How to Apply for External Funding in Ten Steps
The Application Process
1. Contact the Health Research Support Office as soon as you can so that we can plan time to support your application. The Faculty Research Officer can alert you to particular quirks of the competition, identify and assist with special requirements (e.g. support letters, financial statements, insurance certificates), and work with you to build a timetable for preparing the proposal. It is especially important to contact us if you will be requesting any support from the Faculty (i.e. resources, space, or release time) in your application.
2. Do the small stuff early. Prepare your CV (and get them from your co-applicants) and fill out the short sections of the application form. These tasks can take more time than expected and you will save headaches later if you deal with them first.
3. Work on the budget early, too. The Faculty Research Officer can work with you to determine eligible line items, estimate costs, and reduce the risk of overlooking expenses.
4. Share drafts with your colleagues and/or mentor, as well as the Faculty Research Officer, for feedback. This is a crucial step that can help you anticipate and address possible criticisms of your proposal.
5. Revise, revise, revise.
6. Send the complete revised version to the Faculty Research Officer for a final review.
7. When the proposal is done, complete an ORS (Office of Research Services) checklist. Sign the ORS checklist and the application form. Have the checklist and application form signed by your Chair or Director (not all applications require a Chair’s signature, but it is required on the checklist).
8. Make all necessary copies of the application plus one extra. You do not need to copy the checklist. In the case of an electronic submission, simply print one hard copy.
9. Bring the checklist and the application to the Health Research Support Office. The Faculty Research Officer will secure the Dean’s signature and deliver the documents to ORS for the institutional approval and signature. ORS will courier the documents to the funding agency or provide electronic approval of an online proposal.
10. Cross your fingers!
A Note on the ORS Checklist
An ORS checklist is mandatory for all applications that require an institutional signature from York. Some grants do not require institutional signatures and an ORS checklist is not mandatory at the time of submission. Even when an institutional signature is not required, we appreciate being notified that you are submitting a proposal and will be happy to help you with the application process. Should your application be successful, an ORS checklist will be required before the University can accept the funds.
A Note on Deadlines
Please be reminded that a 48 hour signature practice is in effect at York. ORS will enforce a strict 48 hour (2 working days) signature practice for all grant applications and contract proposals. No institutional signatures will be provided for applications or contract proposals brought into ORS less than 48 hours before the deadline.
This means that you should deliver your complete application and signed ORS checklist to the Health Research Support Office a minimum of four working days before a funding deadline, to allow time for review and signature before the proposal goes to ORS. If you wish to have substantive feedback from the Faculty Research Officer on your proposal, you should aim to have a draft prepared well in advance of the deadline. Please be in touch with the Research Support Office to determine an appropriate timetable.