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I work in a department within the Medical Sciences Division – am I eligible to apply?

Yes you can apply for bridging salary support provided you fulfil the other eligibility criteria.

I work in a department within the Humanities, Social Sciences or MPLS Divisions – am I eligible to apply?

Yes you can apply for bridging salary support provided that you work within Wellcome’s remit of ‘discovery research that has the potential to improve human life, health and wellbeing’ and fulfil the other eligibility criteria. If you are not sure if your research field would be considered eligible, please contact your Divisional Fund Coordinator in the first instance.

I am a researcher hosted by the Gardens, Libraries or Museums (GLAM) rather than an academic department – am I eligible to apply?

Yes you can apply for bridging salary support provided that you work within Wellcome’s remit of ‘discovery research that has the potential to improve human life, health and wellbeing’ and fulfil the other eligibility criteria. If you are not sure if your research field would be considered eligible, please contact the Medical Sciences Division Fund Coordinator in the first instance.

Why are only researchers working within Wellcome’s remit or in the Medical Sciences Division eligible for bridging salary support?

The source of funding for bridging awards will likely include Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF), the Medical Sciences Internal Fund, the John Fell Fund, and potentially other sources of biomedical research funding. Each funding source has its own eligibility criteria for funding and therefore only researchers who fulfil those criteria can be funded through the scheme.

I AM A Post-doctoral researcher - AM I ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

The priority for support will be researchers who have applied/are preparing to apply for an external fellowship or grant, which includes at least two years’ of their own salary, and whose ability to complete projects, produce research outputs and submit applications has been hampered by the pandemic. If sufficient budget is available, bridging awards may be made to non-independent post-doctoral researchers who are on a near-term career trajectory towards independence.

I am Grade 10 or above (or equivalent) - am I eligible to apply?

Applications will be considered from applicants who are up to Grade 9.6 or equivalent. Members of staff with a contract for Grade 10.1 or above are not eligible for an award from this scheme.

I am a clinical academic – am I eligible to apply?

Yes clinical academics are eligible to apply for bridging salary support if the Total Employer Cost of their salary is less than or equal to Grade 9.6. Clinical academics with a part-time contract with the University for research can apply for 80% of the cost of their University-contracted time.

How much funding can I apply for?

You can apply for up to 80% of your salary for up to six months. The exact amount you can apply for will depend on your Grade, Spine Point and the Financial Year of the award to allow for annual increments. You must ask your Departmental Grants or Finance team for an X5 costing to confirm how much you should apply for.

I work part-time – can I apply for a longer period of bridging salary up to the equivalent cost of 1.0 FTE?

No, you can only apply for 80% of your part-time salary for six months.

Can I apply for more than six months’ of salary support?

No, the maximum length of time to be bridged through this scheme is six months.

Can I apply for less than six months’ of salary support?

Yes, you can apply for salary support for any length of time up to a maximum of six months.

Can I apply for costs other than my own salary?

No, this scheme will only provide salary. For other research costs you could consider applying to the John Fell Fund, the Medical Sciences Internal Fund: Pump Priming scheme or the COVID-19 Rebuilding Research Momentum Fund.

Do I need to submit an X5 costing?

Your department’s Grants or Finance team should calculate the application amount using X5. Please submit a PDF of the X5 Admin Output with your application.

Do I need to have future funding in place?

There should be a firm plan in place for the ‘other end of the bridge’. The application must include details of the scheme, application status, application deadline and expected start date of the award(s) that you expect to apply for.

Must the future funding be external?

Typically the future funding source will be external, e.g. an externally funded fellowship. If the other end of the bridge will be an internal funding source, contact your Divisional Fund Coordinator to discuss the appropriateness of the funding source.

How long must the future funding cover my salary for?

The other end of the bridge should provide salary for at least two years after the bridging period. Shorter periods will be considered but priority may be given to applicants with longer-term funding plans.

What will the review process be for making awards?

Departments will be asked to rank their applications in order of priority at the time of submission. A Divisional Sub-Committee comprising academics, divisional administrators and EDI representatives will assess applicant eligibility and prioritise applications for funding. Each Division’s funding priorities will be discussed at a meeting of the Main Committee in July 2021 and applicants will be notified of outcomes after the meeting.

When will I hear if my application is successful?

The Bridging Scheme administrators aim to notify applicants of the outcome of their application by 23 July 2021.

When can my bridging award start?

It is expected that bridging awards funded from this scheme will start between 01 October 2021 and 01 October 2022. If you receive a bridging salary award but your current funding will end before 30 September 2021, your department can discuss interim support with the relevant Divisional Office.

What is the latest end date for a bridging award?

The latest possible end date for a bridging award is 31 March 2023. No extensions beyond this date will be possible.

Will I be able to apply for a costed or no-cost extension to my bridging award?

Costed extensions to awards will not be possible because the Committee intends to fully allocate the available budget in a single application round. No-cost extensions to awards may be possible if the applicant’s circumstances change, but the latest possible end date for a bridging award is 31 March 2023. Contact your Divisional Fund Coordinator to enquire in the first instance.

Do I need my Department’s support to apply?

Yes your department will need to provide you with an X5 costing, a letter of support and Departmental Approval for your application in IRAMS.

How much match funding do Departments need to provide?

A bridging award will cover 80% of the applicant’s salary for up to six months. Departments are asked to fund the remaining 20% of the staff member’s salary for the period to be bridged.

I work part-time; does my department still need to provide 20% match?

Yes, your department should provide 20% of the total cost of your salary for the period to be bridged, even if you work part-time.

Why do Departments need to provide match funding of 20%?

Departments are asked to provide 20% of the match funding so that the scheme can provide bridging salary to more researchers. Provision of 20% match funding on each award will allow the scheme to make at least an additional 8 awards across the University.

Do I need to seek approval through the Recruitment Freeze and Redeployment Protocol?

The process for seeking Protocol approval for contract extensions funded through this scheme is currently being finalised, and depends on your Division. Successful applicants from MSD departments will receive automatic approval from the MSD Recruitment freeze and Redeployment Protocol panel. Applicants from departments in the MPLS, Humanities or Social Sciences Divisions, or GLAM, may need to go through their normal Protocol approval process. 

How many awards will be made?

Depending on the application amounts, the budget is expected to fund approximately 40 bridging awards across the University.

If I receive a bridging award but ultimately don’t need to use all the money to bridge my salary, can I repurpose the award?

You cannot repurpose the award for non-salary research costs. It may be possible to repurpose the award to support the salary of other members of staff in the group or department, or the unspent award may be reclaimed to the central budget. You must contact your Divisional Fund Coordinator to discuss this in advance of any repurposing.

What are the funding sources for this Bridging Salary scheme?

The sources of funding for bridging awards made from this scheme are being finalised, but will likely include the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF), the Medical Sciences Internal Fund, the John Fell Fund, and potentially other sources.