COVID-19 message for all NIHR Academy Members
Given the current situation with COVID-19 we wanted to provide you with some reassurance from the NIHR Academy as to how we will support you as NIHR Academy Members through the challenging circumstances we are likely to find ourselves in over the coming weeks and months.
The Department of Health and Social Care has issued a statement on COVID 19 around NIHR funded or supported research. Where you are required to prioritise frontline care we will ensure you are supported to do so including making sure there is support in place for you to continue your research and training once the current crisis has abated.
Below are specific questions and answers based on the different types of awards we support. As the situation evolves we will keep these under constant review and provide further updates where necessary.
If you have further queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Q - I hold a NIHR Fellowship, Professorship or HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic award and I need to pause my research to work in clinical practice, how will this affect my award?
A - NIHR understands that clinical professionals may need to focus purely on clinical work in the short term and we will be flexible to support this. We will continue to make payments in line with existing payment schedules and will also extend awards where necessary. This will be managed at the end of your award. Applications for additional funding to cover additional research costs because the award has been extended will be considered. Once you know the impact on the research time in your award you should contact NIHR Academy to discuss the required extension.
Q - The research included in my personal fellowship has had to stop or been significantly delayed due to COVID-19. Will I be able to extend my award to make up for lost research time?
A - You will be able to request an extension to your fellowship to cover any research time lost due to the impact of COVID-19. This may be due to elements of the fellowship having to pause or move to a later date. Once you know the full impact on your research and/or training you should get in touch with the NIHR Academy to discuss the next steps. Any extensions will be agreed on the assumption the fellowship can still be completed within the originally contracted budget. Requests for any additional costs will be considered on a case by case basis where the impact is on your personal development. It may make sense for your research and wider fellowship, to make significant changes to your original plans due to the impact of COVID-19, for example, if a part of your research has had to be stopped altogether and unlikely to restart. In this case you should get in touch with the NIHR Academy to discuss any significant changes that you are planning to make. Where you are having to stop or reduce time on your research, for example due to extra clinical days/weeks, we suggest you keep a log of the changes being incurred.
Q - I hold an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship or Clinical Lectureship and am being asked to prioritise clinical duties, how should I manage this and will it affect my award?
A – We’re in contact with your local IAT training leads to say they should be as flexible as possible to help support you during the current situation. This may, for example, include rearranging your research time and clinical time to allow you prioritise clinical work if required. You should discuss this in the first instance with your academic and clinical supervisors for how this will be managed locally. If there are concerns the Training Programme Director, and the IAT lead should be contacted for further advice.
Infrastructure and Schools trainees
Q - I hold a training award (e.g. PhD) in the NIHR Infrastructure (e.g. Biomedical Research Centre, NIHR School) and am being asked to prioritise clinical duties, how should I manage this and will it affect my award?
A - Your local training leads should be your first point of contact. If you are concerned about the impact on your award please discuss this in the first instance with your training lead.