Working with Us

How to get the best support for the lifetime of your award: get it right at application to ensure smoother running

As soon as you identify a funding opportunity please speak to your Portfolio Manager, providing as much background to the opportunity as possible. This may be a website link, emails or simply something you've heard. This will allow the Portfolio Manager to check that the funder and scheme are set up in the Worktribe system, to ensure that costing and pricing is appropriate, and that we can accept the terms and conditions. For new or unusual funders this can mean talking to them directly where the rules are unclear or we need to explain our processes in their context.

Where you have partners (external or within the University, other academic or industry), please provide contact names so that authorised costs can be collated and held or, if they lead, sent to them. Costs for the School of Informatics must be provided and approved by the PM team.

If we will administer a budget which is passed on to partners, it may be necessary (depending on location, nature of the funding or whether you have worked with them before) to run a due diligence process. Due diligence is provided by the central Research Support Office (RSO) or – where the funder is a commercial entity - Edinburgh Innovations (EI).

When you receive costs for your project, there will be a record number (Project 1234568) with it. Please use it in all correspondence. Using the reference number allows the PM team to identify the proposal, making workload sharing easier. You can request multiple iterations so please don’t re-use older costings without checking as salary scales, overhead rates and other on-costs are updated throughout the year. If you decide not to submit, for whatever reason, let the PM know so the record can be closed.

Please send a copy of your completed application to your portfolio manager as soon as possible before submission to the funder. Portfolio managers check that the costs match those approved, that it has been through internal review or ethics processes and that it fits the scheme requirements. This stage is the School approval to submit. Without completion of this stage, the application is not recorded as submitted and will not be included in research activity reports.

After submission, please ensure that your portfolio manager is included in any communication about the process, especially if there are any challenges from the funder.  Award letters or draft agreements should be forwarded to your portfolio manager who will ensure these are negotiated, accepted, signed and set up. While some funders will inform the University through the RSO of success, invitation to resubmit or rejection, other funders may only contact the applicant directly – please let the Portfolio Manager know in each case.

There can be a considerable delay between learning that a proposal is successful to being able to start the project. Where there is no record of costing or approval, the award does not match the approved costs, or where there are unexpected partners with no contact details and no record of their approved participation, this adds greatly to the time it takes to negotiate and finalise the award. Grants cannot start until all agreements are signed but often there is a fixed start date, a need to recruit and a firm end date, so the better prepared we are the faster this can be dealt with.

As well as being necessary for both internal and external (funder) audit, this process enables accurate and timely reporting of application and award activity. Research Information Systems produces monthly Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reports showing this activity

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Janet Ball (janet.ball@ed.ac.uk