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Understanding the approval process

Before a funding application can be submitted to a funder, it will need to be approved internally and institutional authorisation given for internal finance and compliance checks.

    Understanding the internal approval process


    Give yourself enough time


    The host department and then UCL need to approve the costing included in your application and this usually takes time.

    Contact your departmental manager, financial manager, officer or administrator early in the process to discuss whether there are internal deadlines for departmental approval.

    The final approval is done by UCL Award Services and usually takes 5 working days.

    Make sure you submit your application time for UCL to approve your proposal before the call deadline.

    Submitting an application or project for approval

    Learn more about the approval process on the Award Services website.

    Project costing and approval in Worktribe

    To support the development of your budget/costing and to set up your project in Worktribe, contact your local departmental research or finance administrator.

    You can find out more about how to cost and approve projects in Worktribe on the Award Services website.

    Funder criteria and approval

    Often grants are limited to geographical areas, types of organisation, and particular activities. Make sure you check the funder's criteria carefully. 

    New funders not listed on Worktribe

    If a partner or funder is unavailable for selection in Worktribe, either complete the Worktribe Organisation Request Form or email the Worktribe Helpdesk with the organisation's detail.

    Online submission systems

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

    You can find out more about funder online submission systems on the Award Services website.

    UCL internal selection process for limited calls

    You must check if the funding scheme has an internal selection process before you apply.

    You may need to submit an internal expression of interest and be approved before you can submit an application to the funder. For example, some funding calls limit the number of applications UCL can submit.

    If this is the case, the UCL Research Coordination Offices (RCO) will run an internal selection process. Contact your Faculty RCO early to check or visit their website to view current internally managed calls (UCL login required).

    Award Services support

    Award Services has a range of support staff available to support you through the Pre- and Post-Award processes, as well as contract and finance specialists.

    Or try the Pre-Award drop-in sessions for staff looking for support on any aspect of the Pre-Award process, including how to submit a research application/project for approval.

    Or ask the Research Support Community of Practice for advice.

    Clinical research


    For research involving the health and social care settings, speak to the UCLH/UCL Joint Research Office (JRO) or Institue of Clinical Trials and Methodology before submitting a grant for clinical research. 

    Check if your research study requires an ethical review or a research governance review prior to the submission of a grant, or after a grant is submitted.  

    Innovation funding approval


    Explore various knowledge exchange funding schemes via the UCL Innovation and Enterprise website for details about funding approval and who to contact for advice.

    Ethical approval


    When applying for funding and setting up a research project at UCL it is important to consider whether your project requires ethical approval. For guidance on ethical approvals visit the UCL Research Ethics website.

    Data Protection approval


    You must register your research project with the Data Protection Office (DPO) before you start to collect any data. Find guidance for staff and postgraduate students to help you register your research project on the UCL Data Protection website.

    Due diligence approval


    Initial due diligence on overseas partners should be undertaken at the expression of interest/outline stage of an application and before applications are submitted.

    All research applications with Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) partners are required to include confirmation, through Worktribe, that initial due diligence has been carried out.

    For more information, visit the due diligence page on the UCL Global Research Funding website.