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Step-by-step guidance on submitting a funding application

This section details the different tasks that must be completed when preparing to submit. It provides support in complying with both York St John and external policies. Adhering to this guidance is vital to ensure we deliver the strongest submissions, of the highest quality.

Once you have identified your funding scheme, the first step is to carefully review the guidance and the terms and conditions provided by the funder. Contact the Research Officer for Grants to set a timeline for your submission and to receive support with the budget, data entry and sign-off. The Research Office will support applicants as a 'one-stop-shop', liaising with internal departments such as finance, external partners (if applicable) and supporting with data entry into the funding portal. 

Please ensure you have contacted the Research Office a minimum of 4 weeks before the submission deadline. 

Applications received after this deadline cannot be guaranteed sign-off. 

Each scheme requires a unique deadline and it's best to contact the Research Office for deadlines set specifically for your submission. These are set working back from the submission date. There are many funding calls that have open submission, meaning they accept submissions on a rolling basis, however, it's important to set an internal timeline for these calls as well. 

Notable standard internal deadlines follow, set to reflect the need for input from several parties during the preparation. These are minimum deadlines and many calls will require a longer timeline. 

4 weeks before submission: Research Office aware, intention to submit agreed with School Research Lead and Head of School.  

3 weeks before submission: Draft submitted to Research Office and budget discussions underway. If applicable application portal access secured. 

1 week before submission: Finalised application and budget ready for sign-off.



The Research Office will liaise with Finance in relation to obtaining accurate costs for staff time and support you with considering new staff members to be appointment should the funding be secured. When considering your own and other staff time commitment to a grant, you should discuss the HR implications with your Head of School and School Research Lead. 

The expected minimum time commitment when leading a grant submission as a Principal Investigator would be 10% and often 15% - 20% is more appropriate. A minimum co-applicant time commitment (including for externally-led bids) should be 5%, except in special circumstances, such as a strictly capped budget. 

Time commitment

Full time Equivalent (FTE)



4 days


3 days


2 days


1 day


½ day


¼ day or 1 day a month


The Research Office will call for an accurate costing from finance - this turnaround can take 5 days. 

For more on preparing a budget and understanding Full Economic Costs, please refer to Budgets

All research funding applications, whether led by York St John, or externally led bids, must be signed off by: 

1. Head of School - or an approved delegate 

2. Finance 

3. PVC for Research & Impact 

To secure sign-off, your application should be final and in the format required by the external funder at least 5 days before submission. For all bids an Approval to Submit (AtS) form must be completed, with support from the Research Office. This form is required for compliance with University regulations and your application may not be submitted without it. 

The lead applicant should sign the form and secure their Head of School's signature before submitting the form to the Research Office. The Research Office will secure financial approval and Vice Chancellor sign-off and give the final OK to submit via email.

RO11 - Funding - Approval to Submit (DOCx, 40kb)

All applications should be read and reviewed by the applicant's School Research Lead and where possible additional peer review should be obtained. For support with identifying peer reviewers please contact the Research Office: 

It is always a good idea to obtain review from outside the subject area. The Research Office will review all applications before submission, and on occasion may refuse approval to submit, or suggest an application be deferred to the next open call, to ensure the University is only submitting the highest quality applications. Any decision to defer or refuse approval will be taken in discussion with the applicant, their School Research Lead and Head of School. 

Internal sifts

For some funding calls, particularly those that are open across research disciplines, it is strategic for the University to run an internal sift, to submit a limited number of applications. Where this is necessary, Expressions of Interest (EOIs) will be called for and reviewed by a cross-discipline panel. Each sift's criteria will be set in accordance with the specific funders expectations and communicated clearly. 

Sifts will happen well in advance of standard submission timelines. 


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