This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Guidance on signing electronic signatures for research applications



This guidance details how applicants to NIHR research programmes, in the event that the Lead Applicant of the proposal is also one of the required signatories (e.g. Director of Finance), can switch roles in the online application form order to sign the electronic signature.


Applicants to research programmes managed by the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) are required to submit their research proposals online using the Research Management System (RMS).

Once an application is ready to submit, the Lead Applicant must seek approval from the Director of Finance in their organisation. The Director of Finance is required to supply this approval by submitting an electronic signature in the RMS.

In the case of research proposals from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Director of Finance may also be the Lead Applicant preparing the submission. This applies in particular to organisations applying to the NIHR Invention for Innovation Connect funding stream and the Artificial Intelligence Health and Care Award.

In this instance, applicants can 'switch roles' between Lead Applicant and Director of Finance in the RMS, to provide the Director of Finance electronic signature on their application.

The steps in this guidance outline how SMEs can switch roles in the RMS to submit a Director of Finance electronic signature on their application for research funding.


1. Click on the ‘Other supporting roles – signatories (electronic)’ tab

2. Click ‘Add contact’ under Director of Finance

3. Enter the Lead Applicants details IF they are also the Director of Finance and click ‘Search’. Select the contact and then click ‘Save and

4. On the right-hand-side you will now be able to switch roles between Lead Applicant and Director of Finance by selecting the roles from the

5. If you have changed role to Director of Finance, you will now be able to tick the box in ‘Other supporting roles tab – signatories (electronic)’