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Make a complaint

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is committed to operating a responsive, transparent and fair complaints process. We follow the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman principles of good complaint handling.

You should use this procedure if you want to make a complaint about our standard of service or activities.

If you have concerns or questions relating to an application for a grant or innovation loan, you may find it helpful to first read about our decisions for grant or innovation loan applications.

When to make a complaint using this procedure

You should use this complaints procedure if:

  • we have not followed agreed policies, procedures or legal obligations
  • a UKRI employee has been unhelpful or insensitive in their dealings with you
  • we have not responded or have taken an unreasonable amount of time to answer a query or request
  • you are dissatisfied with how we have handled a data protectionenvironmental information or freedom of information request

Do not use this procedure if:

  • you disagree with a decision made by the UKRI Board, our councils, committees or panels (including peer review and assessors)
  • you disagree with peer review comments or application feedback
  • you disagree with a decision made by an organisation we fund
  • the issue you want to complain about is subject to litigation or legal proceedings
  • your complaint has previously been through this procedure including an appeal and has been closed

When you should use a different procedure:

How to make a complaint

Step one

You should make your initial complaint directly to the UKRI employee or team you have been dealing with, for example, on an enquiry, application or project.

For complaints relating to Innovate UK, please contact in the first instance.

If they are not able to resolve your complaint go to step two.

Step two

If your complaint has not been resolved in step one, you can make a formal complaint.

You must make your complaint in writing, either by email or letter. Any complaints made via telephone will need to be followed up in writing so that they can be formally investigated.

In making a complaint, you should include:

  • your reason for making the complaint, providing a clear description of your experience and what outcome you would like to see
  • the department of UKRI or the council your complaint relates to, including a contact name if known
  • if this is a new issue, or if it relates to a previous case (please provide any relevant correspondence or reference numbers)
  • if your complaint relates to a specific funding application, grant or project, please provide the reference number
  • your contact details, including telephone number and email address

Please note: we can only discuss issues relating to an Innovate UK application with the lead applicant and contact listed in the application.

Send your complaint to the complaints team via email:

Our contact details by post are:

Deputy Director Risk and Assurance
UK Research and Innovation
Polaris House
North Star Avenue

Accessibility and inclusion

UKRI is committed to promoting equality and to ensuring our complaint handling process is fair and accessible to all users. Any requests for reasonable adjustment should be sent to We welcome and encourage you to contact us with any feedback, queries or concerns.

How we will handle your complaint

We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days

Our complaints team will assess your complaint to determine whether it is within the scope of our procedure. We will contact you if any additional information is required. Where complaints fall outside of the scope of our formal complaints procedure, we will direct you to the correct procedure.

In most cases, we will provide a full response to formal complaints within 20 working days. If it is not possible to provide a full response within this time, we will give you:

  • details of the progress we have made and the reason for the delay
  • a target date for when we are aiming to respond to your complaint
  • contact details if you want to get in touch with us

How to appeal about an information rights response

If your concerns relate to a response issued under the Freedom of Information Act, Environmental Information Regulations or the General Data Protection Regulation, a different procedure applies.

Email addresses for appeals relating to:

Our contact details by post are:

Head of Information Governance
UK Research and Innovation
Polaris House
North Star Avenue

How to appeal

If you are not satisfied with our response, you have the right to appeal within one calendar month of the date we responded to your complaint.

You should write to us again following the same procedure (outlined in step two). You must state that your complaint relates to a previous case and provide your reference number.

Please explain clearly where our complaint investigation:

  • has not been satisfactory
  • has incorrectly or has not fully investigated your original issues
  • has provided incorrect information

If you have any new or supporting evidence, please provide this and tell us how you would like us to resolve things.

We will assess your concerns to decide if there is a rationale to review these outstanding issues. If we do not agree that there is, we will respond to inform you of our decision and the reasons for this.

If we agree that there is, we will assign a senior, independent employee to conduct the review on your behalf. This person will not have any prior knowledge or involvement in the previous complaint.

You may be asked to attend a virtual meeting with the reviewer to discuss your concerns.

We will aim to respond to your appeal within 20 working days using the same process as the standard complaints process.

If you are still not satisfied with the decision, you can refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman via an MP.

If your complaint relates to an information request then you may want to refer this to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision until the complainant has completed UKRI’s review procedure.

Unresolved issues related to the Welsh Language Scheme can be escalated to the Welsh Language Commissioner.

How UKRI will use your personal data

The personal data you give us will be used to help us investigate and respond to your complaint.

Your personal data will be handled in line with UK data protection legislation and managed securely. If you would like to know more, including how to exercise your rights, please see our privacy notice.

Last updated: 2 May 2023

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