Council transition to the new Funding Service – STFC

In 2023, applicants to the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and other councils will start making applications via the UKRI 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 UKRI Funding Service.

The transition to the UKRI Funding Service will not affect STFC budgets for research awards in 2023, and the commitments made in STFC’s strategic delivery plan will remain the same.

Question sets and assessment criteria

A harmonised question set and assessment criteria has been agreed for all responsive mode opportunities running on the UKRI 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.

To find out about core responsive mode application questions and assessment criteria, see how applicants use the UKRI Funding Service.

Where required, STFC opportunities 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 UKRI Funding Service, as the team build out the service’s core capabilities. However, we are working closely with the UKRI Funding Service team and with other councils to minimise these.

STFC transition: current position

The STFC Early Stage Research and Development funding opportunity has now closed, and will progress to the panel stage on the UKRI Funding Service.

The Late Stage Commercialisation funding opportunity remains live on the Funding Service following an expression of interest process.

STFC currently has a number of opportunities which are live on the UKRI Funding Service:

  • Ernest Rutherford Fellowships
  • Industrial CASE (and CASE Plus) studentships
  • Applying for time on the DiRAC computing service. This will be the first time that we have run this activity via an online system and we hope this will improve efficiency, transparency and security
  • PATT Travel grants

Further information on how to apply to these opportunities is available on the Funding Finder.

Next steps for transition

Work is also underway to transition our various public engagement schemes, with Nucleus and Legacy Award opportunities hopefully to be launched in the autumn.

The 2023B Spark Awards will remain on the current systems, but for 2024 opportunities we will also be planning for transition to the UKRI Funding Service.

The Particle Physics Experiment consolidated grants will be introduced in the autumn, but we will be using a hybrid approach. This means that applicants will still provide most of the information we require via an attachment, rather than as questions and answers in the text box approach that has been implemented for other UKRI Funding Service opportunities. Where it makes sense to, we will try and use the text box approach and will be agreeing the most appropriate way to set up this opportunity over the next month or so.

Later this year we will also be transitioning both the Astronomy Small and Large Award opportunities, with launch dates for these planned for mid-December.

Updates will be provided with regards to both these and other funding opportunities we plan to launch as we focus on their transition, with more detailed information being available on the relevant funding finder page when they are published.

Changes to role types

UKRI is introducing new role types for opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service from 22 May 2023. For full details, see eligibility as an individual.

Ask a question about the SBF programme

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


Telephone: 01793 547490

Last updated: 22 September 2023

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