Working at Imperial 

We have listed the most common questions about Brexit and working at Imperial below. If you have further questions, please contact:

Please note: This content is reviewed regularly. If there has been an update to the content within the last fortnight there will be an asterisk (*) next to the relevant question. Each answer will display the dates when it was last updated and reviewed, e.g. (Updated 01/03/19 | Reviewed 08/03/19).

Frequently Asked Questions

How might a no deal-Brexit affect the College community?

A no deal Brexit could result in the following outcomes taking effect when the UK leaves the EU:

  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who are resident in the UK before the UK leaves the EU would continue to be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, until at least 31 December 2020.
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens arriving in the UK from the date of exit to 31 December 2020 can continue to come to the UK, to live, work and study without applying for a visa in advance, using a valid EU/EEA/Swiss passport or* national identity card as they do now.
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens intending to stay in the UK for more than three months would need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain within three months of arriving in the UK and, if intending to stay for more than three years for study or work reasons, would need to apply for a visa to cover any period of stay beyond three years;
  • the UK’s ability to participate in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ could change;
  • travel may be disrupted.

*The UK government has indicated that it will stop accepting national identity cards for entry to the UK for EEA citizens who arrive in the UK after Brexit during 2021 (31 December 2025 for Swiss citizens). Although notice of the change will be given, we would recommend that EU/EEA/Swiss citizens without a passport apply for one asap.

More detailed information on these is set out below.

 (Updated 28/10/19 | Reviewed 15/11/19)

I am an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen. How will my immigration status be affected by Brexit?

Regardless of the outcome of the Brexit process, the UK government has committed to protect the rights of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and their family members currently living in the UK. This includes the right to live, work and study here and access public services, such as healthcare, and benefits.

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens resident in the UK before the UK leaves the EU

To retain these rights, all EU/EEA/Swiss citizens will need to apply for UK immigration status (either settled or pre-settled status) under the EU Settlement Scheme. You can find more information, including details about how Imperial will continue to support staff and students, on our dedicated EU Settlement Scheme FAQs

In the event of a no deal BrexitEU/EEA/Swiss citizens will need to be resident in the UK before the UK leaves the EU and will need to apply for settled/pre-settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme by 31 December 2020.

If there is a deal, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 would have until 30 June 2021 to apply. 

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens arriving in the UK after the UK leaves the EU

In the event of a no deal Brexit, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who arrive in the UK after the UK leaves the EU will be able to enter the UK to visit, work or study as follows:

  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens intending to stay for less than 3 months will not need to apply for any immigration status or visa.
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens intending to stay for more than 3 months will need to make an application for European Temporary Leave to Remain within 3 months of arriving in the UK.
  • Applications will be made within the UK, will be free of charge and will involve a simple online process and identity, security and criminality checks.
  • Those granted European Temporary Leave to Remain will be able to stay for 36 months from the date their leave is granted.
  • EU/EEA/Swiss citizens wishing to remain for longer than 36 months will need to apply for an immigration status and meet the requisite criteria under the new points-based immigration system which will come into effect from 1 January 2021.
  • European Temporary Leave to Remain  will count towards the qualifying residence period for settlement where applicable.
  • From 4 December 2019, non-EEA national close family members (spouses, partners and children under the age of 18) who are in the UK lawfully (other than as a visitor) will, be able to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain  and, if successful, will be granted limited leave to remain for the remaining duration of the Euro TLR held by the EEA citizen.
  • From 1 January 2021, EEA citizen close family members will be able to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain  on the same basis.

If there is a deal, freedom of movement will continue until the new immigration system comes into force on 1 January 2021. 

Right To Work Evidence

Regardless of the date they arrive in the UK, there will be no change to the documents EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are required to provide to evidence their Right To Work until 1 January 2021 when the new immigration system is implemented.

You can find more detailed information in our dedicated EU Settlement Scheme FAQs

 (Updated 28/10/19 | Reviewed 15/11/19)

How would data sharing be impacted by a no-deal Brexit?

