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Travel and Subsistence Funding to Support LMIC Engagement During the COVID-19 Outbreak - Applicant Guidance




This scheme provides travel and subsistence funding to support delivery of technical expertise in the global response to Covid-19. This service is not delivered to, or on behalf of, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)/the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and does not constitute a contractual or service agreement, employer/employee or agent/principal relationship between any institution, body or person and the DHSC/NIHR.

For the avoidance of doubt, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure appropriate duty of care, insurance, safeguarding and all other liabilities are in place and the applicant has institutional support to make this trip and an appropriate institutional support in the destination country.

Application Information

Applications are open until further notice, on a rolling basis. Applications should ideally be submitted at least 2 weeks before planned travel. 

In making an application, applicants should note the following:

  • All sections of the form should be completed
  • Applicants must have a substantive position at a UK higher education institution or research organisation
  • Applicants require institutional support to apply for this funding. The host institution must agree to cover your duty of care, insurance and other liabilities
  • Applicants must receive approval for the application from NIHR before costs are incurred and invoices will be paid based on actual expenditure with appropriate supporting documentation.
  • Payments will be made to institutions not individuals
  • Institutions cannot claim VAT on the costs incurred
  • Applications must meet normal NIHR travel policy on reasonable travel and subsistence allowance
  • Queries should be directed to

Eligible Costs

Costs of transport for all journeys should be entered in the form. Travel by the most economic means possible is expected.

  • For UK Only: If travel is by car, apply your institution’s mileage rates (however, this should not exceed HMRC approved mileage allowance payments, which is 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p thereafter).
  • For LMIC based travel, local journeys must be charged according to the most appropriate (basic or standard) local rate.
  • NIHR will not reimburse any fines or penalties.
  • NIHR programmes do not fund first class travel. All flights must be economy or equivalent.

Subsistence covers accommodation (if necessary) and meals associated with the travel, excluding any alcoholic beverages

  • The standard of accommodation should be modest and not exceed four star
  • Applicants may claim costs of meals and refreshments providing that these are not provided through other means as a result of the planned travel
  • Costs for subsistence should not exceed the rates outlined in HMRC guidance
  • Expenditure on alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed

Please note that travel insurance for individuals will not be reimbursed through this funding. 


Host organisations are required to pre-finance activities in the event of a successful application. Expenses incurred prior to award notification will not be funded by NIHR.

Applicants are required to complete and submit a Request for Reimbursement Form (available on request) to finance&, which should indicate itemised expenses claimed, together with evidence of spend and an invoice. Payment will only be processed once all evidence is provided.  The minimum evidence required is the standard:

  • evidence of approval (authorisation to travel from host institution)
  • payment evidence


  • for travel expenditure: evidence of travel

For example, air travel evidence will be a ticket, a boarding pass, travel authorization and evidence of payment. Evidence of local travel will be any form of approval and a travel ticket.

Once NIHR receives the completed submission, it will be processed to be included in the next payment cycle of routine request for reimbursements subject to approval.

During the course of the award, should you anticipate any changes in the approved budget you are required to inform NIHR and seek prior approval before incurring the cost.


The Department of Health and Social Care accepts no liability whatsoever to the individual or their host institution as a result of provision of this funding for travel and subsistence. In submitting this application, applicants are confirming that in accepting the funding provided by DHSC, the applicant agrees and accepts the terms and conditions contained in this application form, this guidance and the award letter.