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Autumn 2018

Last-minute grant applications will no longer be allowed

Last February the Heads of Schools and PVC for Research decided that the way that grant applications were being submitted late was not in the best interests of the University and was unfair to the staff of the Research Operations Office.  They therefore decided that new deadlines would be imposed this October.  This information was made public earlier in the year but not many people really seem to have taken on board the nature of the change.  Here is a summary of the key points.

A 2-step checking service is available until 7 working days prior to the funder submission deadline which will provide all financial checks and allow changes to the non-financial aspects of the proposals until 1 working day before the funder submission deadline.

Alternatively, if this is not met:

A final deadline for the entire application of 5 working days prior to the funder submission deadline for all Standard Applications and Open Calls.

Applications that do not meet these deadlines will not be submitted.  (There are provisions for exceptional circumstances, but it is best to plan on the basis that they do not exist.  For all practical purposes, there will be no exceptions.)

This change will be implemented on 1st October 2018. What this will mean in practice is that the new deadline rules will come into force for funder deadlines that fall on the 10th October 2018 onwards. 


REF 2021 Open Access policy and preprint servers

Preprint servers (such as arXiv) are becoming more common across a range of disciplines. In recognition of this, the REF 2021 Open Access Policy was updated in July 2018 with the following statement:

“…if the ‘accepted for publication’ text, or near final version, is available on the pre-print service, and the output upload date of the pre-print is prior to the date of output publication, this will be considered as compliant with the open access criteria…”

The University’s Open Access Team recommends that authors using preprint servers should:

  1. Upload a copy of the accepted manuscript to the preprint server before publication in a journal or conference proceeding, and;
  2. Label the accepted for publication text as "Accepted Manuscript".

If these two conditions are met, authors will have complied with the REF 2021 Open Access requirements, and will not need to upload a copy of their accepted manuscript to Symplectic Elements.

You must, of course, satisfy yourself that your use of the preprint server is compatible with the copyright agreement that you have signed with the journal.

Note that not all preprint servers are created equal. Because bioRxiv does not permit manuscripts to be uploaded after acceptance it is not a compliant preprint server under this policy change (see  The Open Access Team has prepared specific guidance for many of the most popular preprint servers (

This information will be kept under constant review, so please contact the Open Access Team ( with any questions.

Richard Prager
Head of the School of Technology
October 2018