We are creating a unified UKRI website that brings together the existing research council, Innovate UK and Research England websites.
If you would like to be involved in its development let us know.

The new UKRI Funding Service

Contents

Making things simpler

This information is for:

  • researchers and research offices in higher education institutions
  • businesses applying for funding (either in a lead or supporting role)
  • expert assessors/peer reviewers who support the decision-making process.

Over the next two to three years, UKRI will be replacing its existing grant systems, including Je-S, with a new service called the UKRI Funding Service.

It will be based on a new, digital platform that will make it simpler and quicker for researchers, research offices and innovators to submit funding applications.

Ultimately, all UKRI funding opportunities, of every type and from any organisation (academic or business), will be processed through this service.

The new UKRI Funding Service:

  • is part of a wider range of activity which we are progressing to ensure researchers and innovators spend more of their time exploring new ideas, and less time filling in forms
     
  • will help create a research and innovation system that is more efficient, effective and fair
     
  • will provide a modern, dynamic and streamlined way of working which will harmonise processes wherever appropriate
     

Piloting the service

We are starting with a small-scale pilot for a single funding opportunity. Then we will gradually extend the scope and capability of the service.

How to stay informed

It will be important for you to keep up-to-date with the service as it develops if you are a researcher, research office or expert assessor. 

You can:

Progressive introduction of the service

Although there will be major differences from the existing systems applicants use now (such as Je-S), we will be implementing the new UKRI Funding Service progressively. This will ensure everyone has time to get used to the changes as well as allowing us to learn from the experience of users to improve and inform the ongoing design and development.

Innovate UK already uses a digital platform called the Innovation Funding Service for business-led grant applications.  This will be integrated into the UKRI Funding Service at the later stages in its evolution.

Timing

We have launched our first pilot this summer. The Arts and Humanities Research Council New Generation Thinkers 2021 pilot allows us to test the use of a digital application form with users versus using PDF documents and the concept of a user creating their account in order to apply for the Opportunity.

We will be running further pilots to test the service’s capability to run increasingly complex funding types and with a growing set of features designed around what applicants, research offices and assessors need.

We will continue this pattern of evolution and continuous improvement based on user feedback.

Responding to Covid-19

We have consulted with many research office colleagues, who have told us that they wish this work to continue, in spite of the obvious pressure we all find ourselves under.

We will progress at a measured pace, building in extra time and providing support and guidance where necessary.

Applying during the transition process

From Autumn 2020, all UKRI funding opportunities will be listed on the ‘Funding Finder’ page of a single UKRI website. 

Web links from the ‘Funding Finder’ opportunity listing will connect you either to existing application systems or the new UKRI Funding Service, as appropriate.

If you are applying for a funding opportunity that is one of the new pilots, then this will be made clear on the ‘Funding Finder’ listing and we will make sure applicants have all necessary support and guidance to make their application through the UKRI Funding Service.

The future benefits of the UKRI Funding Service

The UKRI Funding Service will be constantly informed by the experience of researchers and innovators.  This will result in us being able to deliver the benefits below, which have been identified by applicants, research offices and assessors as priorities:

For applicants

  • one location for funding opportunities
  • simpler application and assessment process 
  • clear guidance 
  • ability to give access to contributors and research offices 
  • visibility of application progress at every stage
  • clear lines of feedback
  • enhanced functionality and more advanced features
  • a continuously improved service.

For research offices

  • early visibility of applications 
  • access, editor and approval rights 
  • ability to transfer account responsibilities; and to manage and approve applications
  • dashboards showing the progress of applications 
  • notification of decisions
  • visibility of feedback
  • ability to interact with internal and external data sources and tools

For expert assessors

  • the ability to preview and access applications on any device
  • a single service for all assessment stages  
  • better presented application information
  • clear and contextual guidance on scoring  
  • notification of outcomes
  • the ability to make yourself known and available as an expert in your field
  • feedback on your work so you can improve
  • greater recognition of your efforts.

User research

As part of the ongoing design, and implementation, we are making sure that we are able to deliver a new service that is as accessible and inclusive as possible.

If you would like to take part in further User Research, or if you require additional support with completing this survey, please contact: support@funding-service.ukri.org