Applying for funding

Before you begin, what’s involved in applying and guides to strengthen your application

On this page

Pre-bid development

Give yourself time. Getting the application right always takes longer than you think. Support for developing and submitting the application is provided by different services.

Consider discussing with peers, studying your funder, their aims and scheme guidelines and who your stakeholders and beneficiaries might be so that you can involve them from the outset and maximise your research impact throughout the life cycle of the project.

Refer to the Partnership Model and seek guidance from your Associate Dean (Research) and/or Research Admin Lead about how it is implemented in your school and ensure that you have an internal academic peer reviewer for your application.

Draft your project in line with the funder and call guidelines. The Research Development Team in RIS can help with review and advice on applications.

To practice your grant writing skills, join one of our regular Write it Right workshops.

For calls that allow only a limited number of submissions per institution, the Research Development Team in RIS coordinates the internal selection for centrally managed calls. Look out for invitations for Expressions of Interest which will be sent around your School by your Associate Dean (Research) or Research Admin Lead and the internal deadline.

For major calls which require a collaborative team to respond (for example: large and centre calls, challenge-led or industry-led calls), the Research Development Team in RIS will facilitate the collaborative bid development, working in conjunction with RFS.

For working with new partners, in particular with partners in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC), the Research Development Team in RIS will coordinate across Directorates to support the Due Diligence process.

For funding from industry or involving industry as a partner, the Knowledge Exchange Team in RIS will work with you to scope the project specification and negotiate the agreement with project partners or funders, see Working with industry

For Health projects and Clinical Trials, you can get advice and NHS approval from TASC

Involve Research Finance Services (RFS) early to support the costing of your project via the Project Review Form (PRF) and check the Terms and Conditions of the call. There is a 10-day turn-around time for costings. Find the PRF on the RFS web pages, or contact

Bid Development, Approval and Submission

You can get help with the detailed planning of all aspects of your project. Support is available for costing and pricing, ethics and other approvals and submission to the funder on behalf of the University.

When you submit a funding application, you are committing the University to a contract with the funder. Submission is therefore on behalf of the University and most funding schemes will include a step for University administration to approve and submit your application. Develop your full application with the time required for colleagues' review and approval prior to the funding deadline in mind. Allow time for costing and pricing, financial and ethics approval, and submission.

You will need to complete a Project Registration Form (PRF) and request staff costs and the fEC (full Economic Costs) of the project which have to be approved by your School Dean/ADR and larger applications required additional approvals as per the Partnership Model. The application process is supported by RFS and you will find the PRF on their web pages:

Internal peer review is organised by your school as well as ethics approval via School Ethics Committee or TASC for clinical research. Your School Research Admin Lead can help you with School-led processes. Find out what is required for ethics approval on our Governance and Policy web pages:

Other Directorates provide help and support with the detailed planning of your research project, including:

Working with industry

If your project is Industry-funded research, consultancy, or service work. RIS provide the project pricing and support negotiating the scope of the project with the industry partner. Read more:

For industry-sponsored clinical studies, contact TASC:

Due diligence on project partners, in particular, those in overseas Low and Middle-Income Countries

If you are working with overseas partners, due diligence checks are required for new partners. This is organised via the PRF. Let RIS RDT know early if you are planning a project with partners in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC)

Ethics approval

All research involving human participants, their tissue or data requires approval by a research ethics committee. Ethics approval needs to be obtained before the project starts. Find further information on our Governance and Policy web pages:

Data Management Planning

A Data Management Plan is an important communication tool that will help you devise and document strategies for collecting, organising, analysing, sharing, and storing your data. It is a requirement of most funders and institutions.  It involves:

  • Writing the plan 
  • Funder requirements 
  • Keeping data secure 
  • GDPR 
  • Ethics 
  • Data storage and security
  • Soft- and Hardware requirements
  • See: Data Management Plan information or contact LLC Research Services

Please read and refer to the Policy to Govern the Management of Research Data.

Consider the types of data you’ll be collecting, how and where you’re going to store it and who will need access to it. Contact IT for support and advice on Data storage and IT requirements.

Health-specific Data

The PRF questions cover this area. Aspects to consider include:

  • Study Feasibility
  • Participant recruitment
  • Governance and sensitive data
  • Bespoke software development
  • Clinical data repository
  • Data Entry
  • Safe Haven

For advice contact: TASC or HIC (Health Informatics Centre)

Please ensure that you are aware of the Information Governance

Research Facilities and Scientific Technologies

If your project requires the use of scientific facilities and technologies, please see the guidance and resource planning form on the Research Finance web pages

Impact and Dissemination

Publication Strategy

Consider how you’re going to publish and/or disseminate your findings as a continuous process. You’ll need to be aware of your funder requirements with regards to Open Access but also in relation to Intellectual Property. Seek advice on where to publish and how to promote your research profile. For advice contact: LLC Research Services

Consider also Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as a useful method to disseminate your research through citizen science and public engagement. For advice contact CTIL

Intellectual Property

Consider at the application stage how IP will be managed with any partner organisations or industry collaborators to get the best from the research.

For assistance in setting out clearly how IP resulting from your research will be managed/protected and also how IP that you need to access from others, in order to conduct your research, will be obtained, read our information on working with industry

Impact generation and evidence collection

You should plan for impact throughout the life-cycle of your research. Consider what impact might look like at different stages and to different audiences in your research and how you will promote, capture, record and evidence this. For advice on how funders expect you to build impact into research applications contact RIS

For guidance on impact and evidence throughout the lifecycle of your research in preparation of the REF (Research Excellence Framework) contact the Research Impact Manager

Public Engagement

Public engagement may not seem a priority when writing an application but increasingly funders are looking at how research outcomes are shared beyond academia, and can be an important route to maximising impact. The University places a strong emphasis on public engagement so advice should be sought on the different methods of appealing to a range of audiences.

A range of guides have been developed for Early Career Researchers and those new to writing research grant applications by the Research Development Team in RIS. Their aim is to help researchers through the various stages of finding and applying for research funding.


Contact us for more help: