We understand that COVID-19 will have an immense impact upon research within the UK, and that this is a very challenging time for our researchers funded by Children with Cancer UK. In this uncertain time, we have been considering how best we can support researchers to mitigate the impact on their research, whilst also recognizing the restraints on our income due to this pandemic. We intend to provide a supportive and flexible approach to our research awards in order to address issues as sympathetically and reasonably as possible. Our team are continuing to work from home to support you and we ask to be kept informed of the impact COVID-19 is having on your research grant. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to update us about any changes to your grant activity or concerns you may have.
We are supportive of any decision to redeploy clinical researchers to the NHS frontline when salary costs will be met by the NHS. We ask that researchers and their Institutions keep date records of any affected staff member currently supported on one of our grants, including the duration of any redeployment.
We acknowledge that research activity will significantly drop due to social distancing measures, meaning our researchers do not have access to their laboratories. Previously, we advised that where research projects have been put on hold, our expectation is that the host institution is responsible for paying the researcher salaries usually incurred on our grants during this time. Children with Cancer UK are unable to support researcher salaries where a research project has been put on hold.
While we have reserves to cover all of our existing research commitments as originally budgeted, the anticipated impact on our income in the coming months will mean we unfortunately cannot offer any guarantee that will be able to provide costed extensions. Therefore, we are encouraging our researchers to utilise the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for higher education providers. This will provide the best possible chance to complete a research project within budget and protect medical research in the longer term.
We strongly advise our researchers to make use of this scheme if they receive funding for their own salary from Children with Cancer UK or have someone appointed on their grant who does. By working with the Association of Medical Research Charities, we have received guidance underlining that researchers who receive funding from charities for salaries are eligible for this scheme.
For all grants that are put on hold, we will automatically adjust the end date of your grant once it is re-activated, in order to account for the time that the grant was in abeyance. We will also support requests for no-cost extensions in order to give you more time to complete your project.
For any researchers who have been working on their project remotely, we will require a written statement setting out the work currently being undertaken and your plans for the future. Any requests to continue providing salary support during this time will be assessed on a case by case basis.
The total expenditure of your grant should remain within the awarded amount originally issued, but we will consider requests to use your funding more flexibly. This includes utilising any underspends and virements between budgets.
The schedule for submission of progress reports (annual and final) will remain unchanged. However we understand that you might require more time to complete a report and we will offer flexibility in submission deadlines.
As the leading national children’s charity dedicated to the fight against cancer, we are committed to helping the research community to manage and recover from this current crisis. We will provide you with any further updates as this situation evolves. Our thoughts are with you, your families and colleagues during this difficult time.
The entire world is currently facing a period of uncertainty due to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, what does remain certain is that 12 children and young people will continue to be diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK.Read more