Oxford and the EU: staff Q&A

Q&As for students are available on the Oxford and the EU: student Q&As page.

Implications of the UK's exit from the European Union

The United Kingdom left the European Union at 11pm (GMT) on Friday 31 January following the approval of the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK Government and the EU.

As part of the Agreement, a transition period will run until Thursday 31 December 2020. This will see the UK temporarily remain a member of the single market and customs union and continue to be subject to EU regulations. UK citizens resident in the EU and EU citizens resident in the UK prior to the UK’s departure will enjoy largely the same rights as they did before exit day. The Agreement further guarantees that UK-based participants in Horizon 2020 projects will continue to be funded by the EU to the end of their projects. Taken together, this means that the work of the University, its staff, and students can continue as it did prior to the UK’s departure.

Negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU are currently taking place. Both parties are seeking to agree and ratify the terms of the future relationship before the transition period ceases to apply in December. The University is monitoring developments and will ensure that appropriate measures are in place depending on the situation we face at the end of this year.

The University is also engaging closely with ministers, officials, and colleagues at other UK universities in order to protect the interests of the higher education sector as the negotiations progress.

Whatever the outcome, the University of Oxford is, and intends to remain, a thriving, cosmopolitan community of scholars and students united in our commitment to education and research. The departure from the EU will not change this; our staff and students from all across the world are as warmly welcome as ever.

The latest advice on the Brexit process can be found below. This information is correct at the time of writing on the basis of current UK Government and EU policy. It will be updated as new advice is issued.

Immigration and visas (Reviewed 1/07/20)

Absolutely. All Oxford University staff from the EU have the right to work in the UK. Legislation for this has already been agreed. A new application system known as the EU Settlement Scheme opened to all applicants on 30 March 2019. Oxford had participated in the pilot stages of the scheme since the end of November 2018. There is no application fee under the new EU Settlement Scheme.

EU/EEA nationals and their family members who live in the UK have until 31 December 2020 to apply for Pre-Settled, or Settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme. Pre-Settled is for those who have been living in the UK for less than five years, Settled is for those living here five years or more. They will continue to have the right to work and live in the UK up until the application deadline.

Further information about the EU Settlement Scheme is available here.

(Updated 31/01/20)

In addition to the EU Settlement Scheme, those EU/EEA and Swiss staff who meet the requirements may wish to go one step further and apply for British Citizenship. The University’s Visa Loan Scheme also enables EU staff and their families to utilise this benefit for British Citizenship applications. If you are considering dual citizenship, you should check the legal position of the relevant country before making an application, as not all EU countries allow dual nationality.

(Updated 31/01/20)

Yes. The rights of those already resident in the UK will not change, and EU citizens and their family members will still be able to come to the UK to visit, study, or work during the transition period.

EU citizens and their family members arriving during this period will have the same rights as those already resident in the UK before 31 January 2020. Like those already resident, they will have until 31 December 2020 to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled status to evidence their rights in the UK after 2020.

(Updated 31/01/20)

At present, we know that the EU Settlement Scheme ends on 31 December 2020, after which new EU/EEA nationals entering the UK will do so under new immigration rules which are being legislated for in parliament.

The University’s Staff Immigration Team, which provides immigration advice for EU staff about Brexit as well as non-EEA immigration matters, is monitoring developments closely. We expect a new immigration system to be in place by January 2021.

The new immigration system is based on the existing system used for existing non-EEA nationals, but permits a wider range of roles to be sponsored. Initial detailed guidance on the new immigration system is expected to be published in the autumn and early applications for start dates in January 2021 may be available then. While there may be substantial changes to the requirements and processes, the Staff Immigration Team will have the expertise capable of providing support to those who need to apply.

Contact the Staff Immigration Team to discuss and explore visa application options and timings for Europeans, or their family members, coming to the UK to take up roles after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

(Updated 1/07/20)

Further questions?