Please see Data Sharing - What to Do to Prepare for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

 (Updated 28/10/19 | Reviewed 15/11/19)

I’m concerned about Brexit. What is Imperial doing?

On the morning of the 2016 Brexit referendum result, Imperial’s President Alice Gast made it clear that “Imperial is, and will remain, a European university.” We have lived up to that – and we will do so, whatever political challenges we may face.

We are working to influence government, officials and politicians in Westminster and Brussels.

  • We are making the case for continued access to EU programmes supporting excellent research, and guarantees on the rights of EU citizens.
  • As the UK reviews its entire immigration system, we are campaigning for visa reforms that will offer easier access for global talent, including international staff, students and recent graduates.
  • We have formed a seed fund to support new European research collaborations and are developing new European partnerships, such as that between Imperial Department of Mathematics and France’s CNRS research agency and Imperial and the Technical University Munich.

Imperial is a European university with global reach. Collaborating across borders with people from different backgrounds, cultures and nationalities is what drives the world’s best universities. It’s why Imperial is the UK’s most international university, and it’s one of the reasons we’re among the world’s top ten universities.



EU research funding at Imperial

The most common questions on Brexit and EU research funding at Imperial are listed below. If you have further questions, please contact

Research FAQs

What does the UK government’s guarantees mean for Horizon 2020 funding?

In the event of a no-deal exit from the EU, the UK government has pledged to ensure the continued involvement of the UK research and innovation community in H2020 as far as possible. There are three components

  1. The Horizon 2020 Guarantee. This covers the continuation of funding of all ongoing eligible grants and successful bids submitted to the H2020 programme before EU Exit, even if outcomes of proposals are not known until after EU Exit. All H2020 Guarantee funding is committed for the lifetime of the project

  2. The Horizon 2020 Guarantee extension. This covers all successful bids submitted to H2020 after EU Exit that the UK is eligible to bid for in its new status as a non-Member State and third-party country. Funding would be committed for the lifetime of projects.

  3. The independent assessment of ‘In-flight’ applications to mono-beneficiary elements of the European Research Council, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and the EIC Accelerator (formerly SME Instrument). This comes into effect if the European Commission stops evaluating UK bids to these mono-beneficiary schemes that are submitted before EU Exit.  In this case, UKRI will take over the independent assessment of these proposals and additional UK government funding would be made available to support successful projects for their duration.

(Updated 25/10/19 | Reviewed 15/11/19)

I don’t see “Horizon 2020” referred to in my project or grant agreement or in the proposal I am interested in. Does the guarantee apply?

The guarantees apply to Horizon 2020, Research Fund for Coal and Steel, and Euratom R&T projects. 

They also apply to grants awarded through Public-to-Public Partnerships (P2Ps) and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs):

  • Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs; also referred to as Article 187 Joint Undertakings) including Innovative Medicines Initiative, Clean Sky 2, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, Bio-based Industries
  • Contractual Public Private Partnerships (cPPPs)
  • Future Emerging Technology Flagships (FET-Flagships)
  • Article 185s including the European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership
  • European Innovation and Industrial Technology Knowledge and Innovate Communities (EIT-KICs)
  • European Research Area Network Cofunds (ERA-Net Cofunds)
  • European Joint Programme Cofunds (EJP Cofunds)
  • Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs)

Please contact the EU Team for any further questions.

(Updated 25/10/19 | Reviewed 15/11/19)

Will my existing grants stop when the UK leaves the EU?

We understand that in most cases, no, your existing grant will not stop when the UK leaves the EU.

If there is a Brexit deal, nothing will change for existing EU grant holders and those whose grants are due to begin.  Funding from the European Commission will continue for the full duration of the grant.

If there is a no-deal Brexit, the H2020 Guarantee (#1 above) underwrites existing ongoing eligible grants and those whose grants are due to begin including most ERC and all Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions.  Funding will continue.

