Approval of grant applications forms and guidelines
Approval of Electronic Grant Applications Forms and Guidelines
Funding bodies such as the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the EU and the Research Councils now utilise electronic grant submission procedures. These operate through their own web portals (eGap2, Je-S etc.) and many no longer accept paper-based applications.
Staff intending to make electronic applications for external funding are strongly advised to first register, and then familiarise themselves with the appropriate on-line submission software well in advance of submitting any grant application. You should also ensure that you are familiar with any special requirements concerning the on-line application process. On-line help is usually available and the help desks provided by the funding bodies are usually very helpful. Staff in the University Research Support Office will provide assistance wherever possible, but please alert us to any specific training requirements you may have.
The same LJMU internal procedures apply for ALL grant applications (whether submitted electronically or on paper) in terms of (a) the preparation and validation of project costings, and (b) seeking approval for the project. However, funding bodies usually require an additional step for all applications submitted electronically (see below for details). This is needed because of the absence of an actual signature on the application form.
Approval from finance, your Director of School and the Director of Research (or Head of Development Funding, as appropriate) should be done BEFORE you submit your grant application to the funding body's website whenever possible. In our experience, it is best practice not to re-edit sections of your application on-line but to up-load final costings and text in the first instance. You can also ask the finance department to directly input approved costings into your on-line form.
Most electronic application systems allow you to prepare a pdf of your application for printing and subsequent checking. If the system allows (such as in Je-S) the blank sections and attachments to be included in the pdf then do so.
Once you have thoroughly checked the application then you can submit the grant application.
Whilst electronic grant submission systems will have their own built-in validation processes (e.g., to check word count in dialogue boxes etc.) they do not check details of any attachments you include in the submission. for example, in Je-S there are specific page length restrictions on attachments to the main submission (e.g., CVs of the applicants, cases for support etc.). You must ensure yourself that you meet these requirements as the system will not do it for you.
The fact that you have now electronically 'submitted' a grant application does NOT mean that the funding body will accept it. The majority of funding bodies require a second, separate, submission (institutional approval) stage before they acknowledge receipt of the grant.
Typically, the Director of Research will be asked by the funding body to approve (on behalf of the University) any electronic grant application. Such approval means accessing the submitted grant on-line on the funding body's web site. It is important to note that the University is required to authorise each grant application BEFORE the published submission deadline and that this cannot be done on a incomplete application - e.g., if the grant submission deadline is 4pm on the 31st July then the Research Support Office must have completed its on-line approval by that deadline.
Whilst we aim to provide Institutional authorisation as soon as possible, we are not necessarily aware of submission deadlines for each individual grant submitted by staff and you MUST notify the Research Support Office in advance of any such deadlines. This will ensure that staff can react appropriately and by the deadline date. (Having sought pre-approval of the project and associated costings - see above - means that this stage of the process can usually be completed very quickly.)
If you suspect that you will submit your electronic application to the funding body close to the set deadline, you are strongly advised to alert staff in the Research Support Office to this fact. This will help ensure that staff are aware of the need to authorise your application and can react in the appropriate timescale.
Depending on the nature of your bid (e.g., for Fellowships), your application may also need your Director of School or line manager, together with any nominated referees to respond electronically by a certain date. If this is the case then you should inform them and check their availability well in advance of submission.
The most commonly used electronic systems are:
Research Councils - Je-S
Je-S is the grant application portal of the UK Research Councils (BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, STFC and NERC) and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). It operates as a two-stage submission / approval process. The principal investigator first completes and submits the application on-line using the Je-S system. Staff in the Research Support Office are notified automatically by Je-S when the application is submitted and are asked by Je-S to authorise the application on behalf of the University. Note that the University is not alerted to the submission deadline by Je-S and you MUST alert the Research Support Office of the deadline.
The Royal Society and The British Academy - e-gap2
The e-gap2 system is used by both The Royal Society and The British Academy but access to the system is via separate webpages for the two organisations. Again, this is a two-stage submission/application process for grant bids. The principal investigator first completes and submits the application on-line in the e-gap2 system. Staff in the Research Support Office are notified automatically by the e-gap2 system when the application is submitted and are asked to authorise the application on behalf of the University.
The Leverhulme Trust
The Leverhulme Trust operates a two-stage application process for most of its funding. In the first stage applicants need to complete an outline on-line application form. Shoudl the outline bid be accepted then you will be asked to complete a detailed application. Staff in the Research Support Office are notified automatically by the Trust's system when the application is submitted and are asked to authorise the application on behalf of the University.