There has been quite a steep rise in the late notification of applications for external R&KE funding. Although it is always pleasing to see bids going in, the late bids cause a number of issues, not only for Faculty/UET approvers, quality assurance, but also in terms of RKEO resources. Also it often puts unnecessary pressure on all involved, including the Principal Investigator.
All applications should normally be prepared in good time, informing RKEO (normally by the submission of an intention to bid form) at the beginning of the application process. For major funders, applications should start to be prepared at least four months in advance of the closing date to ensure that a quality application is submitted. There is a mandatory internal deadline of five working days for any (finalised) applications that are submitted to funders who have an e-submission process. This is on advice from those funders as they require the research office to approve submissions. This is to allow time for applications to be checked by RKEO in line with funder guidance and allow for any iterations required by the PI. Research Councils are now office rejecting any slight errors rather than returning applications for amendment and so the checks that RKEO carry out are vital to ensuring that academics don’t fall at the first hurdle.
If a PI contacts RKEO at short notice or in the case of an e-submission, close to the five working days’ notice (please bear in mind that all costs and approvals must be in place beforehand), the decision may be made that they cannot submit the application. This is particularly likely during busy periods where RKEO resources are already fully committed to support those applicants that have contacted us early. Jo Garrad, RKEO Funding Development Manager, will discuss such cases with Faculty DDRPP’s before making a decision. A full procedural document can be found on the staff intranet under the ‘Research’ section – Procedures for late submission of external R&KE applications.