Apply for funding to pay open access fees / article processing charges (APCs)

Where your research funder permits, you should charge APC payments to active research awards. Your funder may provide funding for APCs in their award but if not you can apply to one of the following funds. All Imperial research staff and students can apply.


Research Councils UK (RCUK) open access fund - available to researchers with funding from any of the Research Councils: AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC. Since 1 April 2019 the Vice Provost Advisory Group for Research has restricted the fund to only pay APCs where:

  1. the APC is charged by a fully open access title that appears in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or;
  2. the publication title does not provide a compliant green (self-archiving) open access route.

The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF)

The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) no longer exists from 1 October 2020 and the partners are replacing a single grant with individual funding arrangements (pdf). We have received block grants from the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation, so authors with funding from those charities can continue to apply for funding via Symplectic (conditions apply, see Research funders’ open access policies for more details). Authors with funding from Versus Arthritis, Blood Cancer UK, or Parkinson’s UK should contact their funder for further information. 

Imperial Open Access Fund

Imperial Open Access Fund -  for authors who do not have eligible open access funding in their research award or whose work is not externally funded. This fund is restricted to fully open access journals that are listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). This directory lists high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals – and inclusion has a strict criteria. Some journal websites state that they are in DOAJ when they are not. Often, the home page carries the DOAJ logo along with logos from other indexing services. ALWAYS check at that a journal is indexed, even if its website carries the DOAJ logo or says that it is indexed in DOAJ. The DOAJ blog has further information about this. The Library also have an FAQ which gives advice: What should I look for when choosing a journal?

Important information

You can only apply for funds on acceptance of your manuscript or conference proceedings by the publisher, not before.

To make an application for APC funding, deposit your accepted manuscript in Symplectic and select "yes" when prompted.

Please note: if you find that there is already an entry in Symplectic for your accepted paper then you will need to either add a new manual record, or edit the existing one, to submit a new APC funding application. The option to add or edit a manual record can be found within the “data sources” section of the Symplectic record.

If your application is approved, you will receive an email within 2 to 5 days which will include further instructions and a purchase order (PO) number to facilitate payment.

The open access funds are only for open access fees - other charges such as colour, page and submission fees must be funded from elsewhere. You may be required to request separate invoices.

 Please wait for your application to be approved before requesting an invoice.