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. Our FoNS theme champions can help you if your research is in the area of Data Science, Accelerating Bioscience, Quantitative Technologies and Enviroment & Sustainability.
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. Please use your Imperial log in credentials to access EPIC site.

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?


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. Worktribe
All proposals for external research funding are developed and internally approved on the Pre-Award Research Management System (PARMS) called Worktribe.  Worktribe is a modern, highly performant system, which increases the efficiency and transparency of internal pre-award processes, particularly for internal and external multi-disciplinary collaborations
Access to Worktribe 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 portal (SEDIA)

The European Commission’s main mechanism for funding research and innovation in Europe is through Horizon Europe which is the EU's research and innovation programme for 2021-2027 with a budget of €95.5 billion. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth. Funding calls which are currently open to applications can be found on the Participant Portal.

4. For UKRI funders 

The UKRI Funding Service (TFS) (before Je-S) is used by AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC and STFC to provide their communities with electronic grant services. Innovate UK has a separate operating system.

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  and College Finance websites.

How do I write a proposal?

Writing a research proposal can be challenging and stressful but it is also a matter of experience. Therefore, a collection of helpful documents based on experience, feedback and advice from funders have been collated to assist researchers with proposal writing.

The following documents are accessible to all FoNS staff in the Supporting Documents for FoNS Research SharePoint site;

  • Do and Don'ts of proposal writing (compiled by the Faculty Research Committee).
  • Research proposal checklist - evaluate your grant proposal prior to submission.
  • How to write a Justification of Resources
    • Demystifying EPSRC Peer Review
    • A guide to navigating the EPSRC proposal creation process
    • EPSRC Programme Grant Guidance (Pre-Outline, Outline & Full)
    • EPSRC Strategic Equipment Call – a template and recommendations for the Outline Business Case
  • CDT interview guidance (a compilation of questions raised in UKRI CDT interviews, including mock interviews)
  • Industrial Collaboration
    • A College Guide to working with industry and commercialising research
    • Working with Industry‌: a FoNS guide

Additional documents will be added to the Sharepoint site as they are updated or created.

Our staff can also have access to the following recordings about the writing of grant proposals and getting to know more the funders and their review processes:

Letters of Support are also an important part of a proposal. Please contact the Faculty Research Support Team who will liaise with the appropriate person to provide an institutional statement.

Further 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.

If you would like to have some support towards your grant proposal writing, please complete the FoNS Research Grant Proposal Support Form.  This will allow the strategic research team to understand the type of support you need before they contact you.

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 - they can provide all information towards budget management and contracts.

Key contacts

Costing and contracts

Industry and funding

Research Office contacts

Internally Managed Calls

Contact the Research Office


Contact the Research Office Europe team