Application Development Service (ADS)

What is the Application Development Service (ADS)? ADS is a service that assists academics from an early stage in preparing and drafting grant applications.

Why should I use ADS? Given the competitive climate of research funding in the UK, the College of Arts is looking to give our grant applications an edge. ADS is a service that is seeking to add value to grant applications by having successful Principal Investigators (PIs) review and provide feedback on draft applications. The experiences of our successful PIs are an invaluable tool when navigating and applying to funding schemes.  

How does ADS work?

Step 1: Deciding on your application

  • You will have an initial discussion of your project idea with either your School Research Convenor or College Research Office. They may recommend that you work with ADS to develop your application.
  • If you decide to apply for a research project grant, in addition to the support of your School and the ADS, there will be regular workshops at ArtsLab that will provide you with an introduction to making an application and targeted sessions on individual funders and schemes.

Step 2: Getting feedback at an early stage in the grant process

  • Once you have drawn up an initial draft on your research application you should send this to:
  • In the case of AHRC and ESRC research grants, you will need to submit a draft ‘Case for Support’ and draft ‘Pathways to Impact’. It is important to emphasise that these need only be initial drafts so that we can see how you envisage the project working.
  • For all other research grants, a draft application, including the main text sections that are required by the funder, should be submitted.

Step 3: Timeline and Process

  • If you submit a ‘Case for Support’ and draft ‘Pathways to Impact’ for an AHRC or ESRC research project, or a draft for a major project with another funder, these will be sent for written comment by two members of staff who have been successfully awarded funding by one of the above Research Councils. Their comments will be sent to you and ArtsLab within three weeks. You should then contact the Director of ArtsLab to arrange a meeting to discuss the feedback and decide on the next best steps.
  • If the application is for RSE or Carnegie Trust, or is for a call with a deadline, your draft will be sent to the Director or Deputy Director of ArtsLab, who will provide written feedback and/or arrange to meet you to provide feedback and decide on the next steps. 
  • Please note that it is perfectly normal, in the case of applications that are ultimately successful, for this to involve a significant amount of redrafting, which may involve sending the redrafted applications back several times for further feedback.

Step 4: What next?

  • It is time to grapple with the nuts and bolts of working out the financial and HR aspects of your project. This means speaking to your Research Administrator who will work with you to get project costings.
  • Regular workshops on processes around applying for a grant and grant management will be provided by ArtsLab. Please see the ArtsLab website for more information.

Step 5: Project approval and submitting your application

  • If no peer-review is required for your application, please sign your PAF and submit to your School Office for Approval. For more information on the full Project Approval process, see the College Grant Application Process
  • If your application requires peer-review, send the final version of the application and the draft PAF to Please note that Peer-Review takes two weeks to complete. If you need your Peer-Review completed outwith this schedule, please contact the College Research Office, as soon as possible.