RMA Response to Coronavirus / COVID-19

close up of blue virus particles against a red background

COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways, caused by a virus called coronavirus. Government measures to protect the population from the virus, in particular social distancing, are having a significant impact on travel and conferences/meetings within the UK and internationally. However, much RMA activity is continuing, for example with events being held online.

Impact on RMA Activities

To support government guidance on social distancing, all RMA and RMA-affiliated events through Augsut 2020 have been cancelled or moved online.

The RMA Annual Conference in September will now take place online, and we are working with the planned hosts at Goldsmiths, University of London, to facilitate an event that represents the wide range of scholarship that we had intended to present in person. The Research Students’ Conference in January 2021 will be largely online, although we hope to be able to offer some face-to-face activity.

For events further ahead, participants should check with organisers/host institutions. RMA-supported or sponsored events are typically hosted by academic institutions which are likely to have their own guidelines and advice; the RMA encourages organisers and participants to follow such advice.

Where events holding an offer of RMA funding are postponed, organisers can carry this funding over, as long as the future event remains substantially the same. Where events are changing format (e.g. move online), if this changes the proposed use of RMA funding, we ask organisers to submit a revised budget.

We are delivering a series of new online events and we are collating online resources. We are especially mindful of the needs of research students, early-career researchers, independent scholars, and others who may not have access to online resources or online communities at this time. We have delivered a Research Skills Online Mini-Series and have published resources to support remote working.

For 2020, recognising the need to support research in light of the difficulties many researchers are facing at the present time, there will be an additional round of small research awards. Members are invited to apply by 1 September 2020.

Cambridge University Press are seeing significant disruption to the global supply chain for the manufacture and distribution of printed journals. Therefore printed copies of the Journal of the RMA, and the RMA Research Chronicle will be unavailable for the foreseeable future. Both are available online to RMA members via the Member’s Section.

Health and Travel Advice

The RMA urges all conference organisers and participants to follow the advice of Public Health England, and with regards international travel, the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

This advice is likely to change over time, so event organisers and participants are encouraged to check the latest advice frequently, and especially, before setting off for an event or conference.

The UK government guidance on working safely during coronavirus includes specific advice on singing and playing wind and brass instruments.

Advice on how to protect yourself and others (including health advice for those travelling internationally) is available from the NHS at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If you’re based outside of the UK, please check the advice and instructions of your own government.