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  4. Submitting an application

Submitting an application

Before submission to the funder all funding applications must undergo due diligence checks before being approved by the faculty and RES via AMS. Projects in AMS can be fast-tracked for approval if the price to funder amount is below the faculty threshold values for grants, contract research or consultancy. Please see the pdfs in the key documents section for more information regarding due diligence and fast-tracking.

OU Contribution (cash) process

Change to: For major bids (greater than £1M) the OU contribution to the cost of the research project will be high. Advance approval in principle is required, prior to significant development of the application, from your faculty Associate Dean for Research.

Principal investigators should liaise with their faculty research support team to facilitate approval in AMS.

  1. Principal Investigator notifies faculty research support team and initiates a project in AMS.
  2. Faculty research team supports the Principal Investigator to cost the bid and complete AMS record.
    • Peer review conducted in faculty, review of T&Cs by CLS, VAT implications clarified by finance.
  3. Faculty initiates the approval process via AMS.
  4. Due diligence carried out by RES or in faculty (if fast-tracked).
  5. Application submitted to funder (once approval completed in AMS).

AMS Approval process

The awards management approval process begins with the unit approver, then is considered by Research Enterprise and Scholarship admin, then the unit accountant, then the final unit approver (usually unit head).

Approval in AMS is linear, each approval group is notified when the project is assigned to them for approval. Wider notifications (e.g. to PI) are only sent once the approval process is complete.

  • Projects need to arrive with RES at least 3-5 working days prior to submission deadline.
  • The Commercial Legal Services team (CLS) are required to review all terms and conditions where the funder makes them available at submission stage, with the exception of standard terms and conditions relating to bids submitted to Research Councils and regular charitable funders: British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society and Wellcome Trust.
  • CLS must be informed at least 10 working days prior to submission date.

To ensure all approvals are completed on time we advise that if you are submitting with less than five days’ notice you notify Finance via the Comments tab so that they can start their due diligence and review checks in good time.

Funder submission portals and Institutional Approval

Most funders use a submission portal (E-System or Grant Management System) to facilitate application submission. Those in bold below are submitted by RES on behalf of the OU. Others are usually submitted by the PI. All approvals in AMS should be completed prior to submission.

Funder System
British Academy Flexi-Grant®
Cancer Research UK eGMS
European Commission SEDIA
Leverhulme Trust CC Grant Tracker
Research Councils UK Je-S
Royal Society Flexi-Grant®
Wellcome Trust WT Grant Tracker

Call guidelines will stipulate the submission method.

Contact the Research Development team if you are unsure whether the OU is registered with a particular E-System or if your application requires institutional approval.

Delegated Authorities

Some funders will ask for a legal representative/authority to approve a funding application as part of the submission process. The delegated authority for The Open University is Jo Vango (Head of Legal, Finance and Business Services).

If you are unsure if this is a requirment please contact the Research Enterprise team for futher advice.

Key documents