Starting a research proposal?

Please let the pre-award team know as soon as possible. We need at least 10 working days before the deadline to help with your proposal.

Preparing a proposal - guidance from the Central Research OfficeCollege investigator eligibility rulesEquipment and facilities charge-out list [PDF]

What do we do?

The pre-award team focuses on supporting colleagues in the development of research proposals and guiding them through to submission to sponsors. This includes the preparation of a formal costing on the College’s research management system Worktribe as well as the mandatory internal processes, checks and approval steps that must be fulfilled before a research proposal is submitted to an external body for funding.

Successful proposals are handed over to the post-award team who support the administration and management of the research grant once the funding has been awarded.

In the Faculty of Engineering (FoE), the pre-award process is managed by the pre-award team.

The pre-award team: responsibilities

The pre-award team supports Principal Investigators (PIs) in the FoE with the financial aspects relating to research proposal submissions. In particular, the team is responsible for:

  • Advising the PI on key aspects of funder and call terms and conditions, e.g. budget limits, ineligible costs, PI/Co-I eligibility, funding recovery.
  • Providing a formal costing on Worktribe which is based on resources identified by PI and which is in line with funder rules and within the respective department’s framework.
  • Providing advice on optimising the budget to secure best value for the department.
  • Seeking the necessary approvals from departments.
  • Ensuring that any additional departmental approval is obtained where necessary (e.g. equipment purchases, additional lab space requirements, departmental contributions to projects such as studentships and staffing).
  • Entering financial information into funder systems/application forms.
  • Reviewing the justification of resources provided to the funder.
  • Providing Faculty approval on Worktribe.
  • Providing institutional approval on funder systems, where appropriate.

The pre-award process in the Faculty of Engineering

The pre-award team provides support across all departments on costing, pricing and submission of research proposals to all funders. The process for PIs in the Faculty, who require the support of the pre-award team, is outlined below:

  1. PI notifies pre-award team: The PI must notify the pre-award team of their intention to apply for funding by emailing: and within the minimum required notice period (see below). The pre-award email account is monitored daily and most requests are acknowledged within 24 hours; however during busy periods this may take longer.
    1. Minimum notice period: The pre-award team requires a minimum of 10 working days’ notice prior to any funder deadline. Please bear in mind that weekends, bank holidays and college closure days do not count towards the 10 working days. The minimum notice period is needed to allow sufficient time for internal processes and approvals, otherwise support cannot be guaranteed. For complex proposals and/or submissions involving partners, extended notice is required. As a general rule, PIs are encouraged to notify the pre-award team as soon as they think of applying, even if there’s a chance the submission won’t go ahead.
  2. PI completes a pre-award checklist: A completed pre-award checklist should be provided upon initial contact with the team. The checklist contains the key information required to prepare the costing and is used to flag any potential issues early. It also contains mandatory fields that must be completed on Worktribe. The pre-award checklist is only required for PIs based in FoE who are leading the submission for Imperial. If the lead PI is based in another Faculty, they should contact their relevant pre-award support personnel for assistance as the pre-award process differs across faculties. Download the pre-award checklist.
  3. PI assigned a pre-award contact: Once a request is received by the pre-award team, it is logged and assigned to a member of the team who becomes the main point of contact throughout the submission process.

Meet the members of the pre-award team