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 new 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 new 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 new 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)

new NIHR open access policy will apply to articles submitted on or after 1 June 2022. This will supersede the current policy, which has applied from 2014.

The new policy will apply to all peer reviewed research articles (including non-commissioned review articles) and conference papers, and be made immediately open access with a CC BY license either on the publisher’s website or through depositing the Author Accepted Manuscript into a repository.

Authors will be expected to retain the rights to make the AAM available without an embargo and with a CC BY license by including the following text on the submitted manuscripts:

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

NIHR will also allow CC BY-ND license on a case-by-case basis and an Open Government License if the work is subject to Crown Copyright. NIHR will pay reasonable fees to cover open access charges, and guidance around this was released in March 2022.

If your article was submitted before 1 June 2022, the previous open access policy will have applied.

This requires open access with a CC BY license immediately on the publisher’s website with a CC BY license or for the Author Accepted Manuscript to be made available via Europe PMC not more than 6 months after publication.

Authors are expected to make provision from their NIHR grants to cover any open access charges or to contact NIHR if this is not possible.

European Union

Horizon 2020 grant holders must ensure open access to all peer-reviewed publications resulting from funded research no later than 6 months (STEM) and 12 months (AHSS) from the date of publication.

Gold open access costs are eligible for reimbursement during the duration of the project as part of the overall project budget. Always check your individual funder’s policies for further information and check funder policy news for updates.

For further information, contact

Ask a question


Phone: +44 114 222 7200

A world-class university – a unique student experience

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.