GCRF relevant university policies

When planning your GCRF@Essex project please make sure you take into account existing university policy and guidance.  This page contains information about the most important issues you need to consider, but it is not exhaustive and you should consider the context of your project carefully.

Overseas travel

Recently the University moved into the Sustained Protection phase of its COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan. But for colleagues wishing to undertake travel on University business, the University’s policy remains at the Enhanced Protection phase.

This means that anyone (staff or students) wishing to undertake travel on University business to high risk countries (as designated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – FCO), must complete a risk assessment and a proposal explaining the essential reason and duration of the trip and the ways in which risk can be mitigated; and submit it to the Secretary and Registrar.  Insurance must be in place for any travel for University purposes to take place. The Registrar and Secretary’s decision following consideration of the proposal and the risk assessment will be final. 

Those wishing to undertake international travel for University purposes to countries deemed by the FCO to not present a high risk, may be permitted to do so with approval from the relevant Divisional Head (for staff), and from the Academic Registrar (for students).  Insurance must be in place for any travel for University purposes to take place. The decision of the Divisional Heads and the Academic Registrar will be final.

Travel within the UK for University purposes, deemed to be essential for the continuing business of the University may be permitted, if approved by the relevant Head of Department, School or Section. A risk assessment for the travel and a proposal explaining the essential reason for the travel, its duration, the successful application of University insurance (which does not include private vehicle insurance), if necessary, and the ways in which any risks would be mitigated should be submitted to the Head.  This applies to both staff and students. Public transport should be avoided.


Your proposed budget – and any subsequent expenditure – should be realistic and align with university rules and processes.

Ethics and data

Standard university ethics processes and expectations of data management plans apply to all funded GCRF@Essex projects. Please familiarise yourself with the University Contingency Plans for Research Involving Face-to-Face Interaction with Human Participants and Recruitment of Participants in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This site also contains information to support researchers in recruiting participants.

Due diligence

If your GCRF@Essex project involves another organisation spending the university’s money, that organisation will be subject to due diligence review, in proportion to the amount of money and the level of risk involved. This process will help identify any ethical or reputational concerns and allow appropriate mitigation.

You will be asked to complete a short Due Diligence questionnaire as part of the application process for each external partner organisation involved in your proposed project. The questionnaire(s) should be completed by PIs/Departments with the input of proposed external partners.  You will also be asked to share the latest audited annual financial statement of the organisation. 

For further guidance on undertaking due diligence, UKRI have produced a document which outlines the key considerations.