Research Services


First Steps

There are key considerations you need to make once you have identified a research funding opportunity.  Please contact Research Services at the earliest possible stage if you have any questions.

Allow plenty of time

Allow plenty of time to develop a competitive proposal. Complex bids can take many months to prepare and require careful planning and coordination (see ‘When to seek advice?’). A number of major funders have policies that prohibit proposal resubmission, making it important for proposals to be as competitive as possible at submission. 

At a minimum, two weeks is usually required for the internal approval of standard grant applications (5 days for approval by the Department / Division and 5 days for approval by Research Services). When proposing a start date, where possible allow for plenty of time for appointing staff and gaining necessary approvals (e.g. ethics approval).

Receive support from OVPR

The Office of the Vice-Provost (Research) oversees a number of programmes and initiatives designed to support researchers at UCL. These include advice and guidance on finding and applying for funding, advice on research policy, supporting researchers with impact, and facilitating new partnerships and collaborations.

Check the Funder Criteria

Check the funding call details to confirm you are eligible to apply to the funder and for the specific call. Many grants are limited to geographical areas, types of organisation, and particular activities.

If you are submitting a proposal to a new funder (i.e. a funder not listed in Worktribe), seek advice from Research Services to confirm that:

(a) the terms and conditions are acceptable to UCL

(b) the funding call meets the Sponsored Research Criteria

(c) the funding is commensurate with UCL Research Funding Ethics Policy

Consider an Internal Peer Review

Internal peer review can significantly improve quality of funding applications, increasing chance of success. The scope and depth of peer review should be commensurate with the scale and nature of the research proposal. Consider drawing from the expertise of research support managers / facilitators as well as academic colleagues, as a different perspective can help identify areas where clarity could be improved or arguments refined.

Create a Worktribe Project

Worktribe is UCL’s research management system, designed to support the project life cycle from proposal development to post-award management.

Each research application requires a Worktribe Project. This is a central record of the funding application, including the budget proposal, risk assessment, application form and project partner details. Your project should be created in collaboration with research administrators in your department.

Managing Collaborators and Subcontractors

The development of multiple partner bids is a complex process and should be initiated several months before the funder deadline. You should seek advice on how to develop the proposal from your Schools Research Coordination Office as the earliest opportunity.  

If your partners are based in a Low and Middle Income Country, UCL is required by our funders to carry out appropriate due diligence

Additional support for researchers at UCL

Translational Research Office – If your project aims to translate discoveries into health benefits. 

Joint Research Office – will be able to provide support and guidance for clinical research projects.

UCL Research Impact Curation & Support Team – can provide guidance on research impact.

UCL Library Services – can advise you on finding information, disseminating your research, open access and data management.

Research IT Services – can help you make the best use of IT when managing and carrying out your research.

Research Coordination Office – your School office can support and guide on finding research funding and complex research proposals.