UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has used the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system for many years for management of research grant applications and awards.  In 2023, as part of their Simpler Better Funding (SBF) programme, UKRI are transitioning to a new system – The Funding Service (TFS), which connects directly to the UKRI Funding Finder.  This means that all applicants, grant holders, research support staff, reviewers and panel members must start using the new Funding Service.


From January 2024, Research Council opportunities will all be launched and managed in the new UKRI Funding Service. Therefore, during 2023 you will see an increasing number of opportunities on the Funding Service for all seven Councils so that by the end of the year, all opportunities that would previously have run on Je-S will be offered on the Funding Service. By December 2023, all live grants will have migrated onto the new service. Transition plans for each of the Councils are outlined on the UKRI website.

UKRI are developing TFS in an iterative way, gradually introducing functionality and piloting new features and different funding types. Some initial functionality to help Research Offices has been added, such as basic filtering and sorting of opportunities and applications. More Research Office functionality such as advanced filtering was promised by September 2023, with more expected by the end of 2023.

While the transition to TFS is ongoing and functionality/features are being introduced, PIs are encouraged to submit applications well before deadlines.


Details for Webinar sessions and onsite events.

Webinar: Simpler Better Funding webinar for Research Offices – Co-edit and groups was recorded on 7th November

Webinar: Simpler and Better Funding ARMA Webinar for Research Offices Sept 2023 was recorded on 15th September

Advice for Academic Applicants:

Advice for Research Services / JRO:

UKRI e-learning videos

RO administrator overview:

RO submit and manage apps:

RO manage resources and costs:

PI apply for an opportunity:

PI complete an application:

Reviewer accepting an invitation:

Reviewer completing a review:

Feedback Provided to UKRI

Members of the Research Office attend the UKRI webinars and provide feedback on the system. The feedback we have provided so far is outlined below, with updates as appropriate.

In general, there has been good progress on the system from an applicant’s perspective but Imperial considers the RO functionality currently to be lacking; PIs are encouraged to submit applications to TFS well before deadlines to mitigate the impact of this.

Applicant journey

  • Currently administrators are unable to create applications on behalf of academics so the principal investigator’s account must create the application in the system. UKRI have acknowledged that this is important going forward but have not yet committed to when this will be delivered.
  • The intention with the system is that attachments will no longer be required and the project plan and other documentation will be entered directly into the system, or copied in from a local Word document. This is not yet fully-implemented so users should be prepared to upload some of these documents for a while longer.

Roles attracting Estates and Indirect Costs

  • UKRI has recently updated its guidance on Roles in funding applications. Please note that this guidance does not change existing College guidance on generation of estates, infrastructure technician and indirect costs in research costings, i.e. the FTE of technicians or other professional services staff that are making ‘a significant intellectual contribution to a research project’ can be included in the project FTE. This is outlined in the Project ‘full time equivalent’ (FTE) section of the Costing webpage.
  • Costs for professional, technical and operational services staff charged to projects are automatically excluded from TRAC rate calculations so there is no action required when including these costs in a proposal.
  • Please note that UKRI's example 2 of costing a technician seems to be directly contradictory to the rest of the guidance as it refers to general technical support.  The Research Office have contacted UKRI for confirmation but it is likely that the guidance should read ‘This individual should be added to the application under the ‘technician’ role as a Directly Allocated cost and cannot attract estates and indirect costs.’  This page will be updated as soon as we have a response on this matter.

RS Pre-Award

Currently unresolved

  • Lack of institutional approval for applicant accounts – anyone can create a TFS account linked to Imperial, using any email address, without a validation step from the College. This results in an inefficient system of needing to check applications for eligibility at the proposal approval stage and wasted time for ineligible applicants in preparing proposals.
  • Shared mailboxes are not permitted as a user account – this results in a multitude of individual administrative user accounts, requiring increased maintenance as individual staff leave/join/change roles.
  • The pool functionality in JeS has not yet been replicated – all notifications go to all admin users. Ideally applications would be directed to the appropriate team in the College depending on the PI’s department. In order to manage this within the current TFS functionality, practically all administrators ignore every notification as so many are irrelevant to them; one RO staff member has to check every notification and forward to the team responsible, who then need to keep a separate log.  This is a significant amount of effort and introduces unnecessary delays and a potential single point of failure in the instance of staff illness/holiday when combined with the prevention of shared mailbox use. UKRI has demonstrated functionality currently being developed to mitigate this issue, which should be delivered shortly.
  • Lack of information regarding a user’s position in the institution – only name and email address are required to sign up for an account, and only name is displayed within the applications list, requiring a manual Directory check to determine to which Research Services team a proposal should be flagged.
  • Home page has no granular information – a single total number for the applications routed to the RS functionality for submission is unhelpful when there is no information regarding which RS team is responsible for the submitted proposals.
  • The RO view of the list of applications in the system has been changed to only include project title, PI name, deadline date and status; information regarding the call name or funder has been removed. This creates an unnecessary burden on RO staff when trying to identify applications to a particular call, which is increased when there are multiple calls with the same deadline; the only way to achieve this task is to open each individual application to check the detailed information.

Partially resolved

  • There are no filters to limit the applications visible to only those of interest. At a minimum, filters should include Department of PI, UKRI funder, application status – TFS now features a filter for status (with applicant/with research office; submitted; successful/unsuccessful; missed deadline) and an ability to sort by recently started/ending soonest. There is also an open search function to find keywords within an application or the applicant’s name.

RS Post-Award 

  • There is a lack of information regarding the recording of studentship details.


If you have a query regarding the UKRI's The Funding Service, please direct them as follows:

  • access to TFS and system functionality - email the Research Office
  • submitting applications and funding call advice - please contact your Faculty's Research Services team
  • to report issues with your TFS account or issues using the system screens - please email TFS Support team or call on +44 1793 547490.