Research support team

The Department’s Research Manager, Rita Carvalho coordinates the review and approval of letters of support and manages queries around application rules for internal and external funding calls. Rita Carvalho can also be contacted for discussions around complex grant costings.

The Department of Surgery and Cancer is home to a diverse body of ground-breaking research. Much of this research is funded from grants awarded by external funders, applying for grant funding and managing existing awards.

The Department's Research and Career Development Committee works to maximise the impact of the department’s research activities and provides strategic oversight of research activities, ensuring an open, equitable and supportive research environment to support all staff and students in Surgery and Cancer.

The Committee has worked with members from all levels of the Department to find out what additional support or opportunities they would like. This led to the introduction of new schemes like the S&C Seed and Travel awards (more information below). Find out more about the Committee's work

This page contains the information you will need for organising and submitting grant, funding, or fellowship applications, as well as outlining the support offered at a Departmental, Faculty and College levels.

Support your research

Grant applications & Pre-award management

The Department has an effective support structure in place to assist with grant applications. Working in a planned and managed way will enable you to make the most of the support available and contribute towards the success of your funding applications.

Applications for all research grants are costed by the divisional administrators using the Worktribe system - the College’s costing tool. All applications require prior approval from the Department and the Joint Research Office (JRO), obtained via the Worktribe system. Obtaining the necessary approvals takes time, therefore you should be ready to submit far enough in advance of the sponsor's deadline to allow for the necessary peer review, letters of support, signatures, budget correction and approvals to be completed.

Notifying your Divisional Manager of your intention to apply for a grant as early as possible will enable them to involve the JRO and Research Manager in good time. Costings should be requested at least 3-5 weeks prior to the application deadline to allow preparation of costings by Divisional administrators and approval by the Department and the JRO. For programme grants a minimum 5 weeks is required.

Once applications have been finalised the approval process (Departmental and then Joint Research Office authorisation and then submission to the funding body) requires at least 5 working days before the funding body deadline.

Late applications are not acceptable. There is a governance risk for the Department and College if the approval process is not given due diligence. There is a mistaken perception that the financial approvals are not important or that they can be done very quickly (we have previously been asked to approve within hours of a funding deadline). For applications submitted less than 5 working days before the deadline, the Department and JRO will undertake checks where feasible, however this will not be comprehensive, and the PI will be responsible for any financial errors. The Department may reject successful applications if the costing was not carried out properly, with sufficient time to consider all elements, or where there are financial implications for the Department that were not approved at submission.

Every application submitted requires a unique costing, even if there has been no change in the costs applied for from previous applications, and/or no change in funder. In addition, if the funder being applied to requires an outline application prior to a main application, this would require two separate costings on the Worktribe system. Costings must be submitted internally for approval by the College and JRO before they are submitted to a funder. Applications submitted before the costing is approved or not matching the costing will not be supported.

Submission of a grant application often involves a portal system that is unique to a funder. These portals have different levels of approval, whether it is Research Manager, Head of Department or an IP Officer. Applicants are advised to check the requirements of the system in advance so these people can be notified in advance to ensure the application does not miss a deadline.

Only submit your application once it has full (financial and scientific) JRO and Department approval. Allow sufficient time before your funder’s deadline for any portal-based approvals to be given.

Award management

The result of the application for research funding is sent by the funding body to the academic, who must then notify JRO Grants of the outcome - awarded or declined - to update College systems.

Post-award management

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure awards are managed in accordance with sponsors terms and conditions. Divisional administrators will provide assistance and support with the monitoring of spend, to ensure compliance and work with the Joint Research Office to facilitate reconciliation of grants and reporting to funders.

S&C awards

Seed award

The aim of the Seed Funding Award initiative is to support the initiation of novel, small-scale, exploratory ideas. The idea is to "plant a seed" that can eventually attract external funding. The scheme is open to Postdoc Fellows. We particularly encourage researchers at the start of their careers who want to develop ideas that are independent of their current research project or area of expertise.

These awards give researchers the opportunity to use innovative methods and carry out a broad range of activities, such as:

  • pilot and scoping studies
  • preliminary data gathering
  • proof-of-principle studies
  • planning sessions
  • collaborative network meetings

The Seed Funding Award’s indicative overall annual budget is up to a total of £30,000 and we expect to award approximately 5-6 projects. Please note, the seed funding should not duplicate funding that is otherwise available.

Status: Open
Next deadline: 16 May 2024
Download the Seed Award Application Form

Travel award

Travel awards are for Postdoc Fellows making visits to initiate or prepare proposals with national/international collaborators, visiting facilities or attending conferences relevant to their current research, as part of their professional development.

If attending a conference, applicants are expected to be presenting their current research as an invited presenter, as an oral presentation or a poster presentation.

We expect to grant up to 10 awards.

Status: Closed
Next deadline: tbc
Download the S&C Travel Award Application Form

Peer review for fellowships

The Peer Review committee, established in 2021 to offer feedback on post-doc fellowship applications and try to improve success rates, will continue in 2024. Please see new dates below.

We encourage all post-doc fellowship applicants to consider the advantages of undergoing this review process before submitting externally. Ideally, applications should be submitted to this committee at an early stage for high-level review of the proposal and assessment of the suitability for the call; however, more developed proposals are also welcome for submission.

The 2024 review committee meetings are scheduled for:

  • Meeting 1: February 27th 2024 – please submit the application form by 13th February 2024
  • Meeting 2: June 13th 2024 – please submit the application form by 30th May 2024
  • Meeting 3: October 24th 2024 – please submit the application form by 10th October 2024

If you have an application you would like to be reviewed at any of these meetings, please submit a SC Fellowship Peer Review Form to Rita Carvalho. The committee will aim to provide feedback to the applicant within 1 week of the meeting.

Below are the indicative peer review meeting dates for a given call deadline (by month), e.g. for a call with a deadline in Apr-24, the application form should be submitted for the Feb-24 Peer Review meeting (if you missed the Oct-23 meeting). For a call with a Jul-24 deadline, two Peer Review meeting options are given. We would always recommend to submit as early as possible. I hope this makes sense and is useful.

Opportunities for professional development

Development opportunities

The Department and the College have a wealth of resources to help you develop your career during your time at Imperial. Find out more.

Supporting our staff

Resources and useful links on mentoring, training, parental support, postdoc development and much more. Find out more.

Surgery and Cancer jobs

We have a number of professional/support service, teaching & academic and research job opportunities available in the Department of Surgery and Cancer. Find out more.