We understand that this continues to a challenging and uncertain time for many of our researchers. On this page we have outlined some of our frequently asked questions around the ARUK Covid-19 response, and how we are continuing to provide support to our Grant-holders. If you have a question that is not answered here, or if you would like to discuss any aspect further, please do get in touch with us at research@alzheimersresearchuk.org.

Grant Funding Rounds

Q: I submitted an application prior to March 2020 - when will my application be reviewed?

In March 2020 we made the difficult decision to temporarily postpone funding of any new research, including our grant schemes, in order to protect our current commitments. This meant that unfortunately we had to postpone review of all non-Fellowship applications to June 2021.

We are pleased that we are now in a position to move forward with the review of all remaining applications. All applicants with a proposal under review have been contacted directly to confirm that they still wish for their application to be reviewed, and to be given the opportunity to provide any updates to their proposal. We are now in the process of peer review and lay review, and we look forward to considering these applications for funding at our Grant Review Board meeting in June 2021 (funding outcome provided July 2021).

Q: When will ARUK be opening new rounds for funding?

We are delighted to confirm that as of April 2021, we are able to begin the gradual reopening of our grant schemes for application, with an initial focus on prioritising those schemes focused on supporting Early Career Researchers.

For the most up to date information regarding new funding calls and deadlines, please keep checking our Grant Scheme webpages where we will communicate any updates as quickly as possible.

Q: Will ARUK take into account Covid-19 related setbacks and disruptions on future grant applications?

The past year has been challenging for many reasons. Throughout the various lockdowns and government restrictions, from furlough to health concerns to caring responsibilities, we understand that many researchers will have experienced disruptions to their research activity. We would like to reassure you that any disruptions to research activities due to the pandemic will be taken into consideration in future funding rounds. As we reopen our grant schemes there will be space on application forms for applicants to outline this information, if they wish, to enable reviewers to make appropriate adjustments when assessing records of outputs, research achievements, and career progression.

Information for Grant-holders

Q: What is ARUK’s position on the use of the Coronavirus Job Retention (furlough) scheme?

In the event that a researcher whose salary is paid through an Alzheimer’s Research UK grant is unable to continue the research outlined in their application as a result of government-imposed restrictions relating to the coronavirus, we expect host institutions to access the Coronavirus Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme that has been made available by the government until September 2021. Grant-holders may, if they wish, continue to use the grant to top up government support. In the case that a researcher whose salary is paid through an ARUK grant is furloughed, ARUK must be notified as soon as possible.

We appreciate that in some cases the Furlough scheme may not be applicable or appropriate, therefore in these cases we defer to the decision of the Grant-holder as to how best to manage their active award.

Q: What is ARUK’s policy if a researcher whose salary is paid by an ARUK grant becomes unwell, is required to self-isolate, or has caring responsibilities that precludes them from working?

If a researcher whose salary is paid through an Alzheimer’s Research UK grant is unwell, is required to self-isolate, or is unable to work due to caring responsibilities, we will defer to the policy of the employing organisation.  

Q: What flexibility can ARUK offer in terms of managing my active grant?

We will continue to be flexible across our active awards, to help support our scientists and minimise the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pioneering dementia research that is being conducted across the UK and internationally. We recognise that in these uncertain times there may need to be significant changes to the way in which projects are carried out due to restrictions on travel, work, recruitment etc. Considering the various government restrictions that are still in place, we recognize that further delays to projects may be inevitable as we all adapt to this new way of working. We would like to reassure you that you have our full support should you need to request any of the following measures:

  • We will support requests for no-cost extensions.
  • We will continue to be flexible with budget virements to ensure that any underspend can be fully utilised to cover unexpected additional costs caused by the COVID-19 situation. For major budget rearrangements, or for any other enquiries, please do seek further advice from a member of the team.

Please note, all requests must be sent to us in writing at research@alzheimersresearchuk.org

Q: Can I apply for a costed extension?

We know that many Grant-holders have been able to minimise the effects of the pandemic on their research through utilising cost-mitigation measures such as Furlough, or grant management devices such as no-cost extensions, virements etc. However, we do recognise that, due to the nature of the work and the costs involved, some projects will have been disproportionately affected by the ongoing government restrictions. If you are a Grant-holder who is facing difficulties in delivering on the original research objectives of your award due to the pandemic, please do get in touch so that we can discuss this with you further.

Q: I am a PhD student on an ARUK funded grant. What support is there available for me?

We are aware that many PhD students will have had their studies and research severely disrupted due to the various national and regional lockdowns, and the ineligibility of students for the furlough scheme. To mitigate these disruptions, we are working directly with final-year PhD students and their supervisors to provide costed stipend extensions of up to 6 months. To date, we have prioritised all ARUK-funded PhD students with a grant end date in 2020/2021, and we will continue to consider these extensions annually on a case-by-case basis. We will contact Grant-holders as they become eligible to submit a request for additional funding. If you have any further questions about this support, then please do get in touch with the Research Team.

Other

Q: How can I support ARUK to engage with supporters at this time?

We are always looking for ways to tell our supporters about the amazing research that is being carried out by our scientists! If you are interested in finding out more about how you can be involved in our social media work or other public engagement activities, please email fiona.calvert@alzheimersresearchuk.org.

Q: How can I contact the research team if I have further questions?

In response to the latest government advice, our office is open but we are operating at reduced capacity in order to adhere with the COVID-secure workplace guidelines. Please note that the majority of staff remain working remotely at this time. Like many other charities, where elements of our work have had to be paused or restricted, a number of employees have been on furlough leave.

The Research team remains fully contactable by email and phone and will continue to provide support to grant holders and prospective applicants. If you have any queries at all, please do get in touch at research@alzheimersresearchuk.org and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Updated April 2021