Responsive mode opportunities in the Funding Service: core application section questions and assessment


About the core application sections

These sections are used as the main core for all responsive mode applications in the Funding Service:

  • vision
  • approach
  • applicant and team capability to deliver
  • resources and cost justification
  • ethics and responsible research innovation (RRI)

Completing the core sections and questions

In each section, applicants are asked a question and then given the criteria that the assessors will be looking for in their response.

Most questions can be answered using a text box in the section.

For some opportunities, currently the ‘vision’ and ‘approach’’ sections are completed by uploading a single PDF file covering both questions. Over time we aim to reduce the number of attachments needed as part of the digital application process.

Additional information sections

Some opportunities will have additional mandatory sections that applicants complete to provide supporting information, such as the makeup of the team, summaries, and references.

Embedding impact in applications

Delivering societal, economic and environmental impact from public investment in research is a central goal for UK Research and Innovation.

You should ensure that your submission addresses the impact of your research. This will be assessed in the following sections:

  • vision
  • approach
  • resources and cost justification

Council-specific questions and assessment criteria

Some council opportunities will have additional questions that reflect their disciplinary specific requirements. All assessment criteria will be published on the funding opportunities.

Piloting variations of questions

In line with the recommendations of the Tickell Review, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have already reduced the information requested at the application stage.

The next NERC responsive mode opportunity, Pushing the Frontiers July 2023, will launch on the Funding Service and will mostly use the core responsive mode questions listed here.

To explore further reductions in providing detailed cost information up front, NERC will also pilot a variation on the standard costs and resources question.

Further information and support

For information on the development of harmonised sections, questions and assessment criteria for responsive mode opportunities across councils, see how applicants use the UKRI Funding Service.

Contact the helpdesk for information and support using the new Funding Service.


Telephone: 01793 547490

Last updated: 8 February 2024

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