UKRI to switch its COVID-19 open call to JeS and IFS -

The application process for UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) COVID-19 open call will change on July 31, 2020. After this date, instead of submitting a proposal via email, researchers and businesses must apply via UKRI’s online submission systems, the Joint Electronic Submission (JeS) and the Innovation Funding Service (IFS), respectively.

UKRI is advising researchers and businesses to check their access to these systems and register before July 31. Applicants will not be able to submit proposals via email after this date.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UKRI worked at considerable pace to publish an open call at the end of March 2020 for proposals for short-term projects to address and mitigate the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through this call alone, UKRI has so far funded 140 projects worth around £41m. This is part of a wider UKRI investment in COVID-19 related projects.

The application process for the open call was significantly streamlined to allow UKRI to quickly identify projects needing urgent funding. Peer reviewers and panel members stepped up to ensure rapid turnaround of reviews often within days rather than months, and teams across UKRI have worked tirelessly to ensure applicants receive a response as quickly as possible.

As the pandemic has progressed, the nature of the research questions that need to be addressed has evolved - while some projects still require urgent action, others can be addressed with less urgency. UKRI is therefore moving to a new way of managing proposals to its COVID-19 open call.

Proposals continue to be accepted on a rolling open basis. Applicants will be asked to explain how their proposed research fits with and complements the wider landscape of ongoing research, as well as justifying a start date within three months. Standard turnaround times from application submission to panel decision will be around six weeks; for proposals identified as highly urgent, rapid review will continue.

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