How research offices use the UKRI Funding Service

This guidance is for research office staff at all levels to help you understand:

  • how the UKRI Funding Service works for you
  • how you can support applicants when using the Funding Service
  • the timeline for developing and enhancing research office functionality in the service

You can also watch videos demonstrating the service (see ‘Video demonstrations of the Funding Service’).

In the ‘resources’ section below you can find further information, including recordings of our regular webinars, newsletters and related web pages.

We will continue to keep you updated in advance of any changes.

For more information, see council transition to the new Funding Service and check status updates on the UKRI Funding Service.

Sign in to the UKRI Funding Service

You’ll need the email address and password used to set up your research office account.

Create a research office account

Research offices need to set up their own accounts to access the Funding Service.

Organisations are encouraged to prepare an approved list of individuals who will require administrator account status to support and submit applications for your organisation.

When requesting administrator account status, please include ‘Research Administrator Account’ in the subject line of the email, and send to support@funding-service.ukri.org with the following details:

  • first name
  • last name
  • organisation name
  • email address (only individual addresses, not group or mailbox addresses)
  • phone number

Following a brief verification process, you will be sent an invitation to create an account.

All applications created by your organisation for the opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service will then be viewable.

Please ensure anyone whose details you provide are aware that these will be shared with other members of, and applicants from, your organisation.

Research offices are responsible for managing their Funding Service accounts, including how many you have.

Set up notification groups

Research offices have the option to set up groups on the Funding Service. This allows them to manage the way the Funding Service notifies them throughout the opportunity application process.

Key features of groups

Research officers can create a set of groups which will most likely mirror their department, school or faculty structure (for example, finance or mathematics).

Research officers can add relevant research support staff to each group.  If someone supports multiple departments, they can sit in multiple groups.

When applicants start a new application, they can choose a group to assign that application to. This will dictate which groups receive notifications about their application.

Only the staff in the allocated group will receive notifications as the application progresses.

If an application is in the wrong group, research office staff can change it. They can also add an application to additional groups.

If you create a group by mistake, you can rename it and reallocate members. The ability to delete groups will be available in an upcoming release.

When an applicant is unsure which group to choose, they will have the option of selecting ‘I cannot choose a suitable group’. Notifications for those applications will go to all staff who have administrator status.

Notification groups will be managed entirely by research offices. Any staff member with an administration access account for their organisation can change the groups and the staff assigned to them at any time.

If you have an administrator status account, you will continue to be able to view or edit any application.

There is no deadline for setting these up, each organisation can wait until it is ready. It’s best to create most, if not all, groups upfront within a short space of time, because once groups start being created, any applicant who begins an application will be selecting from the groups that are available.

Research offices can prepare for setting up groups by:

  • making a list of potential groups
  • making a list of staff who’ll require administrator access to support and submit applications (noting all those with administrator status will be able to view, edit and submit all applications for their organisation)
  • assigning each staff member to the groups they are responsible for, there are no limits to the number of groups you can include staff in

When organisations have decided on the groups they need, they can set them up in the funding service themselves.

Once the first group is created for an organisation, applicants will be able to assign their application.

Once organisations have set their groups up, they may want to advise colleagues of the additional group functionality. Applicants will be prompted to pick the most appropriate group(s) when they start a new application. Administrators then have the option to allocate applications to groups once they are in progress.

Research offices can request additional funding service administrator status accounts if required. To do this you will need to:

There are no limits to the number of accounts that can be requested in this email to the helpdesk.

Please allow time for the verification process and registration.

Supporting applicants using your account

If you have a Funding Service account with administrator status you will be notified when an applicant from your organisation creates an application.

This will help you to support the applicant and point them towards important information they may need.

Research office staff with an administration status Funding Service account can view all applications from your organisation (including draft applications) and edit all sections when the application is sent for approval.

Applicants will continue to send the application to their research office for approval and submission once the application is marked as complete to allow for editing and completion. Research office users will then see the application in edit mode.

Research office users can edit any section within the application.

The ability to either return an application to the applicant or submit to UKRI remains unchanged.

