Advanced Research Computing


Apply for a grant

To maximise the impact of your research and chances of funding success, we can apply our expertise to help shape proposals, starting long-term collaborative relationships.

We follow a collegiate approach to working with researchers and are keen to be involved from the earliest stages of your thinking. The first step is to meet (in person or virtually) to discuss your ideas and how we can best contribute. Contact us to arrange a discussion. Time spent in these initial engagements or developing new project proposals is not charged for. 

It is important that the aims and scope of any project are clear before we proceed. In our experience, the rare project failures can always be traced back to miscommunication early on. Research teams should therefore have a look at our ways of working for an idea of what to expect when collaborating with ARC

Types of projects 

Many different academic disciplines have benefited from working with ARC staff; a list of various current and former projects is available. Projects we typically work on may involve:

  • Providing technical mentoring or supervision for research staff 

  • Short-term interventions or long-term collaborations 

  • Clearly defined goals or exploratory research 

Technical work may involve: 

  • Design and architectural effort 

  • Implementing new algorithms or methods 

  • Addition of new components to existing models or tools 

  • Improvements to performance, reliability, usability and/or deployability 

  • Import/export tools for linking with other codes or loading new data formats; data processing pipeline development 

  • Web application development

  • Help with statistical and machine learning model selection and parameter estimation

  • Data analysis and visualisation

Note, however, that these are not exhaustive – if you are not sure whether we can help you, do get in touch to ask at ARC.Collaborations@ucl.ac.uk.

Prioritisation criteria 

The ARC Collaborations team will always aim to take on paid-for projects that lie within our remit. However demand for our time always exceeds the number of staff we have available, and so we are sadly unable to work directly with all groups that contact us. In such circumstances, we will prioritise projects where we can provide the most benefit, relative to other potential solutions. See our prioritisation criteria for more explanation of what this principle entails. We will still endeavour to provide advice and pointers towards alternative avenues when we cannot take on a project ourselves. 

Paying for ARC staff time 

ARC collaborates on grants in the same way as any academic department. Our research technology professional staff can included on grants as directly allocated or directly incurred costs, and we will prepare a section in Worktribe for this as part of the grant submission process. We can provide fractional or full time effort as needed, throughout the project or at critical intervals, and we manage resourcing and recruiting issues to ensure the team is capable of servicing such obligations. Deciding on the most appropriate mode of engagement will form part of our initial discussions 

For research groups who already hold appropriate grant funds there are two routes which satisfy funder audit requirements. Where the total budget is £5000 or more, following advice from Research and Innovation Services we will require a separate project sub-account to be set up against which will charge our costs, calculated based on a retrospective costing using UCL's standard grant costing tools. For projects with a budget of less than £5000 we will request lump sum transfers via IDT instead. For these smaller projects, depending on the source of funds, we can on occasion use a day rate of £450/day (updated December 2022). Note that the prevailing day rate is subject to regular review; contact us for the currently prevailing day rate.