Five-day rule

Definition – The number of working days prior to the funder deadline from when the JRO receive a copy of the application, along with the final version of the InfoEd proposal, so that we can begin to check and liaise with the PI and section manager to make the appropriate amendments prior to the final submission to the funder.

Due to the volume of applications received in the JRO and the multitude of checks required to ensure the best quality applications are submitted to the funders, we ask all academics to liaise with their section administration prior to the 5-day submission rule to start to build up their application and costing on InfoEd.  Preferably 10 working days to benefit all parties for the following reasons:

  • Allows the section/department to review the content of the application in line with the call conditions and make the appropriate departmental considerations in terms of governance, space, conflict of interest etc, as per the Department Pre-Application Checklist - Version Mar 20.pdf (355KB) (and Health and Safety - Schedule 5 (pdf), as per checklist)
  • Allows the JRO time to add value to application process in terms of providing help, supprt and advice before the deadline date in line with the funders’ terms and conditions and call conditions.
  • Allows the JRO to resource and prioritise better being in receipt of multiple applications per week (yours isn't the only one!)
  • Allows the department to liaise with the JRO regarding any queries prior to final submission.

Consequently, overall standards will be raised:

  • Fewer errors will be made on applications.
  • Better quality applications will be submitted if time is taken to review the application properly.
  • Eligible costs are considered.
  • Ineligible costs are removed from the application.

Knock-on effects of late proposals often means poorly and incorrectly submitted applications:

  • If the JRO notice errors on these late applications, especially if submitted on the funders’ deadline day, we will do our utmost to correct these.  However, often there is not enough time to return the application for re-work and it will be submitted to the funder in the latest condition, which may pose potential financial risk for the department. 
  • Applications being submitted incorrectly and hence being returned by the funder does not bode well for Imperial’s reputation.
  • Some funders are now no longer returning applications and will either reject outright or will continue to peer review with errors/mistakes/omissions.  
  • When awarded, applications submitted in a poor state will result in more work to investigate and untangle to ensure they meet the funder’s terms and conditions. These awards will often take longer to interface and set up on ICIS, hence creating a delay to the commencement.
  • Incorrect applications can also mean the department are not meeting their true costs and may have to contribute their own funds to meet the shortfall.