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Service First statement

We fund research and research training in universities, colleges and our strategically funded institutes. At all times we seek to operate in a responsive and effective way and to observe high standards of service delivery. This "Service First" statement summarises the key areas of our commitment to high quality service.

We will operate effective equal opportunities policies and will deal with all users in a fair and equitable manner regardless of age, race, gender or disability. We will uphold the highest standards of integrity in all areas of our operation, following the recommendations of the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

Obtaining information about research grants, research training awards and other funding opportunities

Our website provides comprehensive information on our funded research grants and training awards and the application procedures. Information on each scheme will be associated with relevant contact names, their email and postal addresses, and the appropriate application form.

Contact names, scheme details and other key elements of information will be kept up-to-date on the website, with amendments made within five working days of changes.

For users without access to our website requiring information about applications for a research grant or a studentship, we will despatch as appropriate, within five working days, a copy of our:

  • guide to research grants, studentships and fellowships
  • research grants terms and conditions
  • research grant application form and guidance notes
  • studentship quota or Research Committees application form and/or information about the scheme that is of interest to the applicant

Submitting an application for a research grant, studentship or fellowship

When an applicant submits an application to us he/she can expect:

  • acknowledgement within 10 working days from the cut-off date that we have received the application and an indication of the date you can be expected to be informed of the outcome
  • fair and efficient handling of the application throughout the assessment process
  • equal treatment regardless of age, sex, disability or ethnic background
  • notification of the outcome of the application, normally within 26 weeks from the cut-off date and within three calendar weeks of the decision date

General correspondence and enquiries from users

We will:

  • provide an initial response to an email enquiry within five working days of receipt, and to other correspondence from the public and users within 15 working days
  • give an initial response to a telephone or fax enquiry within three working days
  • provide telephone enquiry numbers, fax numbers, email addresses and website addresses on all external documents

Consulting users

We regularly consults our user communities through our Research Committees, Boards and Council, and undertake to respond promptly and constructively to criticisms of standards of service. Additionally, we will maintain open channels for the receipts of unsolicited comments.