Once the application is ready research office users can confirm applicants, authorise and submit the application to UKRI.

It is important that you check the application prior to submission, to ensure it is completed correctly and that all necessary documents have been provided.

We have added new roles for project team members.

We have also recently added functionality to help research officers filter by application status, sort applications by ‘recently started’ and ‘ending soon’, and to search for applications.

Video demonstrations of the Funding Service

Watch a demonstration of:

How the Funding Service will make your role easier

The UKRI Funding Service will reduce the burden of finding, applying for and managing research funding.

Over 2023, all research councils will transition from the Joint Electronic Submissions system (Je-S) to the Funding Service. This means that research support staff, along with other users, will use the new service.

The Funding Service is being designed to make your role easier when providing support, information and guidance to your researchers and research communities.

Over time we aim to reduce some of the administrative burdens Je-S users currently experience, such as:

  • large numbers of attachments to administer and difficulties in getting data from these
  • too many returns for amendment
  • checking of page length and formatting
  • high variation in cases for support

Timeline: what you can do now and what to expect in future

We are developing the Funding Service in an iterative way, gradually introducing functionality and piloting new features and different funding types.

We have provided some initial functionality to help research offices, such as enhanced filtering and sorting of opportunities and applications.

More research office functionality such as advanced filtering will be added in later updates of the service, expected by September 2023, with more to come after that.

Below we have outlined what is available now and what you can expect and when. Bear in mind these timelines are indicative and may change.

Available now

You can:

  • create a research office account (see ’how to create a research office account’ )
  • filter by application status
  • sort applications by ‘recently started’ and ‘ending soon’
  • search for applications

Some award functionality has been released on a small ‘pilot’ and will be more widely available towards the end of the year, including:

  • view award details
  • access the award agreement for acceptance
  • submit a start confirmation
  • submit ‘change requests’ to requests the suspension, resumption, extensions, or a change to the start date of an award
  • view associated change request history

September 2023

Further administrator enhancements such as filtering by department.

Future functionality

We are working to further increase functionality so that research office staff who support grant maintenance will be able to:

  • submit more types of change requests
  • submit a final expenditure statement

We will keep you updated on new functionality and enhancements coming for research offices.

If you would like to be involved in our ongoing user research, see the ‘let us know what you think’ section.

Resources: webinars, newsletters and other webpages

Webinars

Watch recordings of our Simply Better Funding (SBF) webinars for research office directors, administrators and research management professionals at all levels.

SBF webinar for research offices: co-edit and groups (YouTube)

SBF webinar for research offices: expert review (YouTube)

Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) webinar for research offices (YouTube)

Newsletter

Keep abreast of the latest developments in the Funding Service through future editions of the ‘Simpler and Better’ newsletter.

Previous editions

May 2023 newsletter

February 2023 newsletter

November 2022 newsletter

Webpages

See the links to further information to keep up to date with our latest news.

Additional resources and training on transitioning to the new Funding Service will be available shortly.

Our pathway for change

How applicants use the UKRI Funding Service

Council transition to the new Funding Service

Let us know what you think

We continue to welcome feedback from research offices along with our other users to inform the design of the Funding Service.

So far, you’ve told us:

  • when managing lots of users and applications you need to focus on what’s important so that you efficiently administer the work
  • when an application is made you need the right staff to support it so you have the highest chance of success
  • when an application is made you need to know it’s correct and complete so you do not waste time, and maximise our chances
  • when providing costs you need tools that support financial information so that you are efficient and accurate

We are using your feedback to focus on further improvements for research offices.

Sign up to take part in our user research

Email: userresearch@ukri.org

More help with funding

Getting funding from UKRI

Find guidance on how to apply for funding

Check if you’re eligible for funding

Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) guidance

How to manage your award

Support with using the Funding Service

If you cannot find what you are looking for, the Funding Service helpdesk can provide support with your questions about using the service.

Email

support@funding-service.ukri.org

Telephone

01793 547490

Last updated: 20 February 2024

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have some quick feedback or help us improve your experience by taking three minutes to tell us what you think of the UKRI website.