Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: BBSRC Brazil pump-priming award

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Pump-priming awards supported by BBSRC and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) are for BBSRC-supported researchers and consortia of academics.

They are to pump-prime collaborations between UK and Brazilian scientists in São Paulo state. Funding of up to £35,000 for the UK side is mainly for networking and travel, but can also include some modest research costs. Brazilian counterparts should apply for equivalent funding from FAPESP.

You should apply at least 12 weeks before the start of your project.

Update: The BBSRC Brazil pump-priming award is currently unavailable while it is being transitioned to the UKRI Funding Service.

Who can apply

You can apply for support if you are:

  • a holder of a BBSRC research grant
  • a researcher employed at BBSRC institutes.

The application must be made by a principal investigator. One person may act as a lead for a consortia of academics. Students are not eligible.

The principal investigator in Brazil must hold a FAPESP research award.

What we're looking for

We are seeking to promote collaborations between UK and Brazilian scientists working within our remit. We will give priority to applications in the fields of:

  • food security
  • bioenergy and industrial biotechnology.

Funding is mainly for networking and travel costs but can also include some modest research, such as paying for consumables or access to specialist equipment for research to gather preliminary data.

Direct research costs may not account for more than 50% of the total value requested from us.

We also expect research groups to access other funding alongside the award. This can be direct funding from other sources or in-kind support.

How to apply

You must apply in a single joint application with budget requests for both BBSRC and FAPESP using the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system at least 12 weeks before the project starts.

When applying, select:

  • council: BBSRC
  • document type: standard proposal
  • scheme: FAPESP pump-priming award
  • call/type/mode: select FAPESP pump-priming award
  • create document.

Your application must include:

  • a joint UK-Brazil case for support containing the scientific objectives, summary of previous contacts, action plan of work and plans for joint grant applications, benefit of the collaboration for the BBSRC and FAPESP-funded research and for UK and Brazilian science generally
  • a FAPESP submission form (DOC, 157KB)
  • any additional documents, such as covering letter and letter of support from proposed partners
  • costs in line with subsistence, travel and research regulations at the applicant’s institution.

Full guidance on FAPESP pump-priming awards (PDF, 306KB)

How we will assess your application

Applications are assessed internally and jointly by BBSRC and FAPESP based on the following:

  • value added to bioscience through the partnership
  • likelihood of future joint research, particularly through the UKRI-FAPESP joint funding of research scheme
  • uniqueness of the opportunity and expertise of the partners
  • exchange opportunities for early career scientists
  • whether the collaboration is new or ongoing; if ongoing, what new aspects are being brought to it
  • level of contribution by UK and Brazilian institutions
  • relevance to BBSRC-funded research in food security, bioenergy and industrial biotechnology.

Contact details

For UK enquiries, email

For Brazilian enquiries, email Meritxell Zurita Turk,

Additional info


  • 17 June 2024
    Summary section updated to notify users that it is currently unavailable.
  • 21 March 2024
    Guidance notes document updated in the 'How to apply' and 'Additional info' sections.
  • 21 March 2024
    Contact for Brazilian enquiries updated in the 'Contact details' section.

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