UCL Division of Medicine


Guidance on Research grant applications

Guidance on Research grant applications – Peer review and administration Version updated 31.03.2021

All grant applications need to be fully considered and costed in advance of application. We are normally not able to process applications at the last minute or retrospectively. Please talk to Liam Banks or Erwin Kooistra if you have any concerns with the deadlines below.

Peer review - 1-6 months before the deadline

  • If you are considering a grant application (all grants including programme grant, NIHR fellowships, Sir Jules Thorn etc ) in the next 1-6 months all grant applications”) please engage in the peer review process.
  • The Division will arrange for you to give a short 10 minute presentation, setting out the research question(s), experimental approach, key pilot data (unpublished &/or recently published) and significance of the research that will inform your next major grant, followed by 20-30 minutes discussion.
  • For all enquiries please send your expressions of interest in the peer review process by email to Sophie Oliver-Styller s.oliver-styller@ucl.ac.uk 

At least 3 weeks prior to the submission deadline

  • Partner costs should have been requested from all partner organisations.
  • Any letters of support should have been drafted and requested.
  • All signatories relevant to the application should have been identified.
  • If the project is a clinical trial you should also have contacted the UCL & UCLH JRO / Royal Free R&D / Whittington as appropriate.

At least 12 working days prior to the submission deadline (more time is advised)

  • Requests for costings should have been made by completing the PIs costing form. Please allow additional time if you are unsure of the costs to be included. The form should be returned to Liam Banks (Bloomsbury excl. Cruciform Building) or Erwin Kooistra (Royal Free/Cruciform Building). Do not enter costs into Worktribe yourself. Worktribe has a standalone costing tool you may use if helpful.
  • Any partner costs must be approved by and received from the relevant institute. 
  • If animal costs are requested a quote for animal costs should be sent to Liam /Erwin.
  • If equipment (>£5k per item)/ professional services costs / consultancy costs are included then quotes should be forwarded to support these costs.

At least 10 working days prior to the submission deadline

  • Finalised costs should have been agreed and entered onto a draft application form, attached to the Worktribe costing.
  • We should have received explicit confirmation of partners’ costs from all partners (UCL cannot then alter these). One confirmation of total Institution costs is required per partner. SEE ABOVE
  • Unless a Justification of Resources (JoR) is not required in your application a JoR that agrees to the Worktribe costs should have been completed and attached to the Worktribe costing.
  • The Worktribe costing should be submitted for approval with no further changes to be made to the costs.

At least 5 working days prior to the submission deadline

(allow more time if possible, sometimes this is not sufficient depending on circumstance)

  • The final application should have been passed to research services for their approval. For most funders this is via the funder’s electronic submission system.

Please note

  • This guidance covers all applications for research funding including those from competitive and non-competitive sources.
  • When submitting on the majority of electronic submission systems the application form requires approval by the Division and by Research Finance before it goes to the funder.
  • Some applications will require additional approval by the Faculty. For example funding from charities which is not subject to open competition and funding from other funders where the return on overheads is less than 35%, also any commercial contracts at less than 100% FEC. This takes additional time, which should be allowed for when planning your application.
  • Partner costs must be provided by partners and cannot be assigned by us.
  • Investigator costs should normally be included as directly allocated only if the Investigator has an Academic contract - please check this if you are unsure. Directly allocated costs are included within the overhead calculation and as such cannot be used by the Department.
  • Where a grant is received without an approved Worktribe costing in place, the current process is to do a retrospective costing. It will be increasingly difficult to set up these grants and they may not be allowed in future. If allowed, it will delay the start of the project by several months.
  • Costings can only be approved when accompanied by an application and a justification of Resources (where possible)
  • Each application needs to have a separate approved Worktribe costing (the same one cannot be re-used).
  • Do not share a costing with a prospective funder or Collaborative Institute without approval.

Expected overhead levels

Note that the below levels are the minimum overheads expected on each type of grant application. In some rate instances the structure of the grant may make it impossible for these overhead levels to be achieved, please discuss with Liam or Erwin in the first instance if this is the case.

Overhead Contribution Rates