Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: BBSRC Taiwan-UK partnering award

Apply for funding to develop partnership links with laboratories in Taiwan. This is part a wider International Partnering Awards programme.

This is a joint opportunity with the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), Taiwan.

You must hold a current BBSRC research grant that:

  • started before the application deadline
  • has at least six months remaining from the start of this award.

Collaborative activities will include:

  • travel for one or more investigators in either direction
  • visits and access to overseas institutions
  • exchange of staff for scoping studies and skills exchange
  • workshops and networking
  • researcher exchanges.

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £25,000. BBSRC will fund 100% of the full economic cost.

Funding is available for up to four years.

Who can apply

Applications must be made by a principal investigator who is currently in receipt of BBSRC research funding. In addition, the associated BBSRC grant must have started before the application deadline and must have at least six months remaining from the start of the award.

The following applicants are eligible to apply:

  • principal investigators on an active BBSRC standard research grant
  • principal investigators on an active BBSRC themed research grant
  • recipients of a current fellowship award from BBSRC
  • principal investigators or co-investigators on a current BBSRC strategic longer and larger (SLoLa) grant or initiative grant with funding of over £1 million
  • principal investigators or co-investigators on a current BBSRC institute strategic programme grant at a national institute of bioscience:
    • Babraham Institute
    • Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences
    • John Innes Centre
    • The Roslin Institute
    • Rothamsted Research
    • The Earlham Institute
    • The Pirbright Institute
    • Quadram Institute.

The following applicants are not eligible to apply:

  • BBSRC studentship award holders, including:
    • Cooperative Awards in Science and Engineering (CASE) studentships
    • Doctoral Training Partnerships
    • Industrial CASE partnerships
  • holders of BBSRC grants which do not have research as the primary objective, including:
    • Flexible Talent Mobility Accounts
    • Impact Acceleration Accounts
    • follow on funding
    • holders of BBSRC funding within an academic department.

Full details of eligibility criteria for BBSRC funding can be found in the BBSRC research grants guide.

We encourage joint applications by consortia of UK partners, which could include industrial and non-BBSRC funded partners. However, a BBSRC funded applicant must lead the consortia and submit the proposal using the Joint Electronic Submission system.

What we're looking for

Awards can be used to fund the following collaborative activities in emerging areas of science relevant to BBSRC’s strategic priorities:

  • travel for one or more investigators in either direction
  • visits to overseas institutions
  • access to facilities
  • exchange of personnel for scoping studies and skills exchange
  • workshops and networking
  • researcher exchanges
  • other collaborative activities.

Collaborative activities are not limited to the principal investigator and we encourage the involvement of early career researchers and technicians within the project.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) aims to enable a dynamic, diverse and inclusive system of research and innovation in the UK, which gives the opportunity for everyone to participate and to benefit. People are the heart of this system and we therefore encourage principal investigators to consider involvement of the broader research base when scoping projects, explaining their approach in the case for support.

Further detail on the breadth of the technical, practical, analytical and management skills which technicians contribute, may be found within the UKRI Technician Commitment Action Plan.

Partnering award funds can be used to support student exchanges, however, applications will not be accepted where this is the primary aim of the project.

It is acceptable for the proposed partnering award to outlast the associated research grant however the associated BBSRC grant must have started before the application deadline and must have at least six months remaining from the start of the award. The earliest start date of the award is 1 April 2023.

Funding available

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £25,000. BBSRC will fund 100% of the full economic cost.

Applications should be made at current costs in accordance with subsistence and travel regulations at the applicant’s institution. For each main activity, indicative costs should be shown.

BBSRC may index approve costs so awards made will include an allowance for inflation. Any award made will be cash limited, and whilst funds should be used for the activities requested, the use of funds to allow activities that were not originally envisaged will be allowed as long as they are in pursuance of the overall objectives of the partnering award and within the guidelines.


You must follow travel advice set out by your institutions and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office before departure and should check travel guidance for countries of interest when preparing an application.

BBSRC will not cover the cost of any time spent in quarantine as a result of travelling on an International Partnering Award grant. To manage risks associated with travelling, you should make optimal use of remote working solutions.

Support available for access to overseas facilities

Funds may be used to support access to specialist equipment and facilities overseas. These direct research costs may not account for more than 20% of the total value requested from BBSRC, and cannot be used to support salary costs, consumables, overheads or items of equipment. Costings should be outlined on the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system in the ‘Other Directly Incurred Costs’ section.

