Improving how you apply for funding

We are looking at replacing our existing grant systems, including Je-S, with a new one called the UKRI Funding Service.

Introducing the new UKRI Funding Service

The service 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 UKRI Funding Service is part of a wider range of activity to:

  • ensure researchers and innovators spend more of their time exploring new ideas, and less time filling in forms
  • create a research and innovation system that is more efficient, effective and fair
  • harmonise processes where appropriate to provide a modern, dynamic and streamlined way of working

How to stay informed

You should keep up-to-date with the service as it develops if you are:

  • a researcher
  • research office staff
  • an expert assessor.

You can:

  • bookmark and revisit this web page, where we will be posting regular updates
  • contact us and take part in user testing.


Implementing the service

We will gradually implement the new UKRI Funding Service.

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 eventually be integrated into the UKRI Funding Service.

Our timeline for implementing the service

We are starting with a small-scale pilot for a single funding opportunity. The first pilot was launched in summer 2020.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council’s New Generation Thinkers 2020 pilot allowed us to test the use of a digital application form with users instead of using PDF documents.

It also introduced the concept of a user creating an account in order to apply for the opportunity.

We will gradually extend the scope and capability of the service. Further pilots will look at the increasingly complex funding types that are designed around what applicants, research offices and assessors need.

We will continue this pattern of evolution and continuous improvement.

How Covid-19 is impacting the timeline

We have consulted with many of you, including 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

All UKRI funding opportunities are now be listed in the ‘Funding Finder’ – a single place to find funding.

Each opportunity in the Funding Finder has a web link to apply. This will redirect you to either:

  • an existing application system
  • the new UKRI Funding Service if the opportunity you are applying for is a pilot.

If a funding opportunity is a pilot, then this will be made clear on the ‘Funding Finder’ listing. We will provide all necessary support and guidance for you to make your application through the new service.

The benefits of the UKRI Funding Service

The UKRI Funding Service will be informed by the experience of researchers and innovators. This will create benefits for those interesting with our services.

Benefits to researchers applying for funding

These include:

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

Benefits to research offices

These include:

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

Benefits to expert assessors

These include:

  • 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.

Take part in user research

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

Contact us if you would like to take part in user research.


Last updated: 28 October 2020

NOTEThis is the first phase of our new website – let us know if you have feedback or would like to help us test new developments.