Applying for funding from Oxford’s RCUK Open Access Block Grant

Scope of fund

In August 2017 the University’s Research Committee approved a revised policy for allocating funds from the RCUK Open Access block grant for Article Processing Charges (APCs), and article-related charges*, to best manage the limited funds remaining in our 2017/18 RCUK block grant and ensure that authors remain free to choose where to publish their work. The new policy took effect on Monday 21st August 2017, and limited funds mean we can only pay APCs for fully open access journals (listed in DOAJ).

We are no longer able to pay APCs for ‘hybrid’ (subscription-based) journals. If the journal is not listed in DOAJ authors should use the ‘green’ route to open access, rather than the (paid) Open Access option, by depositing the accepted manuscript in ORA for Act on Acceptance, regardless of journal embargo length.


Researchers funded by AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC (inc. NC3Rs), NERC and STFC are eligible (grant holders, researchers employed on RCUK grants and RCUK-supported students at Oxford).

You can apply if you do not have such funding on the relevant RCUK program, project, fellowship or student grant from RCUK awarded prior to 1 April 2013; or if you hold an RCUK award which commenced on or after 1 April 2013.

How to apply: new procedure and form from Monday 21 August 2017.

Emails & applications received since 21/08/17 fall under the new policy & procedure.

1. If the journal is open access (listed in DOAJ), contact the APC team before submitting article to journal to ask if RCUK OA Block Grant funds are available and journal is funder-compliant (email APC team mentioning journal title).
2. If funds are available, apply for block grant when submitting article to journal (not at article acceptance or later) by sending the APC team an application form (revised Nov 2017), to log potential call on funds.

Complete one form per article and return it with the publisher’s APC or article-charges request form. If there is no form, a link to the publisher’s payment request page will suffice. Do not pay it yourself; we request the invoice from the publisher on your behalf.

Please email the form to, or send in hard copy to Open Access APC forms, Acquisitions Services, Collections and Resource Description (C&RD), Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford Osney One Building, Osney Mead, Oxford,  OX2 0EW.

If an APC is paid, the article must be published with a CC-BY licence (Creative Commons Attribution).

*Article-related charges, such as page charges, publishing fees and colour charges

Our policy is to pay the following article-related charges if non-payment would prevent publication: page charges and publishing fees; and colour charges in fully OA journals only (you can only tick box 6.b.iii on the form in combination with 6.a, not as a standalone item).

A reminder:  If you hold an RCUK grant that commenced prior to 1 April 2013 and applied for APCs or other article-related charges in your grant proposal, please use these existing funds to pay those costs. Find out more here.

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