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Business Services FAQ

Contact UsThis page outlines how we plan to maintain the University’s business services throughout the Pandemic. 

What impact has COVID-19 had on Northumbria University’s operational activities?

Northumbria University has been working hard to maintain operations while protecting the safety of its students, staff, partners and all communities the engage with the University. In accordance with government guidelines, our buildings are now closed, but the University very much remains open for business. Academics and professional services continue to support delivery of teaching and research online where possible and are working closely with those groups to ensure they are not disadvantaged by the Pandemic. Our Graduate Futures is also continuing to support employers, and is offering a fully digital service.

We are continuing to monitor the situation closely, guided by Public Health England who are taking the lead nationally, and are endeavouring to provide as much advice, care and support as we can to our University community.

I have a ‘live’ Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Northumbria University, how will it be impacted?

We understand that businesses are operating under extremely challenging circumstances and are working hard to support our partners and our KTP Associates, whatever their needs may be. Circumstances are likely to differ depending on your company and the nature of the KTP, we therefore recommend discussing any changes you may need to make with the academic supervisor for the project or our KTP Manager Hazel Juggins who will be happy to help.  

How will changes to operation impact upcoming Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

Where possible, courses are being offered and delivered virtually. Where this is not possible i.e. for practical courses such as nursing – we will work with partners to find an alternative date for delivery. If you would like to discuss options for a specific course, please contact the business development manager or academic you have been working with. Alternatively, please email   

Is the University doing anything to relax payment terms to help businesses manage the impact of COVID-19?

We are working closely with our clients to ensure that contractual terms can be maintained wherever possible. If you have concerns about your ability to manage upcoming payments, please contact your business development contact who will be happy to help. Alternatively, please email

My company is a partner on a collaborative research project. Will the project be affected by COVID-19?

Academic and professional support staff are doing the utmost to carry on with collaborative research projects, including collaborative PhDs, and are working closely with funding bodies to ensure commitments are fulfilled as much as possible. There are, however, elements of research projects that will inevitably be affected by the measures we are taking to protect staff, students and partners from COVID-19, particularly for projects requiring specialist equipment or those involving human participants. We recommend that you contact the lead academic, or business development manager to discuss what the impact might be on your project, and what steps might be taken to ensure projects are progressed in the interim. Alternatively, please email   

Will the funder penalise the project team if deadlines cannot be met?

Funders are taking a pragmatic approach and appreciate that some aspects of funded research projects may not be able to continue as planned at the present time. The University is keeping abreast of the latest guidance and procedures from all funders and will work closely with research partners to keep them updated and ensure they can fulfill their commitments. 

Is the University still able to submit research bids, or KTP applications?

Calls for research applications are continuing to proceed as normal to date. The University has strong working relationships with a range of funders and is working closely with them to keep up to date on any changes. Academics, the business development team and Research & Innovation Services are still available to support funding applications remotely.

Update; Innovate UK Smart Grants: January 2020

Opportunity to apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations that can make a significant impact on the UK economy.

Deadline extended: Wednesday 27 May 2020 12:00pm

Are there opportunities to collaborate with the University on projects that address the COVID-19 crisis?

Absolutely. Our academic staff have been leveraging their expertise to help the fight against COVID-19, from the development of a breath test with the potential to diagnose COVID-19 quicker and more accurately, to the use of 3D printing to enable rapid prototyping and delivery of vital supplies such as Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). We are actively monitoring the range of rapid response funding calls and encourage any companies with ideas to contact our business development team who can help to put you in touch with the relevant academics. 

What about bids that have already been submitted. Are they being processed and announced in the normal time frame?

To date, it is business as usual for most funders. The University is working closely with our contacts and will advise partners on existing bids of any expected delays as soon as we become aware of them.

Can the University still provide testing and facilities offerings?

In accordance with advice from the government, University buildings are now closed, and there is no access to equipment on site. If you are taking part in a project which requires access to equipment at Northumbria University, please contact the lead academic who will be able to help. If you are interested in using the University’s facilities in the future, please email  

Are you able to donate equipment or offer the use of certain facilities to support services on the frontline?

Thanks to the brilliant efforts of our academic departments we have been able to lend crucial equipment such as ventilators, Dinamaps, hospital beds and qPCR machines to NHS England and NHS Improvement and the British Army to join the national fight against COVID-19.

Is it still possible to engage with students, either through student projects or employment opportunities?

We are committed to ensuring our students are not disadvantaged in any way due to COVID-19. Offering opportunities for them to gain exposure to industry and secure employment opportunities is still hugely important. Our Graduate Futures team are offering a fully digital service and can continue to support engagement with students including student and graduate recruitment. Please email the team to discuss opportunities with the team.

Are students from Northumbria University able to support frontline services such as the NHS?

We have more than 350 final year nursing students who have opted to join the NHS frontline.

Some of my staff are currently studying for a Degree Apprenticeship at Northumbria University. How will this impact their studies / assessment?

Further information on the impact of COVID-19 on Degree Apprenticeships can be found here.

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