Unsuccessful applicants and resubmissions - BBSRC

BBSRC policy on resubmissions and revised submissions

To help reduce the pressure on everyone involved in our peer review process the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) does not accept proposals that have already been peer reviewed or are currently undergoing peer review by another research council or funding body.

If you submit a proposal to another research council and it is judged to be out of their remit before undergoing peer review, you can submit it to BBSRC if it is within our remit. However, if your proposal to another research council has been through the peer review process and was not funded you may not resubmit it to BBSRC, unless explicitly invited to do so. All proposals are checked in the peer review administration process to identify any uninvited resubmissions, which will be rejected.

If in any doubt as to whether an application falls within the remit of BBSRC, please contact the remit team by emailing remit@bbsrc.ukri.org.

Applicants must give details of any application in the same field that has been submitted to another BBSRC committee, other research council, or to any other funding body. In addition, applicants must give details of all related current funding from BBSRC, and current funding from other research councils and other funding bodies in the same field awarded in the last three years.

BBSRC expects submitted proposals to have been carefully planned and written by the applicants, and quality assured, for example through institutional or departmental processes, so they are highly competitive for funding. Multiple resubmissions of essentially the same work, without revisions reflecting further advances in the research or solely addressing reviewer feedback, puts extra pressure on everyone involved in our peer review process, with limited chances of success.

Considerations when preparing new proposals

BBSRC expects previously unfunded proposals to be substantially updated and revised before being submitted for funding again. For a proposal to be considered significantly different, and therefore not a resubmission, BBSRC would expect more than 50% of the stated objectives or work packages to be identified as ‘new’, that is not listed in proposals previously submitted to BBSRC by the applicants. Any decision regarding whether a proposal is deemed to be significantly different will be made by BBSRC and will be considered as final.

It is the responsibility of the principal investigator to ensure that their application is not a resubmission, to the satisfaction of BBSRC.

Check the guidance on what to include when you’re preparing a new proposal.

You should examine the first draft of your new application critically, asking yourself the following questions:

  • are the overall aims and objectives largely the same
  • is the general scientific approach used to meet these objectives broadly the same
  • are the resources required mostly the same?

If the answer to most of these questions is yes, particularly the first and second question, it is likely your proposal would be considered a resubmission. Therefore, ensure new applications have different aims or objectives, target a different problem, or establish a programme using different techniques.

If you still have questions after going through this process, please contact the relevant research committee for your proposal to discuss further.

Invited resubmissions

The purpose of our invitation-only policy is to allow for small modifications or further development and improvement of proposals that would allow the proposal to potentially be highly competitive. There is no guarantee that a resubmitted proposal will be successful, as it will be in competition with a new set of proposals. We will, however, look to invite some reviewers and assessors who commented on the previously submitted proposal.

Where a resubmission is invited, it is advised that you include in the covering letter a summary of the revisions.

Last updated: 26 September 2022

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