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Open Access: Funders' policies

What do your funders want?


If your research is funded, it's important to check your funder's policy regarding Open Access. It's best to do this when you're putting together your research bid, so that you're clear about what you'll need to do and when, should you be successful. SHERPA/JULIET is a free resource that contains detailed information about research funders' Open Access policies.

Funders' policies will tell  you:

  • Their preference for Green or Gold Open Access
  • The maximum embargo period allowed for deposits under the Green route
  • The version of your research output that should be made available
  • What level of access to your research output should be made available (ie the type of licence required)
  • Whether article processing charges will be reimbursed

This page provides key requirements for the majority of funders used at DMU. If your funder is not listed, please contact for advice on Open Access requirements.

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Research Council-funded research

The UK Research Councils are: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC); Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC); Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); Medical Research Council (MRC); Natural Environment Research Council (NERC); Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

In 2018, the UK Research Councils became part of UKRI.  UKRI is currently reviewing its Open Access policy.  In the meantime, research funded by any of the above Research Councils is subject to RCUK's Open Access policy, which came into effect on 1st April 2013.

The Research Councils' Open Access policy

Articles and conference papers arising from Research Council-funded projects must be made available in an Open Access format, either by making them:

  • immediately available through the Gold route, using a CC-BY licence (RCUK's preferred option)
  • available with allowed embargo (see below) through the Green route, using a CC BY-NC licence

UKRI has provided DMU with a small grant to cover Article Processing Charges (APCs). This is allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If funding is not available to pay the APC for the Gold route, or the journal does not allow this route of publication, depositing to a repository through the Green Open Access route is acceptable.

Your paper should be deposited to DORA and must be the Author's Accepted Manuscript.

NB: MRC-funded papers must be deposited to PubMed Central within six months of publication.

Make sure you also check the details of repository requirements for individual Research Councils, as there may be some variations.

Embargo periods

The Research Councils permit the following embargo periods:

  • STEM disciplines: 6 months (12 months if no funding is available for APCs)
  • Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines: 12 months (24 months if no funding is available for APCs) 

NB: The MRC allows a 6-month embargo only for biomedical research, with no exceptions

For more information, see UKRI's FAQ page.

How to find funder requirements

SHERPA/JULIET provides details of the Open Access policies of all funders.

SHERPA/FACT allows you to check if the journal you wish to publish in has an Open Access option that meets your funder's requirements. 


Article Processing Charges

DMU has a limited grant from UKRI to pay article processing charges.  This is available on a first come, first served basis if you:

  • are publishing an article or conference paper arising from UK Research Council-funded research, and
  • the APC cost is not already included in the research funding.

Please contact  

Other funders may allow you to include APCs in your funding bid, or to request reimbursement later.  Always check your funder's terms and conditions.



Horizon 2020 funded research

The European Commission requires that any journal articles arising from Horizon 2020 funding must be made Open Access. 

This can be by publishing through the Gold Open Access route (Open Access charges can be included in your grant proposal).  

Whether or not you publish through the Gold route, you must deposit your author accepted manuscript to a repository (eg. DORA), ensuring an embargo period of no more than 6 months from publication for STEM subjects and 12 months for Arts, Humanities and Social Science subjects

Other funders

 Leverhulme Trust

The Leverhulme Trust DOES NOT have a a requirement for Open Access deposit. 


  • Costs for Open Access publications are a permissable expense if incurred during the life of the grant.
  • Fees should be included in grant applications, or in the research expenses category for Fellowships.

Department of Health / National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

The Department of Health / National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) DOES require Open Access deposit.

  • The policy applies to research articles, non-commissioned reviews and final reports/executive summaries.
  • Gold Open Access publishing is preferred using the CC-BY licence.
  • Costs of APC charges will be supported through the original NIHR award or, where applicable, an NIHR Open Access fund.
  • The publisher's version or the author's final version must be deposited to Europe PMC as soon as possible, but no more than 6 months after publication.
  • A copy can also be deposited in an institutional repository such as DORA.