Is my Research Council covered by RCUK Funding for Open Access?

The Research Councils UK (RCUK) is a strategic partnership between the UKs seven Research Councils. Each year they invest around £3 billion in research across all academic disciplines.

In their role of investing public money in research the RCUK is committed to open access to ensure the research they fund is free and open access to the public.  Although the RCUK supports green open access its preference is for the gold route as it offers immediate open access with the maximum opportunity for re-use. To support the gold route RCUK supplies UK Universities with a block grant to cover the Article Processing Charges (APCs). Gold open access means that the published version of a research article is open directly from the journal with no fees to the reader. Some journals require the author to pay an APC to help cover the journal’s costs and ensure the content remains free to the reader.

The RCUK includes the following Research Councils. If your research is funded by one of these you would be eligible to apply for funding from the block grant to make your research open via the gold route:

  • AHRC – Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • BBSRC – Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • EPSRC – Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • ESRC – Economic and Social Research Council
  • MRC – Medical Research Council
  • NERC – Natural Environment Research Council
  • STFC – Science and Technology Facilities Council



If you want to avail of this grant you should contact before publication to ensure there are sufficient funds remaining to cover the cost of your article processing charge (APC). For further information on eligibility and whether you meet the criteria please see the our LibGuide

For any further information or questions on open access please email us at

To read the full RCUK Policy on open access visit:

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One Response to Is my Research Council covered by RCUK Funding for Open Access?

  1. bigoutreach says:

    This is a informative post about the Research Councils UK.

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