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The University of Cambridge receives block grants to pay article processing charges (APCs) from British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, UKRI/RCUK (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, NERC, STFC. Research England and Innovate UK are covered provided in certain circumstances outlined in UKRI's Open Access Policy ) and Wellcome Trust. 

The University of Cambridge receives block grants that can be used to for pay open access charges in certain circumstances where there is no compliant green open access route that can be used as an alternative to paying for gold open access. Due to funder restrictions, the block grants cannot be used to pay for other publishing charges, such as colour charges or page charges.  

Eligibility criteria 

The different block grants have different rules. There are four criteria that are common across the funders:  

  1. The paper must acknowledge research funding (including the grant number) from a British Heart Foundation (BHF), Cancer Research UK (CRUK), UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), or Wellcome Trust research grant; 

  1. The corresponding author’s stated affiliation is to the University of Cambridge; 

  1. The journal must deposit the version of record in EuropePMC (if funded by UKRI, this is a requirement only for biomedical papers funded by MRC and BBSRC); 

  1. The paper is not eligible under a University of Cambridge Read & Publish deal. 


A note on research grants 

The Open Access Team can only pay open access charges in cases where a paper acknowledges a specific research grant.  Cancer Research UK also permits the Team to pay charges where the paper acknowledges a Cambridge CRUK Centre core grant (but not a Cambridge CRUK Institute core grant). We are currently unable to pay fees where the only grant acknowledged in the paper is a MRC Unit/Institute core grant.  


A note on review articles 

Cochrane Reviews and meta-analyses are included by CRUK and Wellcome Trust in their definition of original research. These are the only types of review articles that are supported by CRUK and Wellcome Trust. APCs for other review articles funded by CRUK and Wellcome Trust will not be paid by the open access team.

UKRI's policy does cover review articles, although narrative review articles are explicitly excluded. 

A note on Rights Retention 

Rights Retention is a mechanism by which authors can retain their right to apply a CC BY (or other licence if permitted by their funder) to their accepted manuscript. It enables compliance for authors whose funders require them to make their research immediately available with a CC BY (or other) licence upon publication in cases where the research will be published in a hybrid or subscription journal. The University introduced its Self-Archiving Policy on 1st April 2023. The policy enables researchers to publish in subscription-based journals without needing to pay a fee to be compliant with their funder's open access requirements.