Before applying for funding, check whether the open access fee can be fully covered or discounted via one of our Publisher agreements and discounts.

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.

This video shows you how to apply for APC funding as part of the process of depositing your paper in Spiral via Symplectic Find out more here about Symplectic and Spiral.

How to apply for APC funding

This video shows you how to apply for APC funding as part of the process of depositing your paper in Spiral via Symplectic.

Find out more here about the relationship between Symplectic and Spiral.


Research Councils UK (RCUK) open access fund - available to researchers with funding from any of the Research Councils:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Innovate UK (IUK)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Research England (RE)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Conditions apply, see Research funders' open access policies for more details.

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

The Imperial Open Access Fund (Imperial Fund) is available to authors who do not have eligible open access funding in their research award or whose work is not externally funded.

The fund will only pay for original research articles in journals listed on the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Other publication types can be considered upon request – please contact us in advance of submission.

This directory lists high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals – and inclusion has strict criteria. Some journal websites state that they are listed in DOAJ when they are not or misuse the DOAJ logo. You should always check the DOAJ website that a journal is indexed. The Library has an FAQ which gives further 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.