School of Education and Social Work

External research funding: Workflow and guidance

The School of Education and Social Work has a vibrant and thriving research culture with over 50 researchers working on projects across 6 research centres.

Research as well as Professional Services staff within the School work alongside staff in Research and Knowledge Exchange right from the development and finance stage of bids in order to increase and deliver our portfolio of projects.

These pages are designed to act as a workflow, illustrating step-by-step the processes that need to be followed to develop research bids and secure external funding for different types of research and consultancy projects undertaken.

Follow the links and steps indicated in order to find the information - and therefore the process - most relevant to your own research project. It may be advisable for you to talk first to your mentor and/or senior colleagues with knowledge of your area to identify suitable funders known to them.

See also Funding Rules for Key ESW Funders.

Where can I go to find funding/funder information for my research?

- Your next point of contact should be the ESW Research Development Officer.
E: deborah.mcguchan@sussex.ac.uk

- See the Research Staff Professional Development Guidance for specific funding opportunities in your area of interest

- You can also visit Sussex's Research and Knowledge Exchange Find funding web pages, or external funder web pages, eg, the ESRC and the EU

- You might want to liaise with funders direct about specific schemes

- You may also find it helpful to read the regular funding opportunities newsletters produced and circulated by email by Research and Enterprise for useful and up-to-date information.

I have a funding opportunity. What next?

Once you have identified a funding oportunity and/or have been approached to do some research, your next steps will depend on the type of research. You should speak to the Research Development Officer at this point to help identify the type of research involved which you are about to engage in. They will also help you to establish whether the project is one that the School would support - financially and strategically.

Below are the main types we deal with in the School of Education and Social Work.

A. General research

'General research' is an original investigation to gain knowledge and understanding. It can also be considered as "bottom up" research, ie. your own research ideas/interests, as opposed to those responding to a sponsor's wishes.

- Single institution process

- Collaborative where Sussex is lead institution

- Collaborative where Sussex is a partner only

B. Contract/Tender research

When a funder (eg. Department for Education, European Commission) publishes a call to tender dictating the subject of the research and requesting proposals for how the research will be carried out to best meet their objectives.

- Single institution process

- Collaborative where Sussex is lead institution

- Collaborative where Sussex is a partner only

C. Commissioned research

Similar to 'Contract/Tender research' but usually refers to projects which have not been publicised but tend to arise through researcher contacts. A funder may have approached you to work with them and, together, you negotiate the project scope and budget. Commissioned research is generally an ongoing process with no formal deadline or call.

- Single institution process

- Collaborative where Sussex is lead institution

- Collaborative where Sussex is a partner only

D. Services other than consultancy

Might cover/include: Training and continuing professional development; conference services; intellectual property; facilities; analysis services; supply of goods; course validation.

Liaise with your Research Development Officer.

E. Consultancy

Usually an activity where an individual is required to provide the benefit of their knowledge, experience and/or skills in a particular field to a particular customer - usually on a sole basis. Consultancy projects tend to cover a small number of days and make limited or no use of university facilities (the cost of which must be recovered in full).

Consultancy is usually about intellectual property or know-how, and generates information or data specific to the customer. It does not normally generate findings or products like those from a research project, and does not usually lead to academic publication. Results of consultancy normally benefit and belong to the customer alone.

Liaise with your Research Development Officer.

Award Acceptance / Contracts

After you have received notice from the funder of the outcome of your bid, you will need to consult the following:

What was the outcome of your bid?

Forecast: with sub-contract/s with partner/s
  • Principal Investigator confirms to the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, the Research and Enterprise Coordinator, the Research Development Officer and Departmental Research Lead and provides any feedback
  • The Research Development Officer sends expedited contract questions - including a template for a schedule of work - and confirms sub-contractor details.
  • Principal Investigator answers questions, completes detailed schedule of work and provides sub-contractor details if necessary.
  • Research Development Officer instructs Contracts Team
  • Contracts Office contacts Principal Investigator
  • Contracts Officer negotiates tems of contracts
  • Contracts agreed
  • Research Development Officer issues Award Acceptance Form (AAF)
  • Principal Investigator and Head of School sign AAF
  • Research Development Officer arranges for contracts to be signed
  • Award handed to Research Finance
  • Ressearch Finance  contacts Principal Investigator with details of award set up and budget code
  • Principal Investigator liaises with the Insurance Office, Human Resources, and the School Administrator to set project up
  • Principal Investigator submits ethics application to C-REC (if appropriate) and proceeds with project once ethical approval is confirmed.
Forecast: without sub-contract/s
  • Principal Investigator confirms to the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, the Research and Enterprise Coordinator, the Research Development Officer and Departmental Research Lead and provides any feedback
  • Research Development Officer sends expedited contracts questions
  • Principal Investigator answers questions
  • Research Development Officer instructs contracts team
  • Contracts office contacts Principal Investigator
  • Contracts Officer negotiates tems of contract
  • Contract agreed
  • Research Development Officer issues Award Acceptance Form (AAF)
  • Principal Investigator and Head of School sign AAF
  • Research Development Officer arranges for contract to be signed
  • Award handed to Research Finance
  • Ressearch Finance  contacts Principal Investigator with details of award set up and budget code
  • Principal Investigator liaises with CREC, the Insurance Office, Human Resources, and the School Administrator to set project up.
  • Principal Investigator submits ethics application to C-REC (if appropriate) and proceeds with project once ethical approval is confirmed.
Unsuccessful
  • Principal Investigator notifies to the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, the Research and Enterprise Coordinator, the Research Development Officer and Departmental Research Lead and provides any feedback
  • Principal Investigator informs mentor and, if appropriate, the research centre Director, including to discuss potential for revised submissions to the same and/or alternative funder
Projects transferring to Sussex with a new member of faculty - or away from Sussex with a faculty member leaving

Principal Investigator to notify Research Finance who will arrange the transfer of research funds in to or away from the University.