Submitting a proposal at York

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check list

There are various procedures that need to be followed when submitting a proposal for research funding, and submission tends to involve several people at the University.  It's a good idea to set your own personal deadline for the completion of your application that allows time for these internal processes to take place.

Talk to the HRC Research Support Team early on, they are aware of the various submission procedures and can help you plan an appropriate timeline for completion and submission of your proposal.

Once you have a full and complete draft of your proposal there are, very broadly, three elements to consider before you submit: peer review, budget review, and institutional approval.

Peer review

You need to send your application to your department for review.  Check with your department for the turnaround time, though generally plan for 2 weeks minimum and be sure to allow for time to make the necessary revisions.

The HRC Research Support Team are happy to advise on individual sections of the proposal from the earliest stages throughout its development, as well as complete drafts (either following on from or in conjunction with departmental review). 

Budget review

All project budgets need to be entered onto Worktribe and reviewed and approved by Research Grants Operations (RGO) before the final application can be submitted to the funder.

This review happens separately but in parallel to institutional approval.  It's best to have the budget approved before you send the final application for institutional approval in case RGO spot any issues with the budget that need to be amended (even minor issues often require a change to the narrative of your proposal).

Once you've agreed the final budget with the relevant Research Coordinator, she will enter the figures onto Worktribe for you and will liaise with Research Grants Operations to get the figures approved. 

Institutional approval

All applications for research funding require approval first and foremost from your department.  

Applications also require institutional approval by the relevant coordinator in Research Grants Operations (RGO), and occasionally by other members of the University, before they can be submitted to the funder.

There are a number of internal requirements that must be met before this institutional approval can be granted. NB this process needs to start at least 2-3 weeks before the deadline depending on the project. These include:

  • Projected logged onto Worktribe (the HRC will do this for you). This needs to be done as early as possible in order to give RGO advance notice that the bid is underway.

  • Ethics Declaration and Risk Assesment completed (the HRC can help you with these).
  • Budget details entered onto Worktribe (the HRC will do this for you).
  • Budget, Ethics Declaration and Risk Assessment sent to Head of Department and RGO for review and approval (this is done through Worktribe and the HRC will help with this).  
  • Application form sent to RGO for approval.

Please note that submission cannot be guaranteed for applications that are submitted after the University’s internal deadlines; these will require approval from the Associate Dean for Research in order to be submitted.

Note: In the rare case that the expected income to York from your project is more than £1 million you will also need the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research.  See the RGO website for further details


The process by which your final approved application arrives with the funder varies.

For the most common Arts and Humanities funders – AHRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust – applications are filled in by using an online form and the institutional approval happens via the same online system, after you have completed the form and hit the ‘submit’ button.  These online applications systems automatically route the application form to Research Grants Operations (RGO) and it is at that point RGO provides the institutional approval.  Once this has been done, the approved application is forwarded to the funder by RGO.

In other cases, you may need to send the proposal to the funder directly, either in electronic form or, more rarely, in hard copy.  Please note that even if the funder doesn't specifically require approval or signature from the instutition, your application should still be reviewed by RGO before you submit.  

Read the funder guidelines for the particular scheme you’re applying to and make sure you understand what they require.  Talk to the HRC Research Support team for advice.


Submission checklist

You can use the following checklist to help make sure you’ve completed all the necessary steps.  This list applies to most of the applications submitted by Arts and Humanities at York, though there will of course be exceptions. 

Talk to the HRC Research Support Team, they can advise you on the various regulations and guide you through the process along the way.

  • send full draft of proposal to department for review (full draft means all the sections are complete, attachments included, draft budget costed etc.)
  • make any necessary revisions
  • optional: send full draft to HRC Research Support Team for review
  • make any necessary revisions
  • agree final budget with the Research Coordinator, including any changes that have risen out of the review process; note that if the expected income is more than £1 million, the proposal needs to be approved by the PVC-R
  • the Research Coordinator sends costs along with Ethics Declaration and Risk Assessment to department and to RGO for review and approval
  • send full application to RGO for institutional approval; depending on the scheme, RGO will forward the approved application to the funder.
  • submit to funder

Contact us

Humanities Research Centre

Berrick Saul Building, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK