Council transition to the new Funding Service – AHRC

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is transitioning from the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system to the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grants system, the Funding Service.

From summer 2023 AHRC is running responsive mode funding opportunities as consecutive rounds with defined closing dates, using UKRI core assessment criteria and questions. Applications may be submitted at any time while a round is open.

In 2023, AHRC made changes to our responsive mode funding opportunities to make them more flexible and better aligned to the needs of all our researchers and their research ambitions, responding to feedback gathered from the communities we serve.

Responsive mode funding opportunities

This update applies to AHRC’s responsive mode opportunities, also known as ‘always open’ opportunities:

Changes to AHRC responsive mode opportunities

Our responsive mode funding opportunities have changed. Details of the changes, reasons and benefits are outlined in AHRC’s guidance for applicants which confirms the schemes that have closed and new ones that have opened.

Up to date guidance and support is available throughout the transition on:

Timeline for changes and the transition

Making changes to ‘always open’ funding opportunities is challenging to deliver in a way that gives applicants certainty as to:

  • how to apply
  • how their applications will be processed
  • how their applications will be assessed

The introduction of the new Funding Service presents us with an opportunity to implement changes to funding opportunities at the same time as the transition. This will reduce the number of points at which change is applied, with the intention of making it easier for our research community to manage.

Introducing closing dates in responsive mode

As the Funding Service will continue to be developed during the first year or more of its operation, as an interim measure AHRC is running responsive mode funding opportunities as consecutive submission rounds with defined closing dates with just a short break of one or two weeks between each round.

By running as rounds with defined closing dates, rather than ‘always open’, during this transition period we are able to accommodate system developments in a way that means applications can be assessed like-for-like as they were submitted under the same conditions.

Applications may be submitted at any time while a round is open; you do not need to wait until the closing date. AHRC will begin to process applications as soon as we receive them so, if an application is submitted early in a round, we may be able to provide you with an earlier decision.

Any updates to application requirements and any relevant system or policy developments will be outlined on the relevant funding finder page.

By taking a round-based approach, AHRC will be able to better manage the transition internally, ensuring we continue to deliver a high-quality service.

It is our intention to return to an ‘always open’ responsive mode as soon as we can. We anticipate that this will be possible within the Funding Service in 2024.

Implementing the changes and system transition

Opportunities now permanently closed to applications

Closed opportunities include:

  • research networking
  • research development and engagement fellowships

Opportunities now open to applications on the Funding Service

Details of each are available on the UKRI funding finder.

Open opportunities include:

  • research grants
  • research grants: working with Brazilian researchers (FAPESP)
  • research grants: working with US researchers (NSF/SBE)
  • follow-on funding for impact and engagement
  • curiosity awards
  • catalyst awards

Dates of the current and the following round are within each funding finder page.

A detailed combined timeline for all the above opportunities is available on the AHRC changes to responsive mode funding page.

The Funding Service is being launched in stages, which means functionality and new features are gradually introduced and refined. Therefore, timelines may be subject to adjustment.

We are aware that research funding proposals can take some time to prepare, and we are making every effort to ensure that applicants are not disadvantaged. We will be managing our budget in accordance with demand to minimise the impact on success rates, while continuing to fund excellence as a priority.

We will keep this page up to date to keep applicants and their organisations informed during the transition period. We remain contactable for queries and requests, including those relating to these published deadlines.

Harmonisation across councils

This transition is part of UKRI’s Simpler and Better Funding (SBF) programme, which is creating a single, consistent user-centred Funding Service.

‘Always open’ funding opportunities will have a more consistent set of application questions and assessment criteria across and within councils as part of our work to harmonise responsive modes.

This harmonisation will mean that applicants will have a new and simplified experience when writing and submitting proposals to UKRI’s funding opportunities.

To simplify the submissions process for applicants to UKRI’s funding opportunities, core assessment criteria and questions will be used for AHRC responsive mode funding opportunities.

Find out more about the applicant experience and our pathway for change.

Details on how and when to submit proposals through the Funding Service will be provided prior to launch within:

Forward planning

When transitioning funding opportunities, AHRC will work to minimise disruption for applicants and uphold the commitments laid out in our strategic delivery plan. This includes our commitment to providing the research community with increased forward notice for funding opportunities, which remain open for longer periods of time.

UKRI’s principles of assessment and decision making will continue to underpin our peer review policies and processes during and after the transition to the Funding Service.

Ask a question about the SBF programme

If you would like to ask a question about the UKRI SBF programme, please contact:

Email: support@funding-service.ukri.org

Telephone: 01793 547490

Last updated: 14 August 2023

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