End of grant and MRC/RCUK open access publications

Below is a FAQ we often get here at the School from projects that are funded by the RCUK.


We have an MRC-funded grant which was awarded before April 2013 and which ends 31 Dec 2015. The original budget contained a small amount of funds (£1890) for publications, which we have set aside. However, we are planning to publish ~4 papers which those funds will not stretch to; moreover, the papers won’t be submitted for publication now until after the grant has closed. How should I pay to make these papers Open Access if my grant was awarded before the 1st April 2013?


Since 1 April 2013, all the main Higher Eductaion Institutions (HEIs) have received a block grant to cover research publications costs. All publication costs related to papers covered by the RCUK policy are no longer included in Research Councils’ grants (see section 5.1.9 of the Applicant Handbook)

However, as the MRC already had an Open Access policy since 2006, most existing grants, awarded before the 1 April 2013 will have included some funding for publication costs.
The Research Councils expect researchers to use up funding allocated for publications costs in their grants first, and then if the money has run out, or was never allocated in the grant, to use the RCUK Open Access policy block grant that your institution holds.

If the grant has ended, but papers are still produced based on the work funded through an MRC grant, then the researchers should call on the RCUK Open Access block grant for funding.

The School receives a block grant from RCUK in which to pay for Open Access charges, to cover the RCUK Open Access Policy which states that publications should be made Open Access. The Library administers this block grant on researchers’ behalf. Details of this and the Open Access requirements for RCUK funding can be found on the tab above


Will the block grant cover all publication charges, or only the open access portion (i.e. what about colour charges, extra page charges etc)?


In general yes, but because the fund is finite we cannot guarantee this can be paid for and therefore encourage authors to publish open access without incurring extra erroneous charges which are often unrelated to Open Access but outdated journal “costs”.


Further information and other FAQs are found from the Open Access webpages.

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