Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Business and academia prosperity partnership: round 2 full stage

Start application

Apply for this invitation-only opportunity to support emerging or established research-based partnerships between business and academic institutions.

The full proposal stage requires both an academic and business partner.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) will fund 80% of the full economic cost (100% for skills and talent training costs).

Your project can be up to five years.

Who can apply

You can only apply for this funding opportunity if we have invited you to do so following a successful Business and academia prosperity partnership: round 2 outline application.

The submission of the documentation will be undertaken through the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service by the academic project lead (PL). The PL one of UKRI’s new grant roles.

Submissions to this funding opportunity will count towards the BBSRC unsuccessful applicants and resubmissions policy.

Business organisations

Businesses can act as the business lead if they are:

  • a UK-based business or have UK-based research activity
  • a business in the private sector driven by profit, or from an organisation with a commercial arm which generates independent revenue
  • able to contribute to the UK national prosperity through increasing their investment in research and development activities and subsequent product, service, or technology development in the UK

Businesses may be a contributor to other bids as a project partner. Other businesses can collaborate in the partnership as project partners, but the majority of the matched contribution is expected from the business lead.

Academic organisations

Research organisations can act as PL (the primary academic partner in the partnership) if they are eligible to receive research council funding. The following organisations are eligible:

  • UK higher education institutions
  • research council institutes
  • UKRI-approved independent research organisations
  • public sector research establishments
  • NHS bodies with research capacity

Check if your institution is eligible for research and innovation funding.

If your bid is successful, the grant will be awarded to the PL, and they will manage the funding and project on behalf of all project co-leads. A research organisation may lead or partner on more than one bid and bids may comprise more than one research organisation.

Primary business and academic project leads

This programme has a business lead and an academic PL. In the Funding Service, the project lead will be notified as the academic one, but the full stage assessment will consider both the business and project lead.

Check if you’re eligible for BBSRC funding as a project lead.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new Funding Service.

For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion

We recognise that excellence in science requires diversity and equality to promote innovation and creativity. To do so effectively, all available talent must be harnessed. We expect equality and diversity to be an integral part, at all levels of research practices as a part of our funding portfolio.

We seek to ensure that equality principles are applied to all funding activities and consider that no one should be excluded or hindered from a career in science because of their sex, ethnic background, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy or maternity, marriage, or civil partnership (protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010).

We are committed to supporting the research community, offering a range of flexible options which allow you to design a package that fits your research goals, career, and personal circumstances, for example career breaks, caring responsibilities, flexible working, and alternative working patterns. Therefore, these aspects should be strongly ingrained into the projects proposed for this opportunity. One common approach is to reference institutional strategies and policies related to equality, diversity and inclusion and indicate that the prosperity partnership would be delivered in alignment with these activities.

Learn more about our equality, diversity, and inclusion strategy.

What we're looking for

While the expectations from the outline stage remain the same, these elements should be expanded on in the full proposal. Applicants should not deviate substantially from their initial application, however, adaptations of work packages to accommodate scientific advances, or changes based on interview panel feedback are acceptable. The core elements of the proposal such as the vision and ambition or leadership team should not change. The primary purpose of the full stage is to assess the technical and scientific merit of the proposal in light of the vision and ambition described at the outline stage.

The final budget should be within 20% of the costings stated at the outline stage.

Business-led, co-created and co-delivered

The prosperity partnership funding opportunity aims to fund business-led research that arises from an industrial need, with the work being co-delivered between the business and project leads.

The opportunity is aimed at supporting excellent, world-leading discovery research and innovation, which has clear benefit to the businesses involved, resulting in accelerated impact arising from the new knowledge, innovations, or technologies.

Co-creation of the research programme is essential. We expect programmes funded through this opportunity to:

  • drive forward shared research challenges
  • demonstrate impact beyond the partners
  • provide benefits to the businesses involved

The programme should contribute positively to the overall strategic partnership framework which exists between the parties.

It should be clear that both the business and academic researchers are making distinct intellectual contributions to the partnership.

Where an individual is discharging responsibilities within both a business and a research organisation, for example, as a consequence of being involved in university spin-outs, clarity on separation of duties and managing conflicts of interest is essential.

If the proposal is funded, a collaboration agreement will be requested before the grant is authorised.

Strategic considerations

The research challenges to be addressed in the prosperity partnership should:

  • be relevant to stimulating innovation aimed at tackling major problems faced by the UK and the world
  • drive capability in key technologies and scientific advancements

We recognise that the specific outcomes will be unique to each project, but you should consider how you might:

  • deliver new or improved products or services
  • drive efficiencies or cost reductions
  • enable expansion to new sectors or markets while also jointly authoring high-impact publications

Ultimately, the project should seek to provide economic impact and prosperity that wouldn’t exist without the partnership.

Place

We seek to foster greater collaboration and networking between researchers, business, and civic bodies to deliver research, skills, and innovation vital to the long-term prosperity of communities and regions of the UK.

While not an assessment criterion, we encourage you to consider and articulate how your partnership potentially aligns and supports both industrial and civic ambitions or priorities for regional economies.

