Frequently asked questions

Starke You can find the answers to frequently asked questions about applying for a research grant or managing your grant below.

Applying for a grant

Q: Is there a deadline date to submit my grant application?
A: We do not have deadline dates for grant applications unless stated for a specific call. Please complete your application on GMS (Grants Management System) and submit when you are ready.

Q: I have an application that I want to submit to other funding bodies besides BHF. Is this allowed?
A: Yes, but you must declare it on the application form and advise us immediately of the result(s). If we decide to award a grant and you wish to accept, you will have to withdraw/decline your other application(s).

Q: I want to apply for a project grant and a fellowship simultaneously. Can I do this?
A: While you can submit one of each at the same time, neither one must be dependent on the other, i.e. each application must be fully funded and considered independently. In the event both are awarded, you will need to choose which to accept, but will not be able to accept both (or parts of both). Project Grants are for a specific piece of work and the Committee will judge the scientific merit and whether it is appropriately resourced. Fellowships focus on the fellow and his/her track record and career prospects, and should be backed up by a suitable project or training project. Details of the simultaneous application must be declared when applying.

Q: Can I apply to BHF for funds to 'top-up' an award made by another funder?
A: We do not 'top up' grants that have been inadequately funded by other grant giving organisations. We will consider co-funding if this is flagged up prospectively so that the potential funding partners can agree a single, common review process.

Q: I am applying for a grant but do not have ethical approval in place. Will this prevent my application from going forward?
A: No. The application will progress, but if awarded it will not be allowed to start until we have received proof of ethical approval.

Q: I am doing a clinical study which will require NHS support costs. How should this be reflected in the application?
A: For further information please refer to our guidance on how to cost a clinical study.

Q: Do I need to provide full economic costing with my grant application?
A: We will request full economic costing by email following submission of your application, other than for PhD Studentships.

Q: Can I request funds for a computer within my grant application?
A: We do not normally fund computers unless they are an integral part of a piece of scientific equipment that has been fully justified in the application.

Accepting your grant

Q: I have received my grant acceptance form but relevant people are not available to sign the form. What should I do?
A: The grant cannot commence until the grant acceptance form has been received and signed using original wet ink signatures. Electronic signatures or photocopies of forms will not be accepted. If someone is unavailable to sign the form within the required deadline, please contact us explaining the reason and requesting an extension. You can find the grant acceptance form here.

Q: My grant has been activated and all approvals and licences are in place, how do I go about invoicing and what information should I provide?
A: The University should submit invoices to us in arrears on a quarterly basis, clearly stating the grant reference number, the claim period, the start date of the grant and a detailed breakdown. Salary claims must include the person’s name and a salary breakdown. Equipment claims must include a copy of the supplier’s invoice.

Q: I have been delayed starting my grant, what will happen?
A: All grants should commence within 6 months of the date of award and any delay beyond this may result in the award being withdrawn. However, if a delay is unavoidable please provide a full explanation and keep us fully informed. We will not cover any additional costs involved.

Managing your grant

Q: I have been awarded an unnamed post. How do I activate this post?
A: Once a suitable candidate has been identified, the Principal Investigator must send us a copy of his/her CV plus proposed basic starting salary, spine point and start date for our approval before a formal job offer is made. The salary must not be higher than the level awarded for the first year of the post, and should be lower if a more junior individual is the preferred candidate. We advise applicants to advertise under a salary range rather than a specific point on a scale to allow flexibility.

Q: A member of staff is leaving the grant. What should I do?
A: Please contact us confirming the grant reference number and staff member’s final date in post. The grant/post will then be held in abeyance whilst a suitable replacement is sought (with the exception of programme grants which are awarded for fixed terms). The replacement should not be recruited at a higher salary than the level agreed for the first year of the post, and should be lower if a more junior individual is the preferred candidate. We advise applicants to advertise under a salary range rather than a specific point on a scale to allow flexibility. Once a replacement has been identified, the Principal Investigator must send us a copy of the candidate’s CV plus proposed basic starting salary, spine point and start date for our approval before a formal job offer is made.

Q: What is BHF policy regarding maternity leave?
A: We expect the institution to pay salary during maternity leave and, with the exception of programme grants which are awarded for fixed terms, we will put the grant into abeyance for the period of leave, and then extend it by the same period upon the person’s return to work. However, if the institution wishes us to pay salary, less statutory maternity pay, the grant may not be extended.
We will need to know which is the preferred option and the exact dates of the maternity leave.

Q: What is BHF policy regarding maternity leave for PhD students?
A: We will not pay stipend during maternity leave. The studentship will be put into abeyance for the period of leave and extended by the same period once the student returns to work.

Q: What is BHF policy regarding sick leave?
A: We will reimburse sick leave in accordance with the contract of employment between the institution and employee and expect to pay salary, less statutory sick pay only. However, if the institution pays the sick leave, with the exception of programme grants which are awarded for fixed terms, we will put the grant into abeyance for the period of absence and extend it by the same period.

Q: Does BHF provide funds for travel to scientific conferences by grant-holders and staff?
A: Yes, if stated on the grant award letter. If you are eligible, you can download a claim form here. This should be included with a quarterly claim from the University against the grant.

Q: Does BHF reimburse publication costs?

A: No, we do not reimburse publication costs. We will only refund open access costs.

Q: Does BHF reimburse open access charges?
A: Yes. There are different processes depending on which institution holds the grant.
For further information please refer to our Open Access Policy.

Q: I am late in submitting a report. What will happen?
A: If it is an annual report, all finance claims will be held until the report has been received. If it is a final report, and is more than three months late, we will be unable to process the final claim. Final claims cannot be paid if the grant has closed.

Q: Will BHF reimburse maintenance/service charges on equipment?

A: No, these costs and other overheads should be met by the institution. However, where a major item of equipment is requested, a maintenance contract may be included as part of the purchase price.

Q: I would like to purchase an item of equipment that was not awarded.

A: Only items of equipment which were awarded on the grant may be purchased and the budget must not be exceeded. Discounts are expected to have been negotiated and resulting savings will remain with us to be reallocated by our research committees.

Q: I have an underspend on my grant and would like to use this?
A: Any savings made will remain with us at the end of the award, to be added to our research budget for future awards.

Q: I am Principal Investigator on a grant and have accepted a new position at another university. What should I do now?

A: We will not allow a Principal Investigator to retain their status if they move to another university. A co-applicant at the grant holding institution may apply in writing to become the new Principal Investigator.

Q: Can I transfer my grant?
A: This may be possible. In order for a transfer to be considered, we must be contacted in advance by the Principal Investigator/Fellow with the grant reference numbers of all grants he/she wishes to transfer, the name of the department and institution he/she wishes to transfer to and the reason for the transfer. The request will be considered and if approved, a letter will be sent detailing our requirements.

Q: I would like to apply for a no-cost extension on my grant?

A: We do not support no-cost extensions. All work on the grant must be completed in the time awarded. If the Principal Investigator wishes to continue work on the grant, he/she must submit a new grant application.

If you have any query regarding this information, please contact [email protected].