Research and Innovation Services


Parental and other leave

The research funder and Award Services should be informed if anyone directly employed on a research project is taking maternity, paternity, adoption or parental leave. 

The policy of research funders with regard to increasing funding and extending the duration of the grants for directly incurred staff on these types of leave varies. 

The funder’s provision should be checked to see whether, for example, they will provide additional funding to make a substitute appointment to compensate for the whole, or part, of a period of leave, or extend the duration of a grant for a period equivalent to the leave taken so that the project can be completed. 

Please check the terms and conditions of your funder from the award letter, funder website or contact your Research Finance Administrator in Award Services for further information.

The default position is that additional costs associated with maternity, paternity, adoption or parental leave should be recovered from the external funding body wherever possible. Where these are not supported by the funder the University will meet the additional costs from a central fund.

When central funds are required please contact your Departmental HR team who will provide operational advice.

Below are the terms and conditions of some of UCL’s main research funders: 


  • The research grant will be compensated at the end of the grant to cover any additional net costs that cannot be met within the awarded budget
  • An extension of up to 12 months can be requested by a JES Maintenance request or you can appoint a replacement to cover the post. UKRI must be informed in either case.

Wellcome Trust

  • The research grant will be supplemented by the value of the additional net cost and grant extended by the period of leave taken
  • Please contact the Wellcome Trust in advance to advise them of the expected maternity leave period.

European Commission

  • Parental leave costs cannot be recovered from the European Commission
  • Some specific schemes (Marie Curie) do allow a period of suspension and a corresponding extension can be applied to the fellow’s appointment, subject to approval from the Commission. 

Cancer Research UK

  • Parental leave costs cannot be recovered from Cancer Research UK.

British Heart Foundation

  • Parental leave costs cannot be recovered from the British Heart Foundation.