Council transition to the new Funding Service – MRC

In 2023, applicants to the Medical Research Council (MRC) and other councils will start making applications via the Funding Service rather than via the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system. This is in line with the Simpler and Better Funding (SBF) programme.

UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) 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.

The transition to the Funding Service will not affect MRC budgets for research awards, and the commitments made in MRC’s strategic delivery plan will remain the same.

Harmonisation across councils

To find out about new application questions and assessment criteria for the Funding Service, see how applicants use the UKRI Funding Service.

As MRC opportunities are launched on the Funding Service, we will use these as the basis for MRC’s approach.

You will recognise many similarities to the current MRC application and assessment, as well as some changes to be aware of. For example:

  • traditional CVs and publications lists will be replaced by the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) format in MRC opportunities on the Funding Service
  • names for staff roles will change
  • where possible, information will be submitted digitally instead of as attachments
  • it won’t be possible to amend your application once it has been submitted
  • you can not request a late submission of your application after the opportunity has closed

Some MRC opportunities will have additional opportunity-specific application questions, guidance and assessment criteria. Full details and guidance for every MRC opportunity will be published on the funding finder.

Updates are happening regularly as the service is developed. You should ensure you are following the most up to date guidance.

Responsive mode funding opportunities

Some councils have an ‘always open’ responsive mode, whereas MRC has specific closing dates.

There may be some challenges in onboarding schemes during the transition to the Funding Service. However, we are working closely with the Funding Service team and with other councils that operate closing dates in responsive mode to minimise these.

We are expecting to offer the usual number of responsive mode opportunities during the transition period, with three closing dates every year.

Applications to MRC research board closing dates in January 2023 and May 2023 were through Je-S.

All future MRC research board applications will be through the Funding Service.

The first closing date was on 19 September 2023.

The second closing date will be on 10 January 2024. The second MRC responsive mode round opens on the Funding Service on 12 October 2023, to allow you to start preparing applications.

You can watch an applicant webinar about MRC responsive mode on the Funding Service. Please note, this was recorded on 6 July 2023. You should also read the most up to date guidance as this is being updated regularly.

MRC funding opportunities on the Funding Service

We anticipate that all MRC funding opportunities opening from June 2023 onwards will use the UKRI Funding Service.

Details about MRC opportunities on the Funding Service are advertised on the funding finder.

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: 6 October 2023

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