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​Research Process: Applying for external funding




Preparation and proposal development


1. Preparation


2. Proposal development

  • If you're unsure on how to start please contact your School Research and Innovation Officer (SRIO) or Research and Innovation Manager (within RIO for research projects), or Business Engagement Manager (within RIO for commercial projects).
  • For new commercial projects you may need a Non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or we may need to do credit checks on the company. Please contact your Business Engagement Manager for advice and assistance.
  • You should speak to your School Director of Research to ensure that the funding you are intending to apply for fits within the School’s research strategy. They can also advise about any school processes around applying for funding and general advice on the functioning of the School Quality Panel which peer reviews grant proposals.
  • As soon as you plan to submit a grant proposal, Create a project on Worktribe (WT). WT can only be accessed from within the University or by using a Managed Laptop Service and/or Virtual Desktop Service if outside the University.
  • Creating a project will notify the R&IM and SRIO, but you may also want to contact them directly to have a discussion about the project and funder
  • To create a new project in WT you will need to enter some basic information about the project, these fields will be marked with an *. These fields can be edited later. If the funder you intend to apply to is not on the dropdown list of funders please email RMSAdmin@napier.ac.uk with the funder details and they will create the funder on WT or contact your Research and Innovation Manager
  • If you have project partners you can add these onto your project using the partners tab. If we are the lead applicant we will need to contact them to arrange costs and additional information. If your partner is not on the dropdown list please email RMSAdmin@napier.ac.uk with the partner details or contact your Research and Innovation Manager
  • It is important to complete the ethics checklist in Worktribe. If you answer yes to any of the questions (other than ‘Do you understand the ethical implications and your responsibilities for your research?’) you will need to send the project for ethical review by the ethics gatekeeper who is the school research Integrity lead. For any research involving human subjects or data, clinical research or the NHS should contact their school research Integrity lead and ensure you have informed your Research and Innovation Manager so they can do any additional checks.
  • For clinical research projects, you should check that your project will be covered by University insurance, has appropriate approvals from the NHS, and meets the criteria within the Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care
  • Once you have a draft proposal your Research and Innovation Manager or Business Engagement Manager provide additional support to ensure that the proposal meets the requirements of the funder and provide additional advice based on their expertise in funding proposals.
  • The initial costs of the project will need to be determined using Worktribe. You as the proposal lead can do this, or you can request assistance from the Research and Innovation Manager or Business Engagement Manager supporting your proposal. Their name should be on the Pre-award Liaison (research) or Business Liaison (commercial) sections on the details tab of your proposal on Worktribe. For research projects this will be pre-award liaison, for commercial projects this will be business liaison
  • If you are buying equipment over £5K you must consult procurement. For any other purchases over the value £12.5K you must also contact procurement as you will need to complete a PPA1 form. For any IT equipment you need to purchase you must contact IS using this webform for advice at application stage to ensure the equipment meets all of the University specifications.
  • Many funders now have open research policies and require that you have a Research data management plan and open access publications. Support and advice on these can be accessed by contacting RDM@napier.ac.uk (RDM) and your subject librarian (publications). If you require advice on data security/storage/file formats/encryption and databases or will be generating data over 0.5TB or are doing high performance computing you can contact Lynn McIntosh via ISServiceDesk@napier.ac.uk. Some of the costs associated with open research may be recoverable from your funder, check with your Research and Innovation Manager or funder call documentation for further details.
  • If you are the lead applicant and applying for research projects over £75K or you are an early career researcher your proposal will need to be peer-reviewed. Peer review is an effective mechanism for improving the quality of grants, which in turn should improve the success rates. This process may take 4-7 weeks.
    • The RI&IM will review the draft proposal and once they are happy that the proposal is developed enough for peer review that will appoint reviewers via Worktribe. (allow up to 3 weeks)
    • At least 1 reviewer will be from the core school research quality panel and 1 other peer-reviewer from the Worktribe list. Reviewers will provide constructive feedback on the proposal and set the appropriate traffic light status on Worktribe. (allow 1 week).
    • Revision of proposal based on feedback. Further feedback can be provided on revised proposal (allow 3 weeks for this)
  • During the proposal development and peer-review stages the budget may change, you can update this directly in Worktribe.
  • It is important to enter any benefits of doing the project or which may result from the project. These will mitigate any risks identified by the Research and Innovation Manager or Business Engagement Manager looking after your proposal.
  • Risks to the University arising from the project based on funderT&Cs, project details will be assessed by the school Research and Innovation Manager or Business Engagement Manager looking after your project- they will add this to Worktribe
  • If there is any additional information collected for the project/proposal eg partner cost spreadsheets, quotes for equipment, Letters of support, additional info about ethics etc please upload to the Worktribe record before submitting for approval
  • Once all the above has been completed you are nearly ready to submit your Worktribe project for approval by the school. Only once approved by the School can you submit your proposal to the funder. Please check you have added in all the information about the funder, research tags, project team, costing, benefits, ethics and have uploaded your latest draft of the proposal. Please leave enough time for the proposal to be approved by at least two approvers before the funder deadline!!! 2weeks

Research process: School approvals for/and submission of proposal to funder >>

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