Frequently asked questions

How do I put together a multidisciplinary team?

The Faculty of Natural Sciences wish to support new multidisciplinary and industrial collaborations to stimulate new research directions and to enhance our research impact. For any help or information, please contact your Strategic Research Manager, Dr Sophie Armstrong-Brown.
 

Imperial College Expert Search Engine (EPIC)

This smart search tool deploys advanced artificial intelligence techniques, including topic modelling and natural language processing, to identify people in College matching user-given queries in natural language, and using information about these people as available on Symplectic and the RCUK repository as well as optional keywords from the users querying the system. It aims to explore whether we can have a more effective means to identify specific expertise at Imperial than a simple keyword search. Note this link only works from the College.

Find an expert

The Faculty of Natural Sciences also provides a wide number of services to maximize impact through collaborations. Please check Find an Expert and see what we can do for you.

How do I create a proposal?

Before the submission of proposals for both RCUK and non-RCUK calls, few steps must be done:

1. Departmental contacts (Research Operation Managers)

Departments have a contact to advise and ensure that research funding applications are prepared in accordance with sponsors’ terms and conditions and with College and Departmental procedures and policies and also that once awarded grants are managed in the same way. Below are the contacts to the research operations managers from each department:

Centre for Environmental Policy

2. InfoEd
All proposals for external research funding are developed and internally approved on the InfoEd Proposal Development system. Access to InfoEd is restricted to Imperial College staff and is not open to external co-applicants. Only authorised staff will be given access to the costing tool. Please see this link from the Research Office for further information.
 

3. For EU funders you will need to have access to the European Commission's main authentication service (ECAS)

The European Commission’s main mechanism for funding research and innovation in Europe is through Horizon 2020 which started in January 2014 and will run for seven years until the end of December 2020.  Horizon 2020 has a budget of nearly €80 billion and offers a range of funding opportunities to UK HEIs.  Details of the programme can be found at the EU Team's Horizon 2020 page. Horizon 2020 calls which are currently open to applications can be found on the Participant Portal.

 

4. For RCUK funders 

 Je-S is used by AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC and STFC (formerly CCLRC and PPARC), as well as the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), to provide their communities with electronic grant services

The Research Office has produced Internal User Guides for the most common online submission systems. See the section which includes general information and quick links to the online submission systems used by the main UK and non-UK funders.

 
5. Tips for costing (TRAC)
The estates, infrastructure technician and indirect cost rates that are used to develop the Full Economic Costs (FEC) of research are calculated on an annual basis using TRAC methodology. Further information can be found in the Research Office website.
 

How do I write a proposal?

Writing a proposal  can be challenging and stressful, but it is also a matter of experience. The following documents aims to help our researchers with the proposal writing:

  • A helfpul list with Do and Don't of proposal writing writing has been compilied by the Faculty Research Committee.
  • A checklist to help academic staff evaluate their grant proposal prior to submission ensuring that they have the best chance of success. This checklist is based on good practice outlined by the Research Councils and guidance notes identified within the College.
  • Demystifying EPSRC Peer Review: this is a guidance to the process an EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) grant proposal goes through from submission to funding decision. It highlights important aspects that applicants may be unaware of and explores commonly held myths about the peer review process.
  • Letters of Support are also an important part of a proposal. The Funding Strategy team in the Research Office will provide institutional statements where required and appropriate to the bid. 
  • The Faculty encourages and supports staff to work with industry, due to the range of benefits this can bring to our academic community. Please read Working with Industry at Imperial: Faculty of Natural Sciences Guide

Complementary information about preparing and costing a proposal can be found at the Research office's website.

Also note that many funders require you to submit a data management plan (DMP) as part of the funding application. This can be challenging, especially if you have never written one before, but support is available from the Research Data Management team within Library Services. We recommend using DMPOnline or email us directly.

Who do I contact for post award issues and support?

The Principal Investigator has overall responsibility for the technical and financial management of their research award. This includes the management of the project within the terms and conditions of funding, adherence to reporting requirements and timely communication of significant project changes. The College’s Research Office provides a central portal for support.

Research office provides all information towards budget management and contracts.

Below are the contacts to the research operations managers from each department:

Help with your Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) statement

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) issues are addressed and managed across the College community and at various levels, from College leadership to local Departments and groups.

Get help writing an EDI statement (staff login required)

Read about equality, diversity and inclusion in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Key contacts

Costing and contracts

Industry and funding

Research Office contacts

Internally Managed Calls

Contact the Research Office

Europe

Contact the Research Office Europe team