Funder policies

A summary of the main points of the open access policies for some of the major funders of research at the University.


On this page:

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

UKRI’s open access policy requires journal articles and published conference papers submitted on or after 1 April 2022 to be made open access by the date of publication with a CC BY licence, and monographs, book chapters and edited collections published after 1 January 2024 to be made open access within 12 months of publication.

There are a number of routes to compliance, and we have produced detailed guidance for UKRI funded researchers.

Journal articles submitted before 1 April 2022 must comply with the previous RCUK Policy on Open Access. This requires research articles to be made open access within 6 months (STEM subjects) or 12 months (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences).

Monographs, book chapters and edited collections are not in scope of the previous policy.

UKRI provides a block grant which can be used to pay for Article Processing Charges (APCs) in some circumstances.

Medical charity funders (formerly COAF)

The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) ended on October 1 2020, and its member charities (Wellcome Trust, Blood Cancer UK, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson’s UK and Versus Arthritis) now have separate open access policies.

Links to these policies and further information can be found below.

The Library now only manages open access block grants for the Wellcome Trust and British Heart Foundation. These grants may be used to pay APCs for gold open access with a CC BY license providing that funds are still available and certain conditions are met.

Email to confirm eligibility before committing to paid open access options offered by the publisher.

The University has an agreement with Wiley, providing free gold open access publishing of research or review articles in Wiley journals. This deal is available to UoS corresponding authors funded by any of the former COAF charities.

Blood Cancer UK

Blood Cancer UK’s open access policy can be found on their website. They have not yet provided information about how they will support researchers with APC payments, but direct any enquiries to

British Heart Foundation

British Heart Foundation’s open access policy can be found on their website.

The Library administers a grant on their behalf which can be used to support APC fees for the publication of peer reviewed, primary research articles and non-commissioned reviews funded wholly or in part by BHF, including any irrecoverable VAT on fees.

It will not support APCs associated with commissioned or invited review articles, conference proceedings, editorials, letters or commentaries and any other charges associated with the publication, such as page or colour charges.

Please get in touch with us at once your paper has been accepted to confirm eligibility.

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK’s open access policy can be found on their website. The University of Sheffield has not received an open access grant from CRUK this year.

CRUK advises that “researchers that receive funding from us but are not based at an institution which receives support from CRUK block grants may use any unspent grant funds to pay for APCs. Alternatively, until Jan 2022 authors can comply with our policy by self-archiving their publication in Europe PMC within 6 months, if the publisher permits.”

Direct any enquiries to

Parkinson's UK

Parkinson’s UK’s open access policy can be found on their website. They expect grant applicants to include open access costs within their research grant applications.

Direct any enquiries to

Versus Arthritis

Versus Arthritis’s open access policy can be found on their website. Authors requiring support to publish articles open access should apply directly to the funder using their Grant Tracker tool.

Direct any enquiries to

Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust introduced a new open access policy on 1 January 2021. The policy applies to all current and new Wellcome grantees, and involves significant changes to what Wellcome expects, and what they will and will not fund.

You can read about the policy in more detail on our dedicated webpage.

The University Library administers a grant on Wellcome’s behalf, which can be used to cover APC charges if certain conditions are met. These conditions changed along with the policy on 1 January 2021.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) have a new open access policy which applies to peer reviewed journal articles (including non-commissioned reviews and conference papers accepted for final publication in a journal, conference proceeding with an ISSN number, or a publishing platform) submitted on or after 1st June 2022. More details about the scope of the policy can be found here.

Under the new policy, the final Version of Record or Author Accepted Manuscript must be made available through PubMed Central and Europe PMC by the official final publication date, without an embargo period. The licence should be CC BY (or Open Government Licence when subject to Crown Copyright) unless you have applied for a CC BY-ND licence exception. Monographs, book chapters and edited collections are not in scope of the policy.

In order to help authors comply with this policy,  an ‘open access funding envelope’ will be applied to NIHR awards issued from 1st June 2022. These funds can be used to pay “reasonable” open access charges for in-scope articles in fully open access or hybrid journals, and the Contractor is responsible for allocating this funding appropriately.  You can apply for additional funding if needed. If funds are used to pay for open access, the publisher should agree to deposit the Version of Record into Europe PMC on behalf of the author.

NIHR open access funds will remain available for a period of two years after the contract completion date, and you can apply for an extension to this period. Open access funds cannot be used to cover page or colour charges, or open access charges for publications not in-scope of the policy.

The University of Sheffield has a growing number of transitional agreements with publishers, which can be found on the following page. Articles published with a CC BY licence under these agreements will be compliant with NIHR, and will not require the use of additional funds.

You can also comply with the policy by depositing the Author Accepted Manuscript into Europe PMC, where it will be made available without an embargo period. This route does not require use of funds. In order to enable you to do this, articles submitted to hybrid/subscription journals should include the following statement:

"For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence* to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising".

*where permitted by NIHR, ‘Open Government Licence or ‘Creative Commons Attribution No-derivatives (CC BY-ND) licence may be stated instead

Authors taking this route should be careful not to sign a copyright transfer agreement or contract conflicting with the statement (eg. agreeing to an embargo or a more restrictive licence).

In-scope research articles should also include a data-sharing statement describing how the underpinning research data can be accessed, and appropriate acknowledgement of NIHR, including unique award identifier. 

European Research Council (ERC)

Horizon 2020 grant-holders (2014-2020) must ensure open access to all peer-reviewed publications resulting from funded research. Papers published during the project lifetime must be made open access either on the publisher's website or via a repository no later than 6 months (STEM) and 12 months (AHSS) from the date of publication. There is more flexibility for post-grant publications, which must be made open access via a repository but with no restrictions on embargo length.

Horizon Europe grant-holders (2021-2027) must ensure immediate open access with a CC BY licence to all peer-reviewed publications (including monographs*) resulting from funded research.

Publications can be made open access with a CC BY licence on the publisher's website or by depositing into a repository such as White Rose Research Online (WRRO). If you are publishing in a fully open access journal, publishing platform or are publishing a fully open access monograph, open access charges are eligible costs if incurred during the lifetime of your project. If you are publishing in a hybrid journal or are publishing a monograph where parts are not open access then these charges are not eligible costs. 

If you are unable to publish open access immediately on the publisher's website, you must make the Author Accepted Manuscript version available through a repository on publication and with a CC BY licence. Please note that most publisher policies do not permit this without you taking the additional steps outlined in the University of Sheffield Research Publications and Copyright Policy (applicable to articles submitted after 1st January 2023). Complying with our policy will help you retain the rights necessary to comply with your Horizon Europe requirements.

Further details are available on the ERC Open Science website

*Longform publications such as monographs can also be published under -NC or -ND Creative Commons licenses. 

For further information, contact

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