Guidance on applying for funding

Applying for funding from UKRI is a major undertaking. We have guidance to help you complete and submit an application.

You should read all the relevant guidance before you start your application. If you do not, your application is likely to fail.

The guidance you need to read is different for each funding opportunity.

Some funding opportunities will require you to read multiple sets of guidance. These are:

  • the guidance specific to that opportunity
  • general UKRI guidance for applicants
  • general guidance for applicants from the council you’re applying to

Opportunities that require you to read all sets of guidance include:

  • all innovation grants with Innovate UK
  • most opportunities that focus on a specific research challenge or area

General UKRI guidance

General guidance will be increasing as we standardise more council-specific guidance. This is an ongoing process.

UKRI aims to process application submissions in line with our values of collaboration, innovation, integrity and excellence to support a world-leading research and innovation culture.


For funding opportunities that opened on or after 22 May 2023, we introduced new role types for opportunities running on the UKRI Funding Service only.

These changes are applicable to funding opportunities from the seven research councils only, not for Innovate UK and Research England.

For full details, visit eligibility as an individual.

Application amendments

We will not consider any requests to amend your application after it has been submitted on the UKRI Funding service.

You and your organisation are encouraged to review your application to ensure its completeness and accuracy before submission.

Mandatory requirements

Applications submitted that do not meet the mandatory requirements specified in the funding opportunity will be rejected.

Mandatory requirements may vary between funding opportunities but could include:

  • start date (for example, if specified that your project must start on a specific date)
  • project duration (if your project must last for a specific number for months)
  • funding limits
  • attachments
  • organisation eligibility, applicant eligibility or both

Duplicate submissions

You can submit time-sensitive grant proposals to UKRI at the same time as submitting proposals to other, non-UKRI funders when they also allow duplicate submissions.

Fellowships continue to allow this, subject to any specific opportunity guidelines.

Duplicate submissions are two proposals that have:

  • a substantially comparable research endeavour or notion to use existing research and apply it in a new way, such as the development of technologies based on existing research
  • similar aims and objectives, methodology and resources

Reviewing and assessing proposals takes time. Before you make a duplicate submission, consider whether it’s essential to the research outcome.

If you intend to submit a duplicate proposal, you should let us know either:

  • in your proposal
  • at any point after you submit your proposal, but before announcement

You will not be able to accept duplicate funding for a project.

Late submissions

You will not be able to submit an application after a funding opportunity closes. We encourage you to review your application before the closing date to ensure that it is complete and accurate before you submit.

UKRI will exceptionally consider requests for an application to be submitted late for the following reasons:

  • system issues
  • UKRI technical issues or operational issues
  • organisational issues caused by external factors
  • extenuating circumstances
  • research office administrator or manager’s unexpected absence due to extenuating circumstances
  • project lead’s unexpected absence due to extenuating circumstances

Request a late application submission

To request a late application submission, your organisations research office manager should complete the late application request form.

Research office managers should email the completed form to:

Covid-19 research funding

Funding for research relating to COVID-19 is now part of our normal funding opportunity process.

Council-specific guidance

Outside of the general UKRI guidance, you will need to read the specific council guidance.

These include most research funding opportunities that do not have a deadline and that are open to any research project proposal.

Council specific guidance for applicants:

Research England uses a different process. Most of its funding is allocated to eligible higher education institutes based on their Research Excellence Framework assessment.

It does occasionally offer other funding opportunities. If you want to apply for one of these opportunities you should follow the specific guidance published with that opportunity.

Who to contact

If you have questions about your application, contact the funding opportunity programme manager named in the funding opportunity.

If your proposed idea spans different research areas across two or more councils’ remits and you’re unsure about where to make your application, they can advise you.

Last updated: 17 June 2024

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