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E-submission of research proposals

The research councils and a number of charities now require researchers to submit applications using an electronic submission system when applying for grants.

For example, University of Plymouth is registered to use the research council's joint electronic submission system (Je-S), therefore most applications to AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC and STFC are electronic.

Please remember that you must complete the internal grant approval and project costing forms, which require signatures, even if you are applying using the electronic submission.

The funding advisors and specialist advisors within research and innovation, are registered to most systems. If you have any questions about electronic submission after reading the relevant guidance, from downloading forms to submitting an application, contact them as soon as possible by emailing or

UK research councils – Je-S

The Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) system is used by the AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC, Innovate UK (TSB), Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

If you are using JeS for the first time you will need to create a personal account. Navigate to the JeS homepage online and select create account on the left of the page. Once you have completed the registration an automatic message will be sent to the University administrative account requesting institutional authorisation; this should be provided within a couple of days. If you have any problems with registration please contact email the funding advisors on 

When you start a new application form the system will ask you to create a reference number for your application. There is no institutional format for this reference and you are free to use it as you see fit. The new application form will be tailored by the system to the funder and scheme to which you are applying.

It is good practice to write the answers to sections of the form in Word and then to copy and paste into the form; this will prevent you from losing work if the system times-out. As well as the online form, you will also need to create and upload a number of supporting documents.

Once an application has been completed on Je-S and you have received all of the necessary internal authorisations, you should submit the application. Note that the application does not go directly to the funder at this point but to the University’s Funding Advisory Service, who complete a final check and ensure all internal approvals are in place before submitting to the funder. You should aim to submit to the Funding Advisory Service at least three hours before the call deadline.

Note: Je-S deadlines are strictly adhered to and once they have passed only in very rare instances where there are extenuating circumstances can a competition be reopened to allow an application to be submitted.

Visit the Je-S system website for access. 

Royal Society – Flexi-Grant

When using the Flexi-Grant system, check the website to make sure Flexi-Grant includes the particular scheme to which you are applying.

Once you submit an application online, it will be sent to the Funding Advisors for approval, so make sure you have completed the University's internal approval form, so that the team can submit your application.

Forms for larger grants on Flexi-Grant require contact details for a Head of Department and referees. This is so Flexi-Grant can contact the HoD to approve the application.

Vist the Flexi-Grant webpages to access the e-system.

Leverhulme Trust – CC Grant Tracker

There are different application processes for different Leverhulme funding schemes. The Leverhulme Support Team can also be contacted from within the system for further assistance. Some schemes may require applicants to enter the contact details for a Head of Department and referees. Visit the Leverhulme grant webpages to access the electronic grant application system.

Wellcome Trust – WT Grant Tracker

Applicants register themselves on the system and create application forms. The forms are submitted to the Funding Advisors for approval and submission to the Trust. Co-applicants and additional approvers also have to register.

Visit the WT Grant Tracker to access the WT Grant Tracker system.

European Commission – Participant Portal

Horizon 2020 calls and documentation are available through the European Commission Participant Portal. This is the online application service for EU research funding, and usefully brings together calls, documentation and the application process. Information about the previous programme, FP7 can be accessed through the Portal.

For further information visit the European commissions participants portal 

Access to the Participant Portal requires prior registration via ECAS – the European Commission Authentication Service

Advice on Application Forms is provided by the UK Research Office (UKRO).

NIH –;; eRA Commons

Applicants can search NIH's website for opportunities and then download the Adobe application form, and related instructions, from for offline completion. The completed form and attachments will need to be forwarded to the Funding Advisors for checking. Only then will it be forwarded to the University's registration manager for final checking and submission on

Applications, when submitted, are validated by both the and eRA Commons systems. You will only need to create a eRA Commons account, the University maintains institutional registration on the and systems. If you require an eRA Commons User Account forward your full name and email address to your Funding Advisor.

To view a summary of the process visit NIH's website.