Support available for people with caring responsibilities

You can request additional care costs as part of an International Partnering Award grant proposal. These may cover the additional care requirements for visits, meetings and overseas travel undertaken as part of the supported activity.

Costs that form part of someone’s normal care arrangements must not be included and making arrangements for the care to be provided is the responsibility of the carer themselves.

Costs should be reasonable and outlined on Je-S in the ‘Other Directly Incurred Costs’ section. Funds for supporting people with caring responsibilities should form part of the overall budget envelope.

Ineligible costs

No indirectly incurred costs can be applied for under the partnering awards scheme.

As partnering awards are based on currently funded BBSRC research, they are not a vehicle for supporting single research projects and partnering awards cannot be used to fund:

  • salary costs
  • overhead costs
  • consumables
  • items of equipment
  • other research costs
  • conference attendance.

For convenience and cost efficiency, BBSRC does allow award holders to arrange collaborative meetings alongside conferences at which their partners are already present. However, the award funds cannot be used to pay for the additional conference accommodation and costs such as registration.

The funding should be seen as a ‘pump-priming’ award. Research groups will be expected to access other sources of funding. This could include a monetary contribution from your institution or department or an in-kind contribution such as venue hire or accommodation costs.

How to apply

Submission route for the UK partner

The UK and Taiwan partners are required to submit separate applications. Within each proposed collaboration, the UK partners must submit an application to BBSRC, while the Taiwan partners must also submit an application to NSTC, Taiwan.

Submitting your application through NSTC

Taiwan applicants should consult NSTC for up-to-date details of their application procedure.

Applications that are submitted only to BBSRC or NSTC will not be accepted.

Read the UK-Taiwan annex (PDF, 84KB).

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

You can find advice on completing your application in the Je-S handbook.

We recommend you start your application early.

Your host organisation will also be able to provide advice and guidance.

Submitting your application through Je-S

Before starting an application, you will need to log in or create an account in Je-S.
When applying:

  1. Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’.
  2. Select ‘call search’.
  3. To find the opportunity, search for: 2022 International Partnering Awards.

This will populate:

  • council: BBSRC
  • document type: standard proposal
  • scheme: international partnering awards
  • call/type/mode: 2022 International Partnering Awards.

Once you have completed your application, make sure you ‘submit document’.

You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.


BBSRC must receive your application by 10 November 2022 at 16:00.

You will not be able to apply after this time. Please leave enough time for your proposal to pass through your organisation’s Je-S submission route before this date.

You should ensure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines that may be in place.


Your application should also include the following attachments.

Case for support

The case for support should be a maximum of three sides of A4. It should be written in single spaced Arial, Helvetica or Verdana typeface font size 11 and margins must not be less than 2cm.

The case for support must contain the following sections:

  • the main scientific objectives
  • summary of previous contact or links with proposed partners
  • details of the work to be carried out
  • an explanation of how the consortia have ensured an appropriate team, and the steps taken to consider equality, diversity and inclusion. Further information may be included within an optional, additional attachment (maximum of one side of A4)
  • statement of added value: indicate the benefit of the proposed collaboration to UK science and in particular, the relevance to your current BBSRC funding.

Applications must demonstrate how this award will add value to BBSRC science (and in particular their associated BBSRC-funded research grant) and facilitate longer-term collaborations between the UK and the partnering country.

Work plan

The work plan must be a maximum of one side of A4. It should be a Gantt chart or diagrammatic action plan which outlines the activities and timelines for the work to be carried out. This must be included in the application.

Cover letter

A short cover letter must be included in the application.

Additional documents

A letter of support (maximum one side of A4) from, for example, the proposed collaborators may also be included but is not mandatory.

CVs and publication lists are not required. However, you may wish to include any particularly pertinent recent publications.

For a full list of information required for collaborative grants with industry and other users, please refer to the BBSRC grants guide (section 2.9 to 2.18).

Equality, diversity and inclusion

This is an additional optional attachment, which can be added under ‘Other Attachment’. The equality, diversity and inclusion attachment can be up to a maximum of one side of A4.

Within this document, you may wish to include an outline of how you have taken a meaningful, yet proportionate consideration of the steps taken to ensure an inclusive partnership.

Read more about the equality impact assessment guidance and template (PDF, 153KB).

How we will assess your application

Assessment criteria

UK applications are assessed internally by BBSRC. Internal assessment of these proposals allows partnering award applications to be processed swiftly and in proportion to the size of the awards.

An internal review process can be applied as the applications are based on awarded BBSRC grants which have undergone robust peer review. All proposals will be assessed against the following criteria.

