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Detailed guide: Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) after Brexit

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Get ready for Brexit on 31 October. This page tells you how to prepare for Brexit. It will be updated if anything changes, including if a deal is agreed.

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Government guarantee

The government has guaranteed funding for all successful UK bids to the Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) submitted before the end of 2020 if the European Commission ceases to pay UK organisations after a no deal Brexit. The funding will apply for the lifetime of your project as specified in your grant agreement.

Find out more about the government guarantee.

Register an existing project

UK universities and research institutions

You should register as the university or research institution you work for. Do not register as an individual researcher.

UK organisations

You should nominate a person in your organisation as the main contact to upload information and manage the government guarantee process.

This is usually the Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR) of your beneficiary or organisation.

European universities or businesses in a consortium with a UK entity

Do not register with UKRI if you’re an EU organisation.

You should ask the UK organisation you’re working with to register. All UK participants in a project need to register.

Register a new project

After you’ve registered

UKRI will contact you if there’s a no-deal Brexit. They will ask you for evidence of your existing RFCS grant.

You may find it useful to gather proof of:

  • your RFCS grant
  • your grant amount
  • any payments already received from the Commission
  • a financial statement submitted to the European Commission since the last grant payment you received – with proof of submission
  • project costs incurred since your last payment from the European Commission

You should not submit your documents until UKRI ask you to.

You’ll need to sign a grant agreement with UKRI to receive funding. Do not end existing grant agreements with the European Commission. You should sign agreements with the European Commission if they ask you to.

How UKRI will use your data

UKRI will ask you for permission to collect and process your data for the purpose of administering the guarantee. Your data will also be used to keep you updated with the guarantee process.

Payment process

Guarantee payments will be made in pounds sterling (£) using UKRI’s grant payment system (IFS). Payments through IFS will be made on a claim basis, in line with ‘business as usual’ processes. The payment schedule is different to the standard RFCS grant payment schedule.

UKRI will make the payments in the same way and to the same schedule as all other grants – this is different to the RFCS payment schedule.

Contact UKRI for support with the payment process at

Grant termination

You may be unable to continue in some RFCS projects as result of the UK becoming a third country participant. You should continue to work on your project unless the European Commission tells you your grant has been terminated. The government will work with you to find a solution if this happens.

A project can become ineligible if:

  • it’s not open to third-country participation
  • it requires a minimum number of participants to be from EU countries or associated countries

The government may provide you with funding to cover the cost of closing down the project if it’s not viable to continue on standalone basis. The level of funding will be based on the circumstances of your project and capped at the value of the outstanding grant.

Distributing funding

The government guarantee only covers UK participants. You can continue to distribute funding received from the European Commission if you’re leading a consortium with projects open to third country participation after Brexit. The guarantee covers funding granted by the European Commission for UK coordination tasks. The guarantee does not cover funding for consortium participants in other member states.

Match funding

The guarantee only applies to the funding secured through RFCS. Match funding provided by the public or private sectors is not covered by the guarantee and should be provided by industry or other partners.

After 2020

The government is working with UKRI to develop a new International Research and Innovation Strategy.

The government will decide on its science and innovation spending in the next Spending Review.

More information

Visit the UKRI’s website for more information.

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