In today’s blog, Jennifer Loukes, Research Support Advisor in the Research Support Office, talks about the new online portal “Workspace”.
Over the last 5 years the University of Edinburgh has won nearly £15m in research funding from US Federal funders – including the NIH, DARPA, US Air force, US Army, ONR, Department of Defence, NIST, and the Department of Agriculture – either in collaboration with US partners or directly in standalone projects.
There’s a marked increase in interest as research portfolios diversify and, to mirror that, the Research Support Office offers increased support to applicants. We are particularly pleased to see that the kind people at Grants.gov, who deal with dozens of US Government Departments, Agencies and Foundations, have just streamlined the formal application process to those funders with the introduction of the new online portal Workspace.
So, first of all find the funding call that suits you. These opportunities are often brought to us by US colleagues leading a collaboration, an excellent way to get started as they take the administrative weight, but you can search at Grants.gov, using a range of fields from keywords to agency. If you think that it’s not likely that, for example, NIH funds the kind of work you do, check NIH Reporter – you may be surprised at the range.
Workspace allows researchers and research support to work together across partner institutions, in one place. As well as being a better system, it’s compulsory from the end of December 2017.
What is Workspace?
As the new online portal within Grants.gov, it contains all the forms required for the application, which are completed and submitted within Workspace. In principle it’s not unlike Je-S.
What are the benefits?
It’s flexible in that it allows you to either complete the forms within your web browser, or download them onto your computer for completion before reloading. You can give access to multiple participants to your Workspace and allocate specific tasks. For example, a typical project would include access for those writing the proposal as well as for administrative support such as financial and governance sections.
How do I get started?
Get in touch with us in RSO – we will get you registered in Grants.gov if you aren’t already and set up the correct Workspaces access. There’s a wide range of help available; check out our step by step how-to guide, Grants.gov have a Workspaces overview and a fantastic YouTube channel with highly detailed instructions for every step of the application process.
Is it easy to use?
Yes it is. We’ve already put a number of applications through and have found it to be much better – and more reliable – than the old method. With all of the application team having access to the proposal forms, the process has been pretty smooth for a brand new system!
As always, if you have any questions please get in touch with the Research Support Office.
Jennifer Loukes and Asad Nazir both work as Research Support Advisors in the CSE Team of the Research Support Office.