Charity Open Access Fund

The Charity Open Access Fund (COAF) is a partnership between six health research charities, including Wellcome, to enable free and unrestricted access to the published outputs of the research we support.

COAF was set up on 1 October 2014. Wellcome is administering the fund for the partners.

Why COAF was set up

Enabling free and unrestricted access to published research outputs means that the knowledge can be shared faster to improve health.

Many publishers now offer a model where they make published research papers freely available immediately – often in return for an up-front fee known as an article processing charge (APC).

COAF helps to make sure that the researchers and organisations we support have access to the funds needed to meet APC costs and make the research papers available in open access form.

What COAF supports

Annual award letters are sent to the 36 UK universities and research institutes notifying them of the amount they’re being awarded.

COAF provides single combined block grants to 36 UK research institutions to cover the open access article processing charges (APCs) for peer-reviewed research publications resulting from research funded by one or more of the six partner charities.

COAF guidelines

COAF information for researchers

COAF guidelines for research institutions

COAF requirements for publishers

Wellcome and COAF open access spend

Every year, we ask all institutions in receipt of a grant from COAF to provide details about their open access publications and their associated article processing charges.

See the analysis:

COAF funders’ policies

The six partner charities are members of the Association for Medical Research Charities. It supported the COAF partnership being set up.


Questions from organisations or researchers about COAF should be emailed to

Any queries specifically relating to the individual policies of the partner charities should be sent to the relevant partner.