COVID-19 mitigation measures at the University of Glasgow

Since the start of the lockdown, the University has invested >£20M in trying to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on researchers, research projects, and research careers. Some of the University-level activities are described below. Many more activities are happening locally in Colleges.

For more details about the initiatives below, or for information on future plans, please contact the Office of the Vice Principal for Research (Tanita.Casci@glasgow.ac.uk).

Ongoing initiatives are detailed below.

PGR students (£3.5M)

Since the start of lockdown, we announced that we would support students, regardless of discipline or funding source. For projects that could not be mitigated in other ways, stipend extensions have been made available for PGRs most in need. As of May 2021, over 700 PGRs (25%) have received a stipend extension. £200K has been added to the PGR hardship fund.


Research-funded staff (£6M)

We furloughed research-funded staff who were unable to work productively, either because of the nature of their research or their personal circumstances. Over 440 of our 1,300 externally-funded research staff (e.g. postdocs and RAs) were furloughed, with the university providing the top-up to 100% salary beyond the statutory minimum.

For RAs taking the step to independence, we reactivated our LKAS Fellowship Scheme, which commits £100K to each external Fellowship application. Since April 2020 we have supported 78 Fellowship applications.


COVID-19 research (£3M)

Many of our activities were directed to COVID-19 research or to front-line duties. We supported these projects back on track, to mitigate the long-term costs of projects that had to be halted.


Research resources (£1M)

We have supported the maintenance costs of many of our facilities, where there has been an under-recovery of running costs.

Acquisition programs with e-books and multimedia suppliers has allowed the purchase and ownership in perpetuity of e-resources, thus directly supporting researchers who are working off-campus.


UKRI-funded projects (£7M)

Funds from UKRI has allowed us to offer extensions to UKRI-funded projects ending by 31 March 2021 as a first priority, followed by those projects ending 30 September 2021.


Differential impact of COVID-19 on research (£700K)

In February 2021, the Lab for Academic Culture launched 2 schemes to mitigate the long-term impact of COVID-19 on careers. These supported 164 R-only and R&T staff.

The interventions are described here. The following report describes the outcome of the applications.


Reinvigorating Research (£3.2M)

The University of Glasgow has allocated £3.2M to support proposals across three schemes to enable researchers to develop ambitious research ideas.

We want to hear about your ideas, the scale of your ambition, how you will work with others (where relevant), and what the intended outcome of the activity will be.

For more information or to apply please visit the Reinvigorating Research funding call webpage.

Closing date: noon on 24 September 2021


Careers and wellbeing support

To acknowledge the practical and mental health challenges of the disruption, we have provided support in the form of workshops on wellbeing and on the return to campus, two new positions to provide mental health support, a new post to support the implementation of the Researcher Careers Concordat, additional online training (e.g. PGR@home) and induction resources, as well as tools to allow PIs to hold career conversations and support supervisors. Over 400 PGRs and R-only staff participated in the training and coaching sessions.

We are now planning a series of activities to stimulate the research recovery; this includes an audit of our projects and skills, kick-starting of projects associated with the new Research Strategy, and piloting innovative lab spaces to increase productivity, automation, creativity, accessibility, and sustainability. Further details will be available shortly.