How we’re improving your funding experience


Improving how you apply for funding

We will be delivering a funding service based on a new digital platform that will make it easier for you to collaborate, submit applications and obtain guidance in a joined-up way.

Introducing the new UKRI Funding Service

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.

Ultimately, all UKRI funding opportunities, of every type, and from any organisation will be processed through the new digital service.

The new service is part of the Simpler and Better Funding programme which is aiming to make your experience with us – from applying for funding to delivering your research and innovation project – as streamlined and supportive as possible.

How to stay informed

You should keep up to date with the development of the system if you are:

  • a researcher or innovator
  • research office staff
  • an expert assessor.

You can bookmark and revisit this web page, where we will be posting updates.

Implementing the new digital funding service

Our implementation will be gradual to ensure everyone has time to get used to the changes, as well as allowing us to learn from the experience of users, to improve and inform the ongoing design and development.

Innovate UK already uses a digital platform called the Innovation Funding Service for business-led grant applications. This will eventually be integrated into the new digital platform.

Our timeline

Our first pilot for the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s New Generation Thinkers 2020, allowed us to test the use of a digital application form with users instead of using PDF documents.

It also introduced the concept of a user creating an account in order to apply for the opportunity.

Further pilots will look at the increasingly complex funding types that are designed around what applicants, research offices and assessors need. We will continue this pattern of evolution and continuous improvement.

How COVID-19 is impacting the timeline

We have consulted with many of you, including research office colleagues, who have told us that they wish this work to continue in spite of the obvious pressure we all find ourselves under.

We will progress at a measured pace, building in extra time and providing support and guidance where necessary.

The benefits of our new digital funding service

Throughout our development processes, we will be informed by the experience of researchers and innovators. This will create benefits for those using our services.

Benefits to researchers and innovators applying for funding

These include:

  • one location for funding opportunities – listed in the funding finder
  • simpler application and assessment process
  • clearer guidance
  • ability to give access to contributors and research office staff
  • visibility of application progress at every stage
  • clear lines of feedback
  • enhanced functionality and more advanced features
  • an evolving, continuously improved service.

Benefits to research offices

These include:

  • early visibility of applications
  • rights to access, edit, manage and approve applications
  • ability to transfer account responsibilities
  • dashboards showing the progress of applications
  • notification of decisions
  • visibility of feedback
  • ability to interact with internal and external data sources and tools.

Benefits to expert assessors

These include:

  • the ability to preview and access applications on any device
  • a single service for all assessment stages
  • better presented application information
  • clear and contextual guidance on scoring
  • notification of outcomes
  • the ability to make yourself known and available as an expert in your field
  • feedback on your work so you can improve
  • greater recognition of your efforts.

Take part in user research

As part of the ongoing design, and implementation, we are conducting user research to make sure that we are able to deliver a new service that is as accessible and inclusive as possible.

Take part in user research.


Last updated: 16 April 2021

This is the integrated website of the seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK.
Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help us test new developments.