Please contact the University’s Staff Immigration Team

James Baker james.baker@admin.ox.ac.uk 01865 289908

Tim Currie tim.currie@admin.ox.ac.uk 01865 289903




Research (Reviewed 1/07/20)

The terms of the Withdrawal Agreement mean that your funding will continue to come from the EC for the duration of the project regardless of the project start or end date. On 22 January 2020 UKRI published the following statement providing further clarity on the situation:

UK scientists, researchers and businesses can continue to participate in, bid for and lead projects in the European Union’s (EU) flagship programme Horizon 2020, as if the UK remained a Member State, even after the UK exits the EU on 31 January 2020.

The UK remains the second highest recipient of Horizon 2020 funding for science and innovation and UK organisations are encouraged to continue to bid into calls for grants until the end of the Horizon 2020 programme.

The Withdrawal Agreement means that the UK continues to participate in EU Programmes financed by the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) until their closure. Horizon 2020 is a Programme funded under the current MFF. UK scientists, researchers and businesses can continue to participate in these programmes and receive EU grant funding for the lifetime of individual projects, including projects finishing after the transition period ends in 2020.

The priority continues to be securing the best outcome for UK research and innovation and creating the best possible environment for collaborations and international partnerships to flourish. This includes a mutually beneficial future relationship with the EU in science and innovation.

The transition period ensures that there will no change as far as UK participation in Horizon 2020 is concerned; all existing UK participants will continue to receive funding from the European Commission for the full duration of funded projects (including those which run beyond 31 December 2020), current funding applications will continue to be evaluated by the Commission, and UK researchers can continue to submit applications to Horizon 2020 calls.

(Updated 1/07/20)

The UK Government has been clear that it wants to have the option to associate to Horizon Europe, the successor EU research funding programme to Horizon 2020. Oxford is continuing to engage with government on the value of continued European collaboration and that full Association would be the best outcome for research and innovation. Many colleagues are working with partner institutions across Europe, which will continue regardless of the final form of Brexit. Examples include the University’s partnership with the Berlin University Alliance and the Memorandum of Understanding we have with Grenoble.

(Updated 31/01/20)

You will see no change to the grant for your project, which will be funded by the EC to completion - regardless of the start or end date of the project.

(Updated 1/07/20)

Yes. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, UK based institutions continue to be eligible to participate in collaborative project bids made to Horizon 2020 calls untill the end of 2020. Where successful UK instition participation will be funded by the EC for the full duration of the awarded project, regardless of the start and end dates of the project.

(Updated 1/07/20)

The funding will continue unchanged from the ERC to the end of your project.

(Updated 1/07/20)

Your project will take place with the dates and budget in the grant agreement. Funding will be from the ERC for the full duration of the project regardless of the start and end dates of the project.

(Updated 1/07/20)

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, Principal Investigators and their UK host institutions continue to be eligible to apply to 2020 ERC Work Programme calls. Awards made against 2020 calls will be funded by the ERC regardless of their start and end dates. One call remains in the 2020 ERC work programme: the 2020 Advanced Grant call. For information about this call please contact the European & International Team, Research Services. Eligibility for ERC calls in the 2021 work programme onwards will depend on whether the UK is associated to Horizon Europe.

(Updated 1/07/20)

Your project will continue to its current end date and with its current budget. Under the Withdrawal Agreement your funding will continue from the EC to the end of the fellowship. There will be no change to MSCA funding.

(Updated 1/07/20)

The fellowship will be able to proceed with its current dates and budget. Funding will be drawn from the EC for the duration of the fellowship regardless of the start and end dates of the fellowship.

(Updated 1/07/20)

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement UK institutions continue to be eligible to host fellowship applications made against the 2020 MSCA IF call. Awarded fellowships hosted in UK institutions will be funded for their full duration by the EC regardless of the start and end dates of the fellowship. For information about the MSCA IF 2020 call please contact the European and International Team, Research Services.

(Updated 1/07/20)

Further questions?

