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Prepare for final Je-S phase-out, research managers told

Arma 2024: Research teams must ensure staff have access to UKRI’s new funding system

Research managers have been urged to ensure that post-award teams in their organisation are able to access UK Research and Innovation’s new funding service as the winding down of the Joint Electronic Submission system—also known as Je-S—nears its conclusion.

Speaking at the Association of Research Managers and Administrators’ annual conference in Brighton on 19 June, Susan Soulsby, senior engagement lead for UKRI’s Simpler and Better Funding programme, said that updates to the functionality around research awards meant that Je-S would soon be a thing of the past.

In the first three months of 2024, some 85 per cent of applications were made on the new system—called the Funding Service—with only 15 per cent made on Je-S. But Soulsby said that many of the post-application funding processes still needed to be shifted to the Funding Service.

“Up until very recently, the majority of successful applications would get funded, actually, on Je-S,” Soulsby said. “So they would start on the Funding Service then move over and get funded through Je-S. That is starting to decrease and get phased out.”

Soulsby said there were a number of steps that managers could take “to prepare for that”.

“The key thing is to make sure that your post-award teams are starting to get accounts to manage awards,” she said. “You also need to think about your internal guidance for who has that account access, and what that means for your organisation.”

Reducing bureaucracy

Elsewhere in the session, Ruth Williams, associate director of UKRI funding policy, told delegates that the funder was keen to keep looking at how it can streamline research award processes “to make things simpler internally and, of course, externally”.

“We have…improved and streamlined our guidance,” she said, joking that hopefully “people will start reading it”.

She added that UKRI had looked at the government’s report on research bureaucracy closely and had “really tried to take that to heart”.

This, she continued, has included “asking for what we need, when we need it”, reducing the amount of detail required for applications and no longer routinely asking for elements such as CVs and equipment quotes in initial applications.