Scientific Equipment at Imperial College LondonThis section includes general information and quick links to the online submission systems used by the main UK and non-UK funders:

General information

A growing number of non-commercial funders now require applications to be submitted using their online submission portals. To use these systems investigators must have created a registered account.

  • Investigators should register directly through the funder’s submission portal.  This process can be lengthy (e.g. three weeks minimum for National Institutes of Health, USA) and therefore should be initiated as early as possible in the proposal development process.
  • The use of funder submission portals does not replace the need for proposals to be costed, priced and submitted using the College’s proposal system InfoEd, through which Departmental/Divisional and Research Services processes for review, approval and authorisation are managed. More information on InfoEd is available in the InfoEd Section.
  • Submission using funder portals is not always direct. After submission proposals are often routed to Faculty Research Services for College Approval and Authorisation before they are finally submitted to the funder.

The Research Office has produced Internal User Guides for the most common online submission systems.

Quick Links - UK funders

Quick Links - EU funders

European Commission

A Principal Investigator intending to coordinate a project under Horizon 2020 (H2020) should contact the Research Office Europe Team for advice at the earliest opportunity.

The European Commission requires coordinators to use the Participant Portal. Nominated representatives of Partners can also login and amend their own institution's data.

H2020 Open Calls are displayed on the CORDIS Open Calls page.

Quick Links - US Federal Government Agencies, US Charities and non-profit organisations provides a one-stop electronic portal where grant applicants can find and apply for US federal grant opportunities. allows applicants: to search for funding opportunities; register to receive funding alerts; download application packages and instructions; upload completed applications. - Search for opportunities

If you are named as a Co-Investigator or Researcher on an application being submitted by another Research Institution within the UK or US, you do not need a account.

All grant applicants are required to register for a account. - Registration Guide for Principal Co-Investigators [pdf]

Upon receipt of an application, sends an electronic acknowledgement to the applicant and delivers the completed application to the relevant funding agency.

eRA Commons

eRA Commons is used by the NIH and other US Government Agencies and Departments and aligns with (the one-stop electronic portal for finding and applying for federal grants). eRA Commons supports the electronic processing of grant applications from submission through to closure of the grant award.

It is mandatory to have an eRA Commons user account if you are directly applying to any US Government federal funders.

eRA Commons also allows PIs to review the status and details of their grant applications.

Please contact the Research Office to request the creation of an eRA Commons User Account and supply the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Email address
  • Date of Birth (mm/dd/yy)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Principal Investigators are required to download the application form and instructions from to their own computer and complete the application offline. The final application form and attachments need to be sent to the relevant Faculty Research Services/Joint Research Office team for review. They will then check the application and reject, return or submit as appropriate.

Grant applicants will first require an eRA Commons User Account as the details of this account are required for the application form.

Please contact the Research Office to request the creation of an eRA Commons User Account and supply the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Email address
  • Date of Birth (mm/dd/yy)

NIH Application Process Flowchart [pdf]

NIH Guide for On Line Submission of Applications [pdf]

NOTE: If more than one computer is used to view or edit an application form, each computer must be running the same version of Adobe Reader. Using different versions may result in the application becoming corrupted.

Once submitted to eRA Commons the application will undergo several validation checks. If no errors are found, the applicant and Faculty Research Services/Joint Research Office team will be notified by email. If the validation is unsuccessful, the application will be rejected. Information about the rejection and errors is sent by email. All errors must be corrected before the application can be re-submitted.

The validation system will also highlight any warnings (e.g. required documents are not attached or they are not in a pdf. format) on the application. Although warnings will not stop the application being submitted to the funding agency, they may need to be rectified at a later date by correcting the application offline. The application form must be sent by email to the Faculty Research Services/Joint Research Office team to check before they submit it via (it is then electronically routed to the NIH's eRA Commons).


  • This is a complex application submission system. It is strongly recommended that you allow plenty of time to complete the application.
  • Contact the relevant Faculty Research Services/Joint Research Office team as early as possible so they can assist you through the process.
  • The application is routed electronically from to the NIH's eRA Commons system for validation. Please note that the NIH application deadline refers to date that the application must reach the NIH and NOT It may take up to three days for the application to be submitted through both systems.

The application steps are summarised below:

  • Step 1 - create a user account
  • Step 2 - install correct software
  • Step 3 - download application forms
  • Step 4 - complete the application offline
  • Step 5 - email the application to Research Services/Joint Research Office for approval
  • Step 6 - Research Services/Joint Research Office check the application
  • Step 7 - application is re-checked and submitted by Research Services/Joint Research Office
  • Step 8 - electronic routing of application
  • Step 9 - notification that application is available for checking on eRA Commons

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

NSPIRES is the web-based system which supports NASA research applications and awards. Imperial College is a registered organisation within NSPIRES.

Grant applicants are required to create a personal NSPIRES account which is approved via the Research Office. The process is described in a short tutorial.

NASA (NSPIRES) - Guide to Applying for Funding [pdf]

If you have any questions regarding NSPIRES or the registration process, please contact the Research Office.

Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)

Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) support disease-specific research and are funded through the US Department of Defense (DoD).

Principal Investigators need to submit a pre-application via the CDMRP eReceipt System.

The PI must register for an account on eReceipt - please refer to the CDMRP - Guide to User Account Registration [pdf]

A pre-application is required for all applications submitted to CDMRP. A full application has to be submitted through For information about pre-application and full application preparation and forms, check the Program Announcements and Forms section on the eReceipt or site.

Only submitted pre-applications will be considered by CDMRP.

CDMRP general information and instructions for applicants

CDMRP - Guide to Applying for Funding [pdf]

National Science Foundation (NSF)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent US federal agency which promotes the scientific advancement of national health and welfare.

NSF Calls for Proposals and Funding Guides

NSF use an online system called Fastlane for the electronic submission of grant applications. Grant applicants are required to register with FastLane.

NSF (Fastlane) - Guide to User Account Registration [pdf]

Proposals to NSF must be submitted electronically via either the NSF Fastlane System or

Proposals submitted via FastLane should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in th e NSF Grant Proposal Guide.

Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (or DTRA) is an agency within the US Department of Defense (DoD).

Grant applicants must first register via the DTRA proposal submission website.

To register:

  • Contact the Research Office for the College's generic login details.
  • Select Imperial College London from the drop down selection list.

Important Note: A generic password is used by ALL users. Although there is no formal institutional approval step, all applications must obtain internal approval from the Head of Department and Faculty Research Services/Joint Research Office team before submission of the final application to DTRA.

DTRA - Guide to Applying for Funding [pdf]

US Charities and US non-profit organisations

ProposalCENTRAL submission system is used by many US Charities and non-profit organisations.

Organisations that use ProposalCENTRAL

Imperial College is a registered organisation within ProposalCENTRAL.

Grant applicants using ProposalCENTRAL should contact the relevant Faculty Research Services/Joint Research Office team and refer to the guidance below:

Proposal Central - Guide to User Account Registration [pdf]

Proposal Central - Guide to Applying for Funding [pdf]