Support available for people with caring responsibilities

Support available for people with caring responsibilities

EPSRC is committed to attracting the best potential researchers from a diverse population into research careers and providing support to help them stay should their situation change. We have therefore developed these guidelines to highlight the support available to researchers with caring responsibilities. If after reading the guidance you still have questions/issues that we have not addressed please contact the Building Leadership team.

Participation in EPSRC activities

Where participation in an EPSRC activity would involve additional care requirements, our expectation is that your employer is approached in the first instance to meet these costs. If your employer is unable to cover these additional costs then EPSRC may reimburse reasonable extra costs incurred. Making arrangements for the care to be provided is the responsibility of the carer themselves.

Additional care requirements could occur if you are required to:

  • Participate in events on what would normally be a non-working day.
  • Work extended hours on a normal working day.
  • Attend meetings with overnight stays.
  • Travel overseas.

People invited to EPSRC events should check with the event organiser and confirm what costs can be reimbursed prior to attendance. Claims should be made using a non-employee expenses claim form (claimants should note that any tax liability is their own responsibility). Events may include meetings, workshops, sandpits and peer review interview panels.

EPSRC is unable to reimburse any costs that form part of someone’s normal care arrangements.

Support available on EPSRC grants

EPSRC allows applicants for funding to request additional care costs as part of research grant proposals. These may cover visits, meetings and overseas travel undertaken as part of the supported research activity. Costs should be requested via the Je-S application and fully justified in the justification of resources. For more information on costing proposals please see the resources section of our website.

FAQs

Applications for new grants

In my grant application, what can I apply for in relation to care costs?

Costs over and above your standard care arrangements may be considered as part of EPSRC proposals. The expectation is that your employer is approached in the first instance. If your employer is unable to cover these additional costs then you may request reasonable extra costs incurred as part of a grant application. The reasons these have been requested must be explained as part of the justification of resources. EPSRC will not consider covering any costs that form part of someone’s normal care arrangements.

Costs associated with requirements to travel to conferences or other events may be requested e.g. additional care at home. If you need to travel with your child you can ask for travel, subsistence, additional childcare, and visa costs.

Current EPSRC grant holders

I already have EPSRC grant funding. Can I claim care costs?

You may use your existing T&S allocation and/or vire between headings within the directly incurred costs to cover any care costs over and above your standard care arrangements. Additional grant funding will not be provided. EPSRC will not consider covering any costs that form part of someone’s standard care arrangements.

This applies to grant holders:

  • who may need to travel to events or conferences which require overnight stays e.g. if additional care provision is required at home
  • who may need to travel overseas with their child (in this case visa costs could also be included)
  • whose circumstances have changed since the grant was awarded

Is it possible to change staff working hours on a grant if an individual’s circumstances change (e.g. change from full time to part time working)?

It is possible for staff to change from full time to part time during the grant. EPSRC would expect the university to manage this change as part of their normal employment obligations. Additional staff may be recruited, using the EPSRC funding, to provide additional resource. If this staffing change may result in the objectives of the grant not being achieved by the end date then EPSRC may consider extending the grant. Grant holders are advised to discuss specific cases with a member of EPSRC staff.

If the change in circumstance is for one of the investigators then we would usually expect the other investigators to contribute more time to the grant to make up for this. If the grant only has a Principal Investigator, EPSRC may consider extending the grant. Grant holders are advised to discuss specific cases with a member of EPSRC staff.

Workshops and events organised by EPSRC

Can I bring my child to an EPSRC event?

In principle yes – however in order to participate fully, you are requested to arrange for childcare during the event. Making arrangements for the care to be provided is the responsibility of the carer themselves. Please contact the event organiser at an early stage for further information.

I am currently on maternity/paternity leave. Can I bring my baby to the event?

In principle yes – however in order to participate fully, you are requested to arrange for childcare during the event. Making arrangements for the care to be provided is the responsibility of the carer themselves. Please contact the event organiser at an early stage for further information.

I am breastfeeding my child. Can I bring my child and partner along for the duration of the event?

In principle yes - people invited to EPSRC events should contact the event organiser at an early stage before the event to discuss what facilities are available and confirm what costs can be reimbursed.

Can I bring additional support to an event?

Yes, please contact the event organiser as soon at an early stage before the event to discuss what arrangements could be made.

Will EPSRC arrange childcare whilst I am at an event I have been invited to?

EPSRC is unable to arrange this on your behalf. Making arrangements for childcare is the responsibility of the carer themselves.

EPSRC Peer Review Panel Meetings

I have been invited to sit on an EPSRC peer review panel. Can I claim care costs?

EPSRC will reimburse additional care costs which are incurred when sitting on an EPSRC panel. Only those costs over and above your standard care arrangements should be claimed. Claims should be made using a non-employee expenses claim form alongside any other T&S (claimants should note that any tax liability is their own responsibility). Please speak to the EPSRC panel contact before the meeting to confirm what costs can be reimbursed.

I have been invited to attend an interview for an EPSRC grant proposal. Can I claim care costs?

If you have been invited to attend an interview by EPSRC we may be able to reimburse costs over and above your standard care arrangements. The expectation is that your employer is approached in the first instance. If your employer is unable to cover these additional costs then please approach the EPSRC panel contact at an early stage to discuss your specific case. EPSRC will not consider covering any costs that form part of someone’s normal care arrangements.

I have been invited to attend an interview for an EPSRC grant proposal I submitted. I am unable to travel due to my care commitments, can I be interviewed remotely?

In some circumstances EPSRC may be able to conduct peer review interviews by video or teleconference. Please approach the EPSRC panel contact at an early stage to discuss your specific case and what arrangements could be made.

Resources