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Step-by-step guide to applying for funding

This page is designed to act as a brief guide for researchers in the preparation of research grant applications for submission to external funding bodies, including the internal SBCS procedures and requirements.

These procedures also apply to outline/preliminary applications and proposals made by external collaborators with an SBCS component.

Please note that the process requires five working days to review and approve your application and we recommend that you contact the Research Manager (sbcs-research@qmul.ac.uk) at an early stage to discuss your project and to ensure you can meet any departmental requirements including Head of Department approval.

Please make every effort to plan your applications well in advance and to give the Research Manager as much time as possible.

Step 1 - Identify  a potential funder and funding scheme

Please visit our internal QMPlus page (QMUL login required) for funding opportunities. Issues to consider when selecting a funder are:

  • Programme of work - is your area of research within the funder's area of interest/funding remit and/or does it meet a particular scheme's requirements?
  • Eligibility - are you personally eligible to apply? Is the University eligible to hold the award?
  • The Research Manager (sbcs-research@qmul.ac.uk) can provide advice about what you can apply for and where to apply. Please contact us as early as possible to discuss your application or possible funding sources.

Step 2 – Plan the application process

Please note that Preliminary/Outline applications follow the same procedure as full applications.

  • Read the guidelines of the scheme you intend to apply for.
  • Note any deadline for submission. Do you have enough time to prepare the application and meet internal deadlines? For internal approval this is at least five working days.
  • Application route. Is the application electronic or paper?
  • Internal ranking/selection. Sometimes funders limit the number of bids by an institution for a particular call, or require that the University ranks its proposals. If this is the case, please do contact the Research Manager (sbcs-research@qmul.ac.uk) who will organize this process.

Step 3 - Obtain departmental support for your application

Once you have identified a funding call and scheme, please contact the Research Manager (sbcs-research@qmul.ac.uk) and inform her of your intention to submit an application.

Step 4 - Prepare the costing

Step 5 - Write application

Throughout the writing process you should be addressing any specific points requested by the funder:

  • Note the selection criteria for the call, including the weight applied to each, and how your proposal will be assessed (and by whom).
  • Ensure that the proposal is well-structured and addresses the expectations and selection criteria of the funder.
  • Use the advice and expertise of colleagues, especially those who have had successful proposals with the funder. Many funders also provide application writing guides/hints and tips on their website.
  • Care must be taken to ensure the case for support meets the funder's particular requirements, such as page limit, font style and size.
  • In addition, you should ensure that any other documentation required is properly prepared in accordance with the funder's specifications: e.g. CVs, justification of resources, knowledge exchange or impact statements, letters of collaboration, quotations, etc.

Step 6 - The internal approval process

  • Please consider whether any ethical review or approvals will be necessary. If you are unsure, contact the Research Manager (sbcs-research@qmul.ac.uk). 
  • If your budget is over £50,000, you will need to have your proposal reviewed internally. The School strongly encourages all proposals to being reviewed internally. 
  • If several members of the School intend to go for the same call (eg. EPSRC), the Research manager may organize a review panel.
  • Please upload your close-to final application and two peer review reports (if required) on the Research Grants Management System before submitting the costing for approval. To attach documents, please go to the 'Documents' tab and 'Add Document'. If you are unable to do so, please send the documents to the Research Manager (sbcs-research@qmul.ac.uk).

Step 7 - Submit your application

You can submit the grant when the internal approval is given. Depending on the funding scheme/grant system, either HoS or JRMO will then complete the institutional approval for your application.

Final step - When you hear the outcome 

After the application has been submitted to the funding body, please let us know the outcome and send a copy of any correspondence you receive from the funding body to us for the School's records and to enable us to fulfil any criteria set by the funding body for the award. 

  • See also: "Post-award – information for grant holders" below.

Post-award – information for grant holders

Step 1 - Inform us of the outcome

After the application has been submitted to the funding body, please let us know the outcome and send a copy of any correspondence you receive from the funding body to us for the Department's records and to enable us to fulfil any criteria set by the funding body for the award.

Step 2 - Set up grant administration

In order to ensure that the grant can be properly managed, please send the grant award letter to JRMO. JRMO will set up a HoD note, stating the details of the award, including project duration, budget code and annual budget.

  • If the award is made by cheque, ask the funder to make the cheque payable to "Queen Mary and Westfield College" and to be sent to the PI, not the College Finance Department to avoid delays.
  • For staff appointments and all other HR related matters (including reimbursement of interview expenses), please contact the SBCS HR officer, Sunita Devi-Paul.
  • For all Research Council grants, the starting certificate must be submitted within 42 days of the staff appointment.
  • For contracts of agreement – for example, for collaborative projects, please contact JRMO.

Step 3 - During the grant

During the duration of the grant, JRMO will send monthly reports to the PI. Please monitor these reports closely to ensure timely expenditure.

JRMO will also send an internal Final Expenditure Statement (FES) to the PI, who should check the form with before signing and returning it to JRMO.

All expenditure (with the exception of salaries and fees) should be made through the SBCS Finance and Stores team. Please refer to the intranet for details regarding the process.

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