COVID-19 update for researchers

COVID-19 : A message from the Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt across the breadth of our health system and beyond. At this time, our focus should be on the safety and well-being of our beneficiaries, their families and those that they are responsible for.

We know that this is a deeply challenging time for people living with lung disease, our supporters and members of the respiratory research community. While the full impacts of the pandemic will take some time to emerge, we are taking a supportive, flexible and pragmatic approach to supporting the research community wherever possible.

If you’re a current AUK or BLF research grant-holder

Wherever possible, we are taking a supportive, flexible and pragmatic approach to making sure that our grant-holders will be able to deliver their AUK/BLF-funded work during and/or after the pandemic. We understand that some grant-holders are being called away from their research work to join the clinical response to the pandemic. We also know that some laboratories are closing in an effort to employ social distancing and protect staff. With this in mind:

  • If you would like to seek a no-cost extension to your grant award please let us know via email.
  • We will allow reasonable flexibility in how your awarded funds are used, to help ensure that you can deliver your study successfully (e.g. use of any underspend to cover unforeseen costs that arise due to the pandemic and are relevant to the delivery of the grant project).
  • If research institutions shut down for a period of time, we will continue to pay the salaries of staff funded on grants for that duration unless they will already be covered by the institution. Likewise, if clinical studies pause for a period of time, for example due to redeployment of staff or interruption of patient recruitment, we will continue to pay salaries for that duration unless they will be covered by the institution. If clinical research staff funded on grants are redeployed to support front line NHS staff, please keep a record of any affected staff member(s), the duration of redeployment (start/end dates) and the salary contributions recoverable from the NHS.
  • Total expenditure should remain within the awarded funding total where possible. If suspension of research is prolonged and a costed extension is required, we will consider requests on a case by case basis, in due course.
  • If you have any other concerns, please do get in touch. Due to home working we are not currently available on our listed phone numbers however if you would like to talk please contact us by email and we can arrange a phone call.
  • PLEASE NOTE: As we are now working remotely, all invoices relating to existing grants should be sent electronically to [email protected] or [email protected] as applicable and not by post. We’d be very grateful if you could please remind the finance team at your institution about this.

If you are currently preparing a full application for British Lung Foundation funding at present

To give applicants additional time to respond to the effects of the pandemic and submit the best application possible our current grant awards application and evaluation process will be delayed, with funding decisions to be made in the autumn. If you have been invited to submit a full application, we will be in touch with you on an individual basis as soon as possible.

If you are currently preparing an application for an Asthma UK Programme Development Grant at present

We hope to maintain the advertised timing schedule however we would be grateful if you could inform us of your intention to apply so that we can contact you directly should this change.

If you are currently awaiting the outcome of an Asthma UK/Innovate UK Diagnostics themed Project Grant application at present

We will be informing applicants of the outcome of this funding round as previously scheduled in late April/early May.

 

Wishing you all good health and wellbeing,

Dr Samantha Walker
Director of Research & Innovation