If you have further questions about EC funded issues, including on clinical trials, please contact Gill Wells and Katie Price in the European and International Team, Research Services at ecresearch@admin.ox.ac.uk.
If you have questions for the Research Accounts team, please contact euresacc@admin.ox.ac.uk


Travel and welfare (Reviewed 31/01/20)

Freedom of movement will remain unchanged during the transition period, which means that no additional action is required for those travelling to the EU. More information is available on the UK Government website and the UKCISA website. Advice for those planning to travel to the EU after 1 January 2021 has also been published by the Government.

(Updated 31/01/20)

UK staff planning to drive in the EU should follow the guidance set out on the gov.uk ‘driving abroad’ webpage.

(Updated 31/01/20)

There will be no changes to the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK until June 30, 2021. This means reciprocal healthcare arrangements remain in place at the current time. For UK citizens travelling to the EU, in addition to a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you should make sure that the insurance you have in place covers healthcare. This will ensure that you are fully covered in the event that the status of the EHIC changes following the UK’s departure from the EU.

(Updated 31/01/20)

Individual colleges may be doing so directly to their Fellows, staff and students. They will be drawing on the work of a group formed jointly from the Domestic Bursars Committee and the Estates Bursars Committee of the Conference of Colleges.

(Updated 31/01/20)

Pay and purchasing (Reviewed 31/01/20)

You may have an A1 certificate which allows you to continue to pay NIC in the UK rather than overseas. Some overseas authorities only approved them to 31 January. You can re-apply to the relevant authorities to have these extended until 31 December 2020.

(Updated 31/01/20)

There will be no change in the UK’s trading relationship with the EU until we exit the transition period on 31 December 2020. However in respect of new contracts for goods we recommend you use the University’s preferred delivery term ‘DDP (delivered duty paid) to the point of installation’ which ensures your goods are delivered with all relevant duties paid to the installation point, and that you make use of the University’s preferred freight forwarder DHL. Where possible you should also seek to contract in Sterling (to minimise the potential impacts of exchange rate movements). If your goods are due for delivery after 31 December 2020 you might also discuss with the supplier any potential risks that raises and whether additional action is required to mitigate these risks (i.e. bringing forward delivery).

(Updated 31/01/20)

There will be no changes until 31 December 2020. In the meantime, we would recommend that departments agree that all goods are purchased DDP (delivery duty paid) which means the supplier will clear the goods at the border and account for the duty and import VAT. It is likely that when we leave the EU the import VAT will be accounted for on our VAT return but we are waiting for the Government to confirm this point.

(Updated 31/01/20)

You should refer to the contract to determine who is liable for the risk. It is possible some suppliers will ask for additional payments to cover Brexit-related costs, such as exchange rate movements. If you need further advice please contact the Purchasing Department or Legal Services Office.

(Updated 31/01/20)

The Purchasing Department has contacted all preferred suppliers of generic items, such as stationary and routine lab supplies, to discuss their contingency planning in relation to Brexit-related risks. We have also involved departments in validating these contingency plans. As more information becomes available about our likely trading relationship with the EU post 31 December 2020 we will update these plans and publish information in respect of specific suppliers and goods via Shopping News.

(Updated 31/01/20)

Further questions?

Please contact the purchasing team at purchasing@admin.ox.ac.uk.



The University understands that there are other questions for which many staff will want answers. Please do contact the teams and consult the links to further information detailed on this page. The University will update this page as UK and EU negotiations advance.

Contact us

Immigration, visas and the EU Settlement Scheme:
Please contact either James Baker or Tim Currie in the University’s Staff Immigration Team



Research and EU funding issues:
Please contact Research Services


Pay and purchasing issues:
Please contact the Purchasing team





The information provided in these Q&As is for general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice. If you need more details on your rights, or legal advice about what action to take, please obtain professional advice.

While every attempt has been made to ensure the information is accurate, the University will not accept liability for any loss, damage or inconvenience arising as a consequence of using this information.