Application process

Introduction

The University's internal approval process for research applications is outlined in the pages listed above. Please familiarise yourself with this process so that you are aware of the steps that need to be completed before you can submit an application.

It is also important to familiarise yourself with the application process of the funder to which you are submitting as early as possible. Different funders have different application processes and there may even be subtle differences for particular calls and competitions issued by the same funder.


It is often the case that these processes need to be strictly adhered to and a failure to do so could result in your application not being considered for funding.

The main research funders have online electronic submission systems that require registration; further details about these are provided on the electronic submission systems page. Most other funders require an application form to be submitted by email.



Quality Assurance

Research funding is highly competitive and funders often receive more high quality proposals than they are able to support.

Writing and submitting proposals requires a lot of time resource for you, your colleagues and support staff, therefore you need to be confident that you can create a high quality proposal before you begin writing.

Funders are increasingly putting pressure on research organisations to manage the numbers of applications submitted and to improve quality control.

Plymouth University has a peer review process to help ensure the quality of proposals submitted which funders encourage.

Peer reviewers have a responsibility to ensure that proposals are of high quality, meet the strategic aims of the University and the funder and represent good value for money.


Demand management and re-submission policies

The Research Councils, European Commission and other funders have measures in place to restrict re-submissions of rejected applications. Please check the funder’s rules before any re-submission.

The Research Councils use demand management systems, which include:

  • re-submissions by invite only
  • timed restrictions before re-submission
  • outline or staged applications
  • send review comments to the Principal Investigator and institution.

Plymouth University is currently subject to a cap on the number of applications that it can submit to NERC under the standard grant scheme (including New Investigator). You should speak with your Head of School about being included in the internal sift process if you are interested in applying to this scheme.

The EPSRC also employs individual researcher sanctions, creating a 'cooling off' period for repeatedly unsuccessful applicants.