Open Access Funding

Check the Open Access funding available and your eligibility to apply.

Open Access Fund

The Library manages a Fund provided by UKRI and COAF (for full list of charities please visit COAF webpage) to cover the article processing charges (APC) associated with gold open access. The Fund can only be used for publications where the research was funded, wholly or in part, by one of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) or by a member of the Charity Open Access Fund (COAF).

Eligibility for funding

Changes to UKRI (previously RCUK) block grant allocation 2019/2020. From 1st of August 2019 funds can be allocated for: 1. Fully open access journals, 2. Hybrid journals where the embargo period is greater than 6 months (for MRC/BBSRC/NERC/EPSRC) and 12 months (for AHRC/ESRC). If publishing in hybrid journal where the embargo period is within those previously stated, the block grant will not be allocated and green archiving in the LRA will be the route to compliance. Please continue applying for funding using our Open Access Fund application form, this allows us to assist you in meeting the open access policy requirements of UKRI.

If your publication was supported by any of the aforementioned funders, you may well be eligible if you meet the criteria:

  • The publication must be a peer reviewed journal article or conference proceeding,
  • You must explicitly acknowledge your funder (preferably with a grant number) in your publication
  • We normally only accept applications where the corresponding author is from the University of Leicester.

Funding for open access monographs is available for Wellcome Trust grant holders. This scheme is not administered through the Library, instead researchers can claim these costs back directly from the Trust, more information on Wellcome website.

For collaborative papers that cross institutions, we will pay 100% of the open access fee if there is a Leicester corresponding author.  Otherwise we will negotiate how the fees will be paid with the other institutions.

If your publication does not fall within the terms of our fund, you may be able to apply for funds from elsewhere and the Library has negotiated free or heavily discounted Open Access arrangements with several leading publishers.

How to apply for funding

The Open Access Fund application form covers all of the funders listed above.  The form asks you for details of your paper, open access fee, and your grant please make sure to have them ready when applying.

Apply to the Open Access Fund (please apply before submitting your paper). Please tell us ( once your paper has been accepted and send us the invoice or payment details as soon as possible.

The Library manages the fund on first come first served basis – therefore please apply to reserve the funding at the submission stage.

Please note that the Fund covers open access fees only: submission, page, colour or other charges are not supported and you will have to find another source to fund these.

Open Access Fund workflow

Once we have received your application, we will:

  • Check all applications and give you a decision within two working days if your request is straightforward;
  • In more complex cases where we need to contact the publisher for clarification, we will let you know why there is a delay;
  • If your journal is not compliant, we will explain why and set out any alternatives for you.

Please note: when your publication reaches acceptance stage, please forward the invoice to us for processing.

If you apply to the Fund at a later stage, after your paper has been accepted, we cannot guarantee to re-imburse you from the fund since we cannot plan financially on this basis as we manage the fund on first come first served basis.

Finally, please note that some publishers may offer you a choice of open access licenses at the point of submission.  To comply with both UKRI and COAF requirements, you must choose the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) and no other.  Variants of CC-BY such as CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-SA are not acceptable.

Further help and information

Further information on publishers who provide paid options for open access can be found at SHERPA RoMEO. You can find out whether your preferred journal is compliant with your funder's requirements by checking the new SHERPA FACT database.  If you are in any doubt, please contact the Leicester Research Archive team ( for further advice.

Before applying for the Fund you should check the relevant Research Councils UK or Charity Open Access Fund web pages for more specific guidance on their requirements before finalising where to publish.

We're here to help, so please contact us at alternatively check our FAQ for answers.

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