Authorisation and submission of grant applications

This page outlines the authorisation and submission process for research grant applications. In line with the University's Financial Directives, there is a two-step authorisation process. An authorised signature is required on all grant applications and contracts. You should leave plenty of time for applications to be considered and approved by your Department and Research Services.

Please note that:

  • Regardless of the funder or the submission method, Research Services should be involved at an early stage of pricing applications. Where we receive requests from funders for institutional authorisation for applications in which University procedures have been ignored, the application will not be authorised.
  • The electronic submissions process for Horizon 2020 does not allow for departmental and institutional approval, and therefore the guidance below for paper submissions should be followed.
  • The price of the project should already have been authorised by this stage.

A variety of electronic submission systems are used by research funders, including Je-S, e-GAP2, eGrants, eGMS, CC Grant Tracker and the EU Research Participant Portal. Step-by-step guides are available for each.

Further guidance on individual electronic submission systems


1. Departmental approval

Grant applications must be approved by all of the departments involved, to ensure that they support the application and that it complies with internal policy and regulations. You should leave plenty of time for the application to be considered and approved by the HoD(s), with a minimum expectation of three days.

  • Electronic submission systems: HoD(s) are notified directly and can approve applications within the system.
  • Paper submissions: arrange for your HoD to review and sign a paper copy of the grant application.

2. University approval

An authorised institutional signature, via Research Services, is required on all grant applications to ensure that the University recovers all direct costs and maximises indirect costs; meets sponsor requirements; complies with internal and external policy and regulations; and does not accept unduly onerous contractual obligations.

Research Services will:

  • Ensure that the application budget matches the approved figures on the Costing & Awards Tool.
  • Check that the justification of resources is reflected in the budget breakdown.
  • Check attachments to ensure that they comply with funder guidance.
  • Check any queries with the PI (please ensure you are available to take any queries).
  • Make any relevant amendments.
  • Arrange approval by an authorised signatory.

Since we are usually managing applications to several different call deadlines at once, it is important to allow as much time as possible for an application to be checked prior to submission. We require three days notice for applications, once HoD approval has been given.

  • Electronic submission systems: Research Services is notified directly once the HoD approves the application. We can approve applications within the system.
  • Paper submissions: post or drop-off the HoD signed copy to Research Services, New Spring House, 231 Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2GW.

3. Submission to the funder

Once approval has been given by Research Services, the application can be submitted to the funder.

Although most funders use electronic submission systems, some still require hard copies or a combination of both. Further guidance on the use of the most common electronic submission systems is available.

  • Electronic submission systems: Research Services will submit the application to the funder once institutional approval has been given. You will receive a confirmation email.
  • Paper submissions: Research Services will contact the PI when the application has been signed and is available for collection.

Who to contact

For advice, guidance and support with any aspect of submitting a grant application, please contact the Pricing Team in Research Services.

Contact the Pricing Team