How we’re improving your funding experience

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Making the funding journey simpler and better

We want to make your experience with us – from applying for funding to delivering your research and innovation project – as streamlined and supportive as possible.

It is our goal to cut any unnecessary bureaucracy so you can spend more time developing your ideas and contributing to the research and innovation community, and less time filling in forms.

Introducing Simpler and Better Funding

Simpler and Better Funding is our new programme to review and improve the systems and processes you interact with.

It is the people working across the broad spectrum of research and innovation who are at the heart of any changes. We are therefore:

  • inviting input in consultations
  • working together to co-create solutions
  • testing that those solutions work for you.

What we’re exploring now

Single enhanced CV format for researchers

We are introducing an inclusive single narrative CV format across UKRI that allows you to evidence a much wider range of activities and contributions.

The format is based on the Royal Society’s Résumé for Researchers and should help us to make the research and innovation system fairer and more inclusive.

Simplified two-stage application process

For standard grant applications we are exploring a two-stage application process.

In the first stage, you put forward information concerning your idea for assessment. If it is recommended for funding, the second stage would then ask you for the full details necessary to make an award, including financial information.

Simplified outcomes monitoring and reporting

We use researchfish to ask award holders to report on their projects, and we use this data to make the continued case for research and innovation funding.

We will assess how researchfish is currently being used and see if there are opportunities to integrate data from other sources to stop you from having to enter the same information multiple times.

Longer term, we will look to integrate and streamline reporting across the whole research and innovation system, working with others to understand where we can align.

Improved peer review

We will consider our approach to peer review and the systems we use, and make necessary changes that support equality, diversity and inclusion in its broadest sense – helping us to build a research and innovation system that works for everyone.

A funding service based on a new digital platform

This service will make it easier for you to collaborate, submit applications and obtain guidance in a joined-up way.

The first pilot was launched in summer 2020. We will gradually extend the scope and capability of the service to replace all our existing grant systems, including the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

What our plans are in the longer term

We recognise that to make your grant experience simpler and better, we need to work towards common ways of doing things with the other organisations and bodies that make up the research and innovation system.

This will take time – and UKRI can act as a steward to bring about longer-term system-wide change. So we are working with the government, other funders, research organisations, research offices and businesses to join up wherever we can.

When we will make changes

Any change we introduce will be done in a measured and timely way. We will provide you with plenty of notice of what it is happening and when.

We will adopt a phased approach to implementation and ask for your feedback so we can adapt and evolve early to meet your needs.

Recognising the extraordinary pressures on research and innovation communities as a result of the Covid pandemic, we will take special care with the timing of any changes.

Last updated: 19 February 2021

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