All Scheme and Call rules and their requirements can be found either in the Research Funding Guide for Responsive Mode or in the individual Call document for Directed Mode Calls. If general AHRC rules or individual scheme rules are not adhered to the proposal may be rejected. Common errors to avoid are listed below, and this list can serve as a checklist to make sure everything is completed on submission of the proposal. Please note however the list below may not be exhaustive and is only a guide to show where common errors are made with applications.

Prior to submission if you need to clarify any queries which you may have please contact for assistance.


  • Page limits: The application’s documents must not exceed the stated lengths. On conversion to PDF and upload to Je-S please check that the page lengths have remained the same, if documents exceed stated page limits the proposal may be rejected
  • Font size and margins: the font must be in Arial or a similar sans serif font, the font size must be 11 and the margins must be normal sized or the proposal may be rejected
  • Required documents: An application may be rejected if a required document, stated by the Call document or Funding Guide as being required, has not been added or has some sort of error on it
  • No attachments should be submitted to AHRC if they are not in the Call’s required attachments or optional attachments list. Attachments such as this may be removed if they are not eligible to be part of the scheme or the proposal may be rejected
  • Documents readable: Please check all documents are readable, none are in a foreign language and none have been corrupted on conversion to PDF and upload to Je-S. Please also make sure any Track Changes have been removed and all sections of attachments are completed where appropriate. If attachments or any part of the application are unreadable in any way the proposal may be rejected.

Individual documents

Case for Support:

  • Ensure the document does not exceed stated page limits
  • Ensure the technical summary is filled in, even if it is to advise there will be no technical outputs
  • If there are technical outputs, note this in the summary and make sure a Technical Plan is added as a separate attachment
  • For Leadership Fellows make sure the Leadership Development Plan section has been added to the Case for Support

Project Partner Letter of Support

  • If a Project Partner has been added to the application a Project Partner Letter of Support must be added as well. This attachment should only be used where a project partner has been added to the application and is making some sort of contribution, either in kind or monetary. Please note this is a different attachment to the Letter of Support

Letters of Support

  • Should only be provided if there is a collaborating organisation (not a project partner) that is providing something essential to the project. This could be for instance where a project requires access to an Archive, a letter of support from that Archive showing they are willing to grant access and provide assistance
  • Please note this is a different attachment to the Project Partner Letter of Support

CVs and Publication Lists

  • Must only be added for named researchers on the grant. Extra CVs are not permitted and if added these will be removed

Justification of Resources

  • Ensure that this fully explains the costs requested, especially if these are contentious (such as if items are being requested that would normally be found in a department). If costs aren’t fully explained items are liable to be removed


  • Ensure all fields filled in where required (especially Estates and Indirect Costs)
  • Costs are not being provided by the RO to bring the proposal under the scheme limits or make the grant ‘cheaper’
  • The hours of staff members per week charged to the grant is the same as the hours per week that will actually be worked

Start date

  • The start date must adhere to the Call requirements as listed by the Research Funding Guide or the Call document

Classification of proposals

  • Make sure the proposal is classified correctly and that it is an AHRC discipline. Where there may be a query Research Organisations can check with AHRC beforehand
  • When inputting the proposal in Je-S make sure the parent and primary lower classifications are both AHRC disciplines and an incorrect lower classification has not been selected by mistake
  • If an application is multi-disciplinary include other Councils’ classifications, but if the proposal is submitted to AHRC these should not be the primary classification and should make up less than 50% of overall proposal’s remit

Common errors with proposals to individual Calls

Leadership Fellows

  • Ensure the Head of Department Statement letter is submitted and this underlines the commitment from the RO to the project
  • Ensure the Leadership Development Plan is added as part of the Case for Support
  • If the proposal is an Early Career application make sure that a Mentor Statement is included with the application


  • Ensure the fit of the proposal to the scheme is correct and that the proposal is aimed at receiving funding for impact and engagement
  • The scheme is not designed for applications looking for funding to do further research

Research Networking

  • If the proposal has an international co-investigator this should be clearly evidenced and costs should go into the 'Exceptions' heading
  • In individual projects, the international element can be more than £15k, but the UK element can be no more than £30k. So for instance a project could have an international element of £20k and a UK element of £25k if this was appropriate, but if the international element was less than £15k (e.g. £12k for example) you could not have the UK element at £33k – the total costs allowed in this instance would be £42k (£12k international and maximum £30k UK element)