How to apply to the Covid-19 Action Fund

Building recovery and resilience across the UK

Our Covid-19 Action Fund supports Churchill Fellows to increase their vital contribution to the national effort against Covid-19.

It offers one-off grants of up to £10,000 for Fellows’ activities on Covid-19 issues in any UK sector. These must relate in some way to the findings from their Fellowship travels. (For this reason, Fellows who have not travelled yet are not eligible to apply.)

Grant recipients will be expected to take part in a 'lessons learnt' phase in due course. This aims to to create a national resource and knowledge bank of learnings and recommendations from this emergency, available for policy-makers and practitioners as the UK starts to restore itself and build resilience for the future.

Applications for the first round of funding have now closed. We will email all candidates on May 28 to say whether they have been awarded a grant or not. Funds will be distributed in early June. A second round of funding will be announced to Fellows in due course.

How to apply

There will be two funding rounds. The first round in May will prioritise those delivering immediate solutions during the crisis. The second (date to be announced) will focus on Fellows delivering activities related to reconstruction and future prevention, and may differ from the first as the context evolves. Unsuccessful applicants from round one can apply for round two, although they will have to submit a new application form.

The application process is simple. All eligible Fellows will be emailed a personalised link to their own online application form, which is very short. Applications will be assessed on the content within the application form only. Before applying, please carefully read the criteria below and look at the standard application form questions. There will be no interview stage, though we may telephone individuals to clarify aspects of their application if necessary.

Due to the anticipated volume of applications and the need to award grants as quickly as possible, we are not able to offer feedback on unsuccessful applications. Applications can only be made via the personalised links sent to Fellows by email. Fellows who are eligible and have not received their link can request a replacement by emailing [email protected].

We are happy to answer any urgent questions. But please note that our capacity during lockdown is limited and we have no phone system, so it may take us several days to respond. Questions should be sent to [email protected]. if you have any additional access requirements, please email us for assistance.


To apply to the Covid-19 Action Fund, candidates must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a Churchill Fellow.
  • Be seeking funds for activities that:
      • Directly respond to issues related to Covid-19.
      • They are already working on.
      • Are directly related to the findings from their Fellowship travels.
      • Are based in and will primarily benefit people of the UK.
      • Are not motivated solely by profit.

Criteria for success

To be successful for a Covid-19 Action Fund award, you will need to demonstrate that:

  • You are already delivering immediate services or responses that are informed by and already benefitting those most impacted by Covid-19.
  • And/or you are actively working towards developing impactful long-term solutions for social and economic recovery, and future prevention.
  • Your work will deliver benefits related to Covid-19 to improve the lives of people in the UK.
  • Your work is conducted in line with health and safety considerations.

We will prioritise applications that:

  • Are delivering critical services through this crisis and working towards long-term solutions for recovery.
  • Are reaching the most high-risk people, which may be older and isolated people, those most likely to be overrepresented among groups ‘at risk’ such as certain BAME (Black And Minority Ethnic) communities, individuals exposed to domestic abuse or food insecurity, key workers, people in prison or detention or with no recourse to public funds, etc.
  • Are not funded elsewhere and have been excluded from emergency funds because, for example, you are not part of a registered charity or other organisation.

What this will fund

Projects we will fund as part of the Covid-19 Action Fund include:

  • Carrying out adjustments to continue providing services during the lockdown.
  • Expanding operations in response to a greater need.
  • Changing operations in response to evolving needs.
  • Equipment where this will enable the delivery of a service.
  • Sharing findings and raising awareness in the context of Covid-19.

What can Covid-19 Action Fund grants be used for?

  • Projects costs such as legal advice, website design, technical support, adaptation of resources for different audiences, equipment, evaluation, etc.
  • As a stipend while delivering your CV19 response.
  • To cover vital life costs, where it will give you time and capacity to deliver your work. (This could include a contribution to carer costs, for example.)

What this will not fund

  • Projects for which there is no demonstrable demand.
  • Overseas travel.
  • Promotion of a political party.
  • Proselytising on religious grounds.
  • Work that is not for public benefit.
  • An idea that will only benefit the applicant, not the wider UK society.
  • Academic studies, dissertations for undergraduate degrees, degree placements, medical electives, student grants, internships, etc.
  • Post-graduate studies.
  • Gap year activities.
  • Art projects that will result only in an exhibition and have no public benefit beyond raising the profile and expertise of the applicant.
  • Artist's residencies.
  • Research for fiction, unless it has a wider public benefit.
  • Organisational running costs.
  • University or large institutional overheads.

Donate to our Covid-19 Action Fund

Fellows' activities on Covid-19