As a result of a growing interest from UK researchers and academic support staff on how to apply for the FP7 Post-Grant OA Pilot
funding, a first 'national webinar' on this European Commission funding initiative was held on 19 January. The webinar was targeted to UK-based researchers, project coordinators, research administrators and librarians and sought to:
- Introduce the pilot, the eligibility requirements and the pilot results so far;
- Explain how the central funding service can be used;
- Address the participants’ questions on this funding mechanism.
During the presentation, Pablo de Castro highlighted the total funding requests submitted, rejected and approved for Article Processing Charges (APCs) and Book Processing Charges (BPCs) by UK Universities (see figure below with the number and the average fees paid so far).
Pablo also covered country specific issues by highlighting that in the UK, the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot funding mechanism co-exists with other UK funding mechanisms – namely the APC funding initiatives run by RCUK
. By doing so, Pablo clearly emphasized that these funding mechanisms are distinct and have different criteria. For instance, the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot funding mechanism only covers APC costs for purely Open Access journals (i.e. non-hybrid journals) whereas RCUK and COAF cover both Open Access and hybrid journals.
After running a demonstration on how to submit a funding request via the central service, Pablo gave guidance on the steps that follow after the completion of a funding request form online:
- Funding request is submitted
- Moderator checks it and conditionally approves it if eligible
- Automatic notification collected by requestor
- Automatic notification collected by project coordinator for validation
- Request stays in "conditionally approved" status until invoice addressed to Athena Research Centre is uploaded
- If invoice is valid (VAT number must be included), the request is formally approved
- Notification for formal approval sent to the requestor
- Invoice processed and paid by OpenAIRE accounting office in Athens
- Bank transfer receipt uploaded into the system by the accounting office
- Paid request notification sent out to requestor
The invited guest speaker from the University College London Open Access Funding Service, Catherine Sharp, raised awareness to the particular eligibility conditions of the pilot which are distinct from UK research funders APC funding eligibility criteria. Catherine also highlighted other important differences between the FP7 pilot and RCUK and COAF funding mechanisms where in the case of the former, authors need to be more closely involved in the funding application process.
This event targeted to UK audiences proved to be an effective way to raise further awareness about the pilot and to address the participants' questions on issues around how to apply for funding, how to ensure compliance with the pilot requirements, reimbursements, VAT charges, invoices/splitting invoices, length of the funding application process, licences, and so on.
Any institutional library or research office wanting to provide support to their researchers in applying for funding from this FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot may contact the Jisc as OpenAIRE National Open Access Desk (NOAD) in the UK at
in order to collect a list of eligible FP7 projects which the institution was a partner or the coordinator in.
The ‘Check-list for submitting a successful funding request’
, which addressed specific eligibility and invoicing aspects, proved to be a useful tool to address several of the participants’ questions. Besides this, examples of best practices in submitting funding requests
are now also available.
The recordings of the presentation are available on Vimeo
. The slides are also available on SlideShare