Council transition to the new Funding Service – STFC

Throughout 2024 we will build up the transition to the UKRI Funding Service. We will launch all new funding opportunities on the Funding Service and will use the service to carry out peer review and panel processes.

Work is currently in progress to enable awards to be made via the service following recent pilot activity, and we will be using this functionality as soon as it is available.

See video explainers on how awards will work on the Funding Service (YouTube).

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.

Question sets and assessment criteria

UKRI has agreed a harmonised question set and assessment criteria for all responsive mode opportunities running on the Funding Service.

Find out about core responsive mode application questions and assessment criteria in How applicants use the Funding Service.

Although STFC does not run a responsive mode funding opportunity, these are likely to be the basis for other research grant opportunities which will be relevant to STFC as we transition. UKRI has also now agreed several other question sets and assessment criteria for other funding types, including fellowships, commercialisation, travel and public engagement.

STFC opportunities will be based on one of the agreed question sets but, where required, will have additional opportunity-specific assessment criteria and questions. All assessment criteria will be published on the UKRI funding finder, and we will make assessment criteria explicit and clear for each funding opportunity.

There may be some challenges in onboarding schemes during the transition to the Funding Service, as the team build out the service’s core capabilities. However, we are working closely with the Funding Service team and with other councils to minimise these.

STFC transition: current position

STFC has now hosted most of our regular opportunities on the Funding Service, and we are learning from these experiences to improve how they will work.

This includes continued engagement with the Simpler and Better Funding (SBF) programme team, to better support our more complex funding models such as consolidated grants and projects peer review.

We have now received our first submissions for both of these funding models using an agreed interim solution. The majority of the application will still be provided as an attachment, rather than the standard question and text box approach used in the funding service.

Current functionality in the Funding Service means that all costings will need to be included on the application created by the lead organisation, as we are unable to deliver the parent and child model for linked grant applications. Lead applicants will receive a link to the opportunity when we have advised them on a submission date. Project leads will have to provide the more detailed financial breakdown that we need by email.

In March 2024, the successful STFC PATT (Panel for the Allocation of Telescope Time) grants were used to pilot the new award functionality in the Funding Service. These were successfully announced and will be our first grants to become active on the service.

Next steps for transition

In 2024, subsequent rounds of many of the opportunities that we transitioned in 2023 will launch on the Funding Service.

Detailed information of all STFC funding opportunities will be available on the relevant funding finder page when they are published.

Offering and managing awards within the Funding Service remains a priority for spring 2024, and over the next few months our ambition is to start expanding the number of awards being funded through the Funding Service.

In the meantime, if we need to make an award, we will do so using the Joint electronic submission (Je-S) system. We will contact successful applicants where this will be required.

We value feedback on your experience using the Funding Service in any role, so that we can continue to improve features and functionality. You can provide feedback either by email to or the form your feedback will help improve this service (

New features

There are some significant features that are being delivered to enhance the service for managing your award.

Change requests

The change request functionality has been bolstered, providing a more streamlined process for all users. The clear and contextual information is housed with the change request landing page, where users can:

  • create and submit requests
  • view and track open requests
  • view previous requests and their outcomes

A dedicated change request log provides a comprehensive view of ongoing and completed change requests, fostering transparency and accountability.

Suspending and resuming awards

It is now possible to suspend and resume awards internally and externally, addressing scenarios such as:

  • parental leave
  • equipment availability
  • where an organisation is being investigated for non-compliance with terms and conditions

Other added improvements

Other features that have recently been released or improved in the service include:

  • enabling UKRI to reject an application and provide feedback at checking stage
  • improving the UKRI internal dashboard for managing expert reviews, specifically the search capability
  • ability to filter lists of awards for easier management
  • allowing the controlled list of users to manage organisation and payment details
  • improvements to reviewer invite accept and decline actions: both administrators and applicants are able to edit and submit review response

Future improvements

Forthcoming features and enhancements under development include:

  • further enhancements to award functionality such as the ability to transfer an award to another research organisation
  • further improvements to the reviewer journey
  • enabling external users the ability to change their email on the Funding Service without having to raise a request

Changes to role types

UKRI is introducing new role types for opportunities being run on the new Funding Service. For full details, see eligibility as an individual.

Ask a question about the Simpler and Better Funding programme

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


Telephone: 01793 547490

Find out more about the SBF programme and latest developments: improving your funding experience.

Last updated: 10 May 2024

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