Coronavirus: information for grant applicants and grantholders This page has information for anyone applying for, or who holds, a Bowel Cancer & Research grant. Applying for Bowel & Cancer Research funding How is the Spring funding round of panel and committee meetings affected? In normal circumstances, our funding committees meet to award funds twice a year; in Spring and Autumn and hold a further meeting in the summer to peer review PhD applications for approval at the autumn meeting. We made the difficult decision in mid-March to cancel our April grants meeting this was in light of restrictions on travel and gatherings of people. We understand that this was disappointing to anyone waiting to hear whether their grant would be approved. We had originally planned to add to the agenda for our summer meeting and complete the grants approval at this point. Since this time we have seen the UK move to a period of lockdown, fall into financial crisis and a different way of life for many of us. Many members of our grants committee have either returned to the frontline or are changing their priorities within the research field. To help support their courageous work we have now made the decision to cancel the July meeting to allow them to focus on the battle that lies ahead. We are sure you will all agree that this is the main priority for us all at the moment and whatever we can do as a charity to support this, however difficult, we must do. What will happen to my application submitted to the Spring funding round? If you submitted an application for the current Spring funding round the current plan is that these will be considered at the Autumn meeting. Will the PhD funding round in the autumn be going ahead? We have decided to extend the deadline for submissions to May 31st 2020 so that applicants have more time to complete the applications. The first peer review will now take place at the Autumn meeting with a final decision made in Spring 2021. As with the small grant application round we have made this decision to support our grants committee and so that we do not overload our peer reviewers with unnecessary work at a time when their skills are needed elsewhere. In future funding rounds, how will reviewers take into account this period of disruption when assessing applications? All applications will be considered as usual but allowances will be made where disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been noted on the application. I already hold a Bowel & Cancer Research grant, how does this affect me? As a charity we have had to review our current income and expenditure to ensure that we can meet all costs as they arise. Currently we are estimating that there will be a significant drop in our income and we are working through the implications of this. Many of the mass participation events such as marathons are now on hold and the general downturn in the economy will have a direct impact on all of our income streams. Due to the nature of our funding model we are currently in the position where we can meet all of our ongoing commitments but we will be constantly reviewing this over the coming months. We are committed to keeping the live research projects are major priority moving forward. Will Bowel & Cancer support me being seconded back to the NHS to support front line service delivery in response to COVID-19?We fully support our grant holders being seconded back to the NHS to support front line service delivery. The urgent patient care comes first and we must all work together. Our expectation is that the NHS will cover your salary whilst working on the COVID-19 response. Please discuss with your host institution how they intend to manage the salary reimbursement. Where my lab is closed, can research staff salaries be charged to the grant? Salaries funded by the grant can be charged to the grant throughout this period and you can apply for a no cost extension if needed (see below). Unfortunately, we are not in a position to fund costed extensions across the board. The government has announced a range of business continuity measures which are intended to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic. We would of course encourage your institution to explore these options fully if and while you are unable to work. If, prior to COVID-19, you had already delayed your start date for several months and you now need a further delay of up to 6 months, we will also consider this, so please do contact us at [email protected] When and how can I request to suspend my award?We will consider requests to suspend your grant if you want to pause payments and activities on the grant. Please let us know in writing the proposed suspension dates to your grant. How can I request a no cost extension?The grant holder should contact [email protected] if you wish to request a no-cost extension. Can I apply for a costed extension?We are not in a position offer costed extensions due to the impact of COVID-19 on our fundraising income. If you have already approached us about a possible costed extension, unfortunately it will not be considered. What flexibility can you offer me in managing my grant? We are happy to move start and end dates of projects as necessary in this period but this must be by prior agreement with Bowel & Cancer Research. What should I do if I’m not able to conduct my research at the moment?We understand your research may be disrupted and alternative research activities may need to be considered/implemented where feasible. You can propose any appropriate, alternative research activities and we will consider requests for no cost extensions (see below). How will Bowel & Cancer Research take into account any period of inactivity on my grant?We understand this period of inactivity on grants will be disruptive to your work. We will take this into account when assessing research progress, outputs and career progression. We will work together with you to adjust expectations about whether the full research studies can be carried out, what can be delivered and achieved during the programme of work once we all understand more clearly the impact of the disruption on the research project. To keep you fully informed we will update this page as required.