SOAS University of London

Support for SOAS Researchers

How do I apply?

If you are planning to apply for research funding, contact your Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Officer to discuss your proposal as early as possible and at least six weeks before the funder's deadline. They will guide you through the application process. 

At this stage, you will find it useful to enrol on the Moodle training course ‘Getting the Basics of Funding’ to learn about SOAS grant application procedures. Follow this up with 'Winning Grants' for guidance on how to write a successful application. Once you have completed these steps, follow the list below. 

  • Create your project on Worktribe

    SOAS requires you to set up your project on Worktribe - our research information system - during the application development process. All details of your application will be recorded here and the relevant people across SOAS will be able to to view and approve your applica‚Äčtion. Login to Worktribe using your SOAS username and password.

    Create your project on Worktribe by completing some basic information about what you are applying for, at least six weeks before the funder’s deadline. Don’t forget to let your Head of Department know that you are applying for research funding at this time.

    See all Worktribe user guides on MySOAS (you will need to login).

  • Think about impact

    There are various pathways in which research can contribute to impact beyond academia, and many funders include dedicated impact sections in their application forms. You will need to explain what impact your research will have within and beyond academia, who will benefit, and what you will be doing to generate and promote impact underpinned by the research conducted.

    For an introduction to and tools for delivering research impact, enrol on the "Enhancing Research Impact" Moodle course. Our Impact Team is also here to advise and help you with your impact planning; contact the team by emailing

  • Think about data management

    If you are applying for or are in receipt of external funding, you must comply with the funder requirements for data management and data sharing. The Scholarly Communications team will advise and guide you on any research data management issues around your project. Contact them by emailing

  • Think about ethics

    It is important to think about the ethical implications of your research project as you are developing your ideas. SOAS and its researchers are expected to maintain the highest ethical standards and to foster values of honesty, rigour, openness, care and respect. SOAS research projects must comply with the requirements of the School’s Research Ethics Policy, and ethical approval must be obtained before any research project commences. 

    Ensure that you familiarise yourself with the SOAS Research Ethics Policy (pdf; 336kb) and the Procedure: Ethical Review of Research Projects (pdf; 312kb).

    A standard ethics assessment needs to be completed on Worktribe for each proposal submitted to a funder. You can complete this in the ethics area of your Worktribe project. There is an accompanying Guidance document (pdf; 315kb) available on the website.

    You can find the Worktribe user guide for completing your ethics checklist on MySOAS.

  • Plan your budget

    Our Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Officers will support you in creating your budget. If the funder provides a budget template, do use this to organise your budget by putting the relevant costs under the funder’s budget headings. This will save time. 

    Keep the following budgeting tips in mind:

    • Make sure your costs are eligible for funding
    • Don't under cost but remember that funders look for value for money

    For guidance on estimating your costs and building your budget, enrol on the 'Getting to know the basics' and 'Winning Grants' modules on Moodle. 

  • Develop your proposal

    Your Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Officer will assist you with developing your proposal. You can ask them for a copy of a previously successful application that was submitted to the funder you are interested in applying to. Available applications are in the Successful Proposal Bank on MySOAS

    Before you begin writing your own application, ensure that you

    1. Read the funding call guidance. You will then be able to identify whether or not your project is eligible for the call. Take care to adapt your research question and objectives to the funder's requirements. 
    2. Allocate yourself enough time to prepare your application. Where possible, we recommend that you give yourself three months to prepare, and you should expect to need even more time if the call requires extensive or international partnerships.

    For more guidance on writing a winning proposal, enrol on the 'Winning Grants' module on Moodle. 

  • Request peer review

    Some funders require you to get your application peer reviewed. However, even if this is not a stated requirement, peer review is beneficial and can make the difference between being successful and unsuccessful.

    You can request peer review from fellow researchers (both internally and externally). We recommend two peer reviewers for an application. You may want to send the application to them twice during the application development process. If you are not sure whom to contact, your Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Officer will have a list of people they can recommend to you.

    You can request peer review from SOAS colleagues through Worktribe, or if you get reviews from external colleagues, you can upload their notes to the documents tab of your project or send them to your Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Officer. 

  • Complete a risk assessment

    You should complete a standard risk assessment (in the risks tab of your Worktribe project) whilst you are developing your proposal. Your Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Officer can help with any questions you are unsure of.

    You can find the Worktribe user guide for completing your risk assessment on MySOAS.

  • Secure institutional approval

    The final stage of the application process is receiving institutional approval for your application. The Research Office and your Head of Department need to confirm that SOAS can support your proposed research if your application is successful. Once you have developed your proposal and completed the tabs of your Worktribe project, you can submit your project via Worktribe for institutional approval from your Head of Department and the Research & Knowledge Exchange unit.

    You can find the Worktribe user guide for securing institutional approval on MySOAS.

    Please note that this does not submit your proposal directly to the funder.

    The approval confirms the following:

    • outcome from the first stage ethical review
    • whether internal peer review has happened
    • that you have considered any risks
    • the number of additional staff
    • whether teaching replacement is required and whether funding is available for this
    • whether the budget is sufficient and appropriate for the project
    • that the proposal falls within the funder’s remit and that we are eligible to apply
    • that the proposal complies with SOAS policies
    • the Head of Department/Pro-Director is satisfied that the correct provisions are in place and if awarded the project can be managed and supported
  • Submit your proposal

    Your Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Officer will advise you as to when/how to submit your proposal to the funder. Please submit your Worktribe project for approval at least one week before you need to submit your application to the funder. Many funders have their own online system for receiving grant applications.