Furlough for UKRI researchers – an update

A few emails have gone around the University today saying that “University is now asking to furlough all PDRA’s that are eligible” including UKRI-funded researchers. To clarify on this:

By eligible the University means that you meet all of the following criteria:

  1. You cannot carry out your work – either for practical reasons (e.g. you are lab based/work with the public) or because you have significant caring responsibilities
  2. You are UKRI funded (or industry/charity funded)
  3. You (or your PI) have already secured a no-cost extension from your funder


I want to be furloughed:

If you meet eligibility criteria 1 and 2, and you wish to be furloughed, you (or your PI) MUST now secure a no-cost extension from your funder.

The deadline for furloughing is 10 June 2020 – so you need to get your no cost extensions in now. No cost extensions are being handled by the Post-Award team in the Research Support Office. Furloughing of researchers is being handled by the Faculties – so you/your PI will need to get in touch with them.

If your grant is multi-institutional, the lead institution will need to submit the no cost extensions application. But still get in touch with the post-award team who will be able to help.

You will receive 100% of your normal salary. 80% of your salary will be paid by the government, the remainder of the 20% by the University. Though note that, as of 4pm on Thursday 4th June, it has not yet been decided where that 20% comes from, e.g. your grant or the University’s own funds.

I want to be furloughed but my PI is resisting:

To be eligible for furlough it must be that you currently cannot work on your project. In the worst case, furloughing would allow the PI to recover 80% of the costs of employing your during this period to be added to the end of the grant. This means that for every 5 days you currently aren’t working, the grant could recover at a minimum 4 days. That is compared to you charging your full salary against the grant but not being able to do any/much work at all. Hopefully when you sell it like that, there shouldn’t be any problems.

I don’t want to be furloughed:

Furloughing is voluntary. The University is not forcing researchers into furlough. If you want to continue working, you can.

That being said, don’t be ashamed to ask for furlough. This is a global pandemic – it is no reflection on you, or your abilities, if you need to be furloughed.