Benefits to BBSRC research

Proposals are assessed against the following criteria:

  • the relevance of the award and benefit that this will bring to BBSRC-funded projects
  • the benefits brought back to the UK, for example through access to new facilities or unique partnerships that would have been otherwise unavailable
  • the uniqueness of the opportunity to work with international partners in ways that would otherwise be unavailable
  • the level of contribution (either financial or in-kind) from the UK institution or the overseas partner in addition to the amount sought from BBSRC.

Partnership working

Proposals are assessed against the following criteria:

  • opportunities for the exchange of researchers and technicians, with a balance of activities that are appropriate to the topic area
  • an explanation of how an appropriate team has been selected for this partnership and the consideration given to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion of participants
  • an explanation of why this particular collaboration has been chosen and how it adds value to BBSRC research
  • opportunities for early career researchers that will benefit their future career
  • a detailed breakdown of the project workflow (for example, a Gantt chart).

You should refer to BBSRC’s delivery plan for further information on BBSRC’s strategic priorities.

Contact details

Get help with developing your proposal

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

Ask about this funding opportunity

Sania Afzal, Assistant Portfolio Manager International


Get help with applying through Je-S



01793 444164

Opening times

Je-S helpdesk opening times

Additional info


The BBSRC forward look for bioscience recognises that collaboration and engagement with overseas researchers produces benefits to the BBSRC research and innovation community, the UK and partner countries across the globe. It is therefore important that BBSRC continues to ensure that strong linkages are developed and sustained in the biosciences.

In 2000, BBSRC launched its first partnering awards opportunity with Japan. Since then, BBSRC has expanded the scheme to include partnering awards for:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • European countries
  • India
  • New Zealand
  • Taiwan
  • the United States
  • global partnerships.

Since 2010, 275 International Partnering Awards have been funded, investing over £8 million.


The overarching aim of the International Partnering Award scheme is to provide resources to leading BBSRC supported research groups. These resources allow groups to forge long-term relationships with international researchers and technical specialists, in areas of research that are of direct relevance to BBSRC’s current research and innovation strategy.

The purpose of the awards is to provide ‘pump-priming’ funds for building new links with overseas researchers and technical specialists, which will add value to existing BBSRC funded research grants.

Specific objectives that underpin the Partnering Awards scheme are:

  • establish partnerships between UK and overseas research laboratories
  • promote the exchange of researchers and technical specialists, enabling a dynamic, diverse and inclusive system of research and innovation
  • promote access to facilities, knowledge and expertise
  • tackle BBSRC’s strategic challenges as outlined in the BBSRC delivery plan:
    • bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food
    • bioscience for renewable resources and clean grown
    • bioscience for an integrated understanding of health
    • advancing the frontiers of bioscience discovery.

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and BBSRC are:

  • committed to encouraging EDI by eliminating unlawful discrimination in accordance with the Equality Act 2010
  • encouraging applications from research teams exploiting the strength of diversity in the entire UK research and innovation community.

You are expected to consider these issues from the earliest stage of building your teams through to the delivery of awarded projects.

Consideration of EDI is important for all applications to BBSRC for funding. We expect particular care to be taken for projects which involve diverse partnerships, international travel and extended overnight stays. For example, those supported through the BBSRC International Partnering Award scheme.

UKRI’s key principles for equality, diversity and inclusion.

Grant maintenance

All grant maintenance requests (for example, a grant extension request, extension to start date, transfer of organisation) should be made through the grant maintenance facility in the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system. All requests for extensions must be made once the required duration is known and before the grant ends.

Read the post award guidance.

Reporting requirements

All grant holders must use Researchfish to record key findings and specific outputs from their grants. Grant holders can enter information into Researchfish at any time throughout the year and submit during the annual submission period.

Read more about reporting your project outcomes.

Data sharing notice

BBSRC carries out the processing of personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation.

The information you provide will only be used by BBSRC for the purpose of carrying out reviewing and assessment for making a funding decision.

By providing your information, you are consenting to its use as detailed above. Further relevant information is available in the UKRI privacy notice and the UKRI data protection policy.

Supporting documents

Guidance for Je-S application process (PDF, 145KB)

Equality and inclusion impact assessment (PDF, 153KB)

BBSRC Taiwan Partnering Awards previous awards (PDF, 153KB)

Full guidance document (PDF, 261KB)

Taiwan-UK annex (PDF, 84KB)


  • 20 June 2023
    Previous awards document updated in the 'Additional info' section.

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