upload data to the Researchfish portal. We're currently scoping how best to collect our impact data, and will be sure to update Diabetes UK-funded researchers of our decisions in due course.
In the meantime, as noted in the Diabetes UK grant conditions, please get in touch with us if you have research that you are about to publish. We can help you to communicate your research to a wider audience and this information is crucial for our future impact review.
Please contact the Diabetes UK Research Team at any time to inform us of research outputs or outcomes, as detailed in 'Communicating your research', below.
Questions about your grant
Extensions to your grant
If you encounter problems with your grant that may result in a delay please contact the Diabetes UK Research Team immediately so a time-only no-cost extension can be discussed. It is very rare that Diabetes UK will be able to provide funding for a costed extension to your grant or supplementary awards after funding has been agreed, but please contact the Research Team should you wish to discuss this.
Virement of funds
Should you wish to vire funds from one part of your awarded grant to another please contact the Diabetes UK Research Team with full justification for consideration.
Maternity and paternity leave
Diabetes UK is not the employer of staff on the grant. The institute where the grant is administered or staff posts are held is the employer and as such is responsible for maternity and paternity leave and pay during this time.
Please contact the Research Team if this type of leave is needed and they will suspend the grant if appropriate.
Diabetes UK is the not the employer of staff on the grant. The institute where the grant is administered or staff posts are held is the employer and as such is responsible for any sick leave and pay during a period of sickness.
Please contact the Research Team if this type of leave is needed and we will suspend the grant if appropriate.
Communicating your research
As you are probably aware, the research that Diabetes UK funds would not be possible without the generous support of our members and those who make donations to the charity.
Adopt a Project
The Adopt a Project scheme lets Diabetes UK supporters donate a minimum of £1,000 towards a specific Diabetes UK-funded research project, and ‘adopt’ that project.
Our supporters and local groups generate a substantial portion of Diabetes UK’s income through their fundraising and public awareness activities. Many of our members are particularly interested in the latest diabetes research and this scheme provides an opportunity for them to find out more about your research.
Please note that any funds given by these groups go towards your awarded total and are not top-ups to your grant. Diabetes UK groups are not permitted to donate directly to researchers.
A person or Diabetes UK group ‘adopts’ a particular research project for a period of one year. This may be a project that is taking place in their geographical area, or simply one that they find interesting. During this time, groups will be provided with an update on the progress of the project they have adopted and will receive acknowledgement in our directory of research projects.
Researchers may be called upon to give a presentation about their work to a group that has adopted their project and these will be arranged by Diabetes UK.These talks provide our supporters with a unique opportunity to meet researchers and encourage donations to support diabetes research.
If you have any further enquiries regarding the Adopt a Project scheme, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the Diabetes UK Adopt a Project scheme, your research may be profiled in marketing campaigns and other fundraising appeals.
These are standard fundraising techniques and in no way alter the amount of funds available for your project, whether we are able to fundraise against your research or not.
Disseminating your results
It is very important to raise the profile of diabetes research across the board. If you have a journal article going to print, have won an award, or receive coverage in local or national press, radio or television, please do not wait for your annual report to let us know – contact us at email@example.com.
We will not only let our supporters know but our Media team can also help raise the profile of your research.
Payment for Open Access Fees
Diabetes UK will not pay Open Access Fees for the publication of articles arising from grant awards. Diabetes UK will allow grant holders to use small underspends on grants to cover these costs, with approval from the Research Team. Please refer to our Open Access Policy (Word, 57kb) and contact us if you would like to use grant underspend towards the payment of open access fees.
Financial details and processes
Once you have been awarded a grant, and satisfactorily responded to any points raised by the Committee or reviewers, you will be sent an award letter.
The award letter acceptance slip should be signed and returned by a representative of the institute at which the award is held who is sanctioned by the institute to agree such contracts.
In signing the award letter, the institute agrees to the Diabetes UK Grant Conditions and template revenue-share agreement.
Once Diabetes UK has received an acceptance slip you will be contacted to activate the grant through the online Research Management System, followed with a payment schedule. Please contact the Research Team if you do not have a payment schedule for your grant.
Payments for Project grants, PhD Studentships and Fellowships
Project grants, studentships and fellowships are paid quarterly in arrears on receipt of your invoice.
Grants are paid on profile payments (rather than actual costs) as per the payment schedule.
At the end of the award, any unspent funds should be returned to Diabetes UK and if this is the case the final invoice should be reduced to reflect this.
Diabetes UK will not supplement grants that have spent more than the initial award.
Diabetes UK will honour any nationally agreed pay awards. These should be invoiced for separately at the end of each financial year. Please contact the Research Team for further information.
Payments for Early Career Small grants
Early career small grants are paid as a single instalment after the start date of the grant and on receipt of your invoice. Any unspent funds must be returned to Diabetes UK after submission of the final report.