Coronavirus statement for researchers

Here we set out what the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will mean for our research funding programme going forward.

Last updated 7 May 2020

As the largest dementia charity in the UK, Alzheimer's Society wants to reassure you we remain committed to supporting dementia research, now and in the future. 

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on all sectors. We know that many of you have had to pause research projects, universities have had to close labs and face-to-face interactions have become impossible.

At the same time, all charities have experienced a significant impact on incomes. Our priority is to remain sustainable into the future and safeguard our current research portfolio. So, before we make any future funding decisions it is important that we fully understand the financial impact of the pandemic.

As a result, we have made the decision to:

  • Delay funding decisions for our March 2020 grant round until Summer 2020.
  • Pause the remaining 2020 grant round until the financial impact is understood. 
  • Withdraw the funding round due to open in June 2020 

We know and regret that this will have a significant impact on researchers work and careers but want to reassure you that we remain committed to dementia research. 

We expect to open a new grant round across all funding streams for submission by March/April 2021.

Information for current grant holders

We are prioritising our current portfolio during this crisis, seeking to support you though this difficult time to complete your projects. 

We’re supportive of mitigations you may need to put in place to minimize the impact where possible. For example, reordering work packages, delaying recruitment and remote working.

We will be flexible with abeyance or no-cost extensions, underspend and virements, but will require a formal request enabling us to confirm the agreement. 

If clinicians are called back to front line services, the NHS will cover salary costs for this time. 

We will consider cost extensions resulting from the coronavirus on a case-by-case basis, to review the overall costs with host institutions and minimise the financial impacts of the shutdown where they are not covered by insurance.

Any requests for cost extensions will be considered at the current end date of the project. This will enable us to assess the actual impact and full cost of the delays with you and your host institution. 

The Government is providing support for charity funded researchers salaries through the Job Retention Scheme (Furlough). Host institutions are responsible for making applications to the grant scheme. Information on this scheme can be found on GOV.UK. As this support is in place, we will not be able to consider costed extensions to cover salaries. 

Additionally, we will not be able to provide cost extensions to enable institutions to ‘top up’ salaries from the 80 per cent grant or salary cap. 

Please inform us as soon as a researcher has been placed on furlough and any implications this has to your overall budget.

We will be monitoring the impact of the virus through your progress reports and may seek additional information from you about any potential impact on your grant.

Queries and concerns

If you have any specific concerns about your grant please contact us by email.

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