Five-day-submission rule & Pre-application Checklist
Definition – The minimum number of working days prior to the funder deadline when the JRO should be contacted to seek advice and support your application in the process.
Essential information required are the P-number from InfoEd, link to call, title, start & end date, PI name, funder and proposal deadline. However, the information submitted on the Proposal Tracker by section administration, along with a copy of the application and final version of the InfoEd proposal will be more beneficial to the process. Conversations should commence between the PI, section administration and JRO at the earliest possible stage to ensure the necessary due diligence, governance and compliance has been considered in line with the funders' call conditions and college policies prior to the final submission to the funder.
Due to the volume of applications received and the number of considerations required to ensure the best quality applications are submitted to the funders, we ask all academics to liaise with their section administration at least 10 days from the deadline to start to build up their application and costing on InfoEd.
The benefits of a longer the lead time in the application process will:
- Allow the section/department to review the content of the application in line with the call conditions and make the appropriate departmental considerations in terms of governance, space, conflict of interest etc.
- Allow the JRO time to work in partnership with the department and add value to application process in terms of providing advice on the funders’ terms and conditions, call conditions and college policy.
- Allow the JRO to resource and prioritise in advance as they will be in receipt of multiple applications per week (yours isn't the only one!)
- Allow the department to liaise with the JRO regarding any queries and amendments required prior to final submission.
Consequently, overall standards will be raised:
- Better quality and well-considered applications will be submitted if time is taken to review the application properly.
- Eligible and correct costs are considered and included.
- Appropriate and necessary due diligence has been carried out of third parties.
- Ineligible and incorrect costs are removed from the proposal and application submitted to the funder.
Knock-on effects of late proposals often means poorly and incorrectly submitted applications:
- If the JRO notice errors on late applications, especially if submitted on the funder's deadline day, it is unlikely any errors will be able to be corrected before submission, which may pose a potential financial risk for the department.
- Applications being submitted incorrectly and hence being returned by the funder does not bode well for Imperial’s reputation.
- Some funders are no longer returning applications and will either reject outright or will continue to peer review with errors/mistakes/omissions.
- Once awarded, applications submitted without the necessary due diligence and in a poor state will result in more time to investigate and untangle if they do not match the internal costing. These awards often result in further negotiation and will take longer to interface and set up on ICIS, hence a delay to the commencement of the project.
- Incorrect applications will also mean the department are not meeting their true costs and may have to contribute their own funds to meet the shortfall.
At the pre-award stage, a grant application for research funding has to be costed by the principal investigator and/or department and reviewed by the JRO, before it can be submitted.
Due to the high volume of applications, academics should allow JRO Grants *five working days* prior to the funding deadline to review details.