However, there is a subset of projects that might no longer meet the Horizon 2020 eligibility requirements in the event of no deal.  This includes having the correct ratio, or minimum requirement, of Member States or Associated Countries. For example:

  • Grants that require a minimum number of Member States/Associated Country participants
  • Grants that are open exclusively to Member States.

We do not know how the EU will deal with this subset of projects in the case of no-deal.  The UK government has outlined its approach to these projects

If you are concerned whether your project is in this scenario, please contact the EU Team to discuss.

(Updated 25/10/19 | Reviewed 15/11/19)

Should I apply for new grants?

Yes, you should continue to apply for new grants.

If there is a Brexit deal, the UK’s status will not change.  Imperial researchers can therefore continue to apply to all areas of H2020.

If there is a no-deal Brexit, all the guarantees above will apply.  Imperial researchers are continuing to apply for and win European research funding and the College is supporting new applications.

There are over 300 calls for proposals open or upcoming for collaborative Research and Innovation projects across all of Horizon 2020 until the end of December 2020.  There are open and upcoming calls for proposals to “mono-beneficiary” schemes (see below) until the end of December 2020.

Please get in touch with the EU Team to discuss your interests.

(Updated 25/10/19 | Reviewed 15/11/19)

What about grant applications that will be evaluated after the UK has left the EU?

The guarantees cover applications that will be evaluated after the UK has left the EU.

If the EC stops evaluating UK bids to mono-beneficiary schemes submitted before EU Exit, then the UK government will take over the assessment of these proposals.  This is the “in-flight guarantee” detailed above.  This currently applies to the following calls:

  • 2019 ERC Consolidator Grant call closed 7th February 2019
  • 2019 ERC Advanced Grant call closed 29th August 2019
  • 2019 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships call closed 11th September 2019
  • 2019 ERC Proof of Concept call closed 19th September 2019
  • 2020 ERC Starting Grant call closed 16th October 2019

It will also apply to calls for which the EC deadline has not yet arrived, but where the UK application is submitted before EU ExitThe in-flight guarantee applies irrespective of the EC deadline date, provided the UK application is submitted before EU Exit. We understand this would apply to the following calls:

  • 2020 ERC Synergy call opened 18th July 2019 (mono-beneficiary elements only)
  • 2020 ERC Proof of Concept call opening 15th October 2019
  • 2020 ERC Consolidator Grant call opening 24th October 2019
  • 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships (tentative opening 8th April 2020)
  • 2020 ERC Advanced Grant call (tentative opening 15th May 2020)

Please get in touch with the EU Team as soon as possible if have an interest in any of these listed calls for proposals.

(Updated 25/10/19 | Reviewed 15/11/19)


How will the guarantee work? Do I have to register my grant or proposal with the UK government?

Recipients of H2020 funding have been asked to register their details on a dedicated portal on the UK government’s website.  The College’s Research Office submitted and continues to submit details on grants to UKRI. Individual researchers should NOT submit any data to the UKRI Portal.

If the UK does leave the EU without a deal and deadlines to receive or apply for guarantee funding approach, individual researchers should wait for communications from the College.

(Updated 25/10/19 | Reviewed 15/11/19)

I am a participant in a COST action.

COST Actions (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) are funded through Horizon 2020. As a result, the government funding guarantee and extension will fund eligible UK participation in COST Actions until the end of 2020.

(Updated 25/10/19 | Reviewed 15/11/19)

I don’t see my funding source referred to in any of the questions above.

If you receive funding from an EU sources outside of those described above, please see this page for other EU programmes.

(Updated 25/10/19 | Reviewed 15/11/19)


Travel FAQ

Will travel be affected?

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, a transition period will apply and all travel will continue as normal. 

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal in October, there will be no transition period and travel disruption is expected. Delays are possible at airports and ports, especially around the day that the UK will leave. Please do check before you travel and see our no deal travel guidance note for more information.

 (Updated 24/04/19 | Reviewed 15/11/19)