The Research Councils have informed us that they will be upgrading their electronic grants submission service in 2017. The Je-S system has come to a natural end and they plan to design a smarter, simpler more user friendly service in line with the latest digital standards. Work is already underway to design the new awards service. This work is based on extensive user research and BU will nominate a primary coordinator (from RKEO) to engage with RCUK about this project.
What sort of improvements can you expect?
As an applicant, peer reviewer or research office administrator, you will no longer use the Je-S system to apply for grants, submit reviews or manage your research organisations grants activities. There will be an entirely new external portal. In future the whole grant application form will be digitised, which means in the majority of cases no more uploading of attachments; and there are other improvements such as in-built formatting for font size and word count, improved dashboards to help you manage your grant activities as well as guidance relevant to a particular funding opportunity close at hand, all on the one screen, while you are applying. This is just some of the functionality being developed and iterated through user testing and feedback.
When will the new system go live?
The ambition is to start to run a small number of funding opportunities through the new system by March 2017 to test that everything is working as it should be. After March 2017, there will be parallel running of the new awards service and Je-S, which will be gradually phased out throughout 2017. We expect the full transition from Je-S to the new awards service to be completed by May 2018.
How you can keep up to date with what’s happening?
This is an important programme of work and RCUK are keen to keep you informed of progress. You can receive regular updates about this project by subscribing to their mailing list at http://rcuk.us13.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=ad56e1b1044a6f3fab9f61fb8&id=bf29a1fd1a
For updates about news and changes to Research Councils grants service more generally, you can sign up to their quarterly grants newsletter at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?SUBED1=RCUKSSC-GRANTS&A=1