Where applicable, you are also asked to demonstrate what place-based outcomes might be expected to arise from your projects, both in the short and longer term. These may include (but are not restricted to):

  • local and regional economic growth, skills development, job creation or retention
  • critical mass activities leading to increased private investment, including foreign direct investment, in a specific place
  • contributions to cluster development through, for example, knowledge diffusion, supply chain development, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) growth, generation, or growth of spin outs

Responsible innovation

You are expected to work within the UKRI framework for responsible innovation.

You should consider and implement plans for responsible innovation throughout the research project, and include details of these plans in the application, including specific actions that will be taken.

International collaboration

Applicants planning to include international collaborators on their proposal should view our trusted research guidance on getting the most out of international collaboration while protecting intellectual property, sensitive research, and personal information.

Scope

The primary balance of research and innovation should be focused on bioscience and biotechnology which covers BBSRC’s remit (at least 50%). Other research and innovation areas supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) may be included if they clearly strengthen the research, innovation, or partnership.

We encourage multidisciplinary research and recognises that many prosperity partnerships will involve multidisciplinary research and innovation.

Business and academic project leads should ensure that:

  • the business and academic partners have a demonstrable emerging or established research-based relationship
  • there are clear plans to evolve this relationship via user-inspired shared research challenges and the prosperity partnership is a key component of the plans to evolve and strengthen this relationship
  • both partners are committed to the co-creation of a jointly delivered large scale research programme at technology readiness levels (TRLs) one to four
  • the business and academic partners can commit to matching funding for the prosperity partnership with at least a matched contribution in cash. In-kind contributions are permitted but cannot form part of the matched component
  • a definitive list of eligible cash contributions is set out in the ‘Definitive list of eligible cash contributions for business leads and partners’ section
  • no UKRI, public, or government funding will be used as co-investment, and the partners are able to clearly demonstrate an auditable transfer during the grant duration

The business lead must be:

  • from a business in the private sector driven by profit or from an organisation with a commercial arm which generates independent revenue
  • in a position to contribute to the nation’s prosperity through increasing their investment in UK based research and development activities and subsequent product development in the UK

The topic of the research and innovation programme is primarily focused on bioscience and biotechnology within BBSRC’s remit. Multidisciplinary projects are welcomed and funding from other UKRI councils may be sought as long as more than 50% of the topics or work lies within BBSRC’s remit.

Matched cash contribution

Our funding is at 80% of the full economic cost with exceptions for skills and talent training costs (100%  full economic cost).

The funding we provide must be (as a minimum) matched with commercially generated revenue in cash by the business lead (in single lead bids). In multi-partner bids, this contribution can be collectively provided, but the majority has to come from a single business lead.

Cash contributions will count against the matched contribution.

A definitive list of cash contributions can be found in the ‘Definitive list of eligible cash contributions for business leads and partners’ section. Any contribution from business or other project partners not included in the cash contribution list will count as ‘in-kind’.

We are happy to discuss contribution details prior to submission.

Where a prosperity partnership has a single business lead

The full matched cash contribution (as a minimum) should be provided by the business lead.

Where a prosperity partnership has multiple business partners

The combined cash contributions from the business partners must, at a minimum, match the BBSRC funding. The majority of this matched funding is required to be provided by the business lead for the partnership.

It is permissible for the lead business to provide the entirety of the matched cash contribution and also have additional project partner contributions. Once the matched cash contribution has been reached, additional contributions can be in cash or in-kind.

For both single and multiple partner prosperity partnerships, there can be complex arrangements and objectives. Where appropriate and necessary, we would be happy to consider and potentially discuss any necessary elements of proposals prior to submission.

All bids

Cash contributions from all partners can exceed the matched cash contribution project requirement.

In-kind contributions are any non-cash contribution from business, academic, or other project partners not included in the definitive list of eligible match contributions. In-kind contributions such as data, software, management time, and facilities access are strongly encouraged and can help show additional and varied business commitments to ensure the success of the project however, they will not count towards the matched cash contributions.

Any academic partner cash contributions (including those of the academic project lead) will not contribute to the matched cash funding project requirement.

No UKRI or other UK government money, as part of baseline funding or otherwise, may be used or included to form part of the matched cash contribution requirement.

We will not mandate a specific audit format for the business contributions to a project. However, a formal record must be produced upon request. This must be able to demonstrate a continuous auditable cash transfer, or staff time-record, by the business partner per year in each year of the programme.

As an exception, requests for skills and talent training are covered at 100% full economic cost so these need to be costed appropriately and considered for total matching of grant funding by the business partner(s).

Definitive list of eligible cash contributions for business leads and partners

The following is the definitive list of eligible cash contributions.

We expect the time of researchers, postdoctoral research associates, technicians, business-funded doctoral students, and the grant manager to be fully costed onto projects depending on how much time a person would spend on it.

In the application, it is expected that the role and responsibilities of costed persons are detailed, and it is demonstrated clearly how their experience and skills are linked to work packages and outcomes. The appropriateness of the time devoted to the project will be assessed in the panel interview and peer review at the full proposal stage.

Gross salary can be claimed as matched funding (that is, including indirect costs such as pension, National Insurance, and taxes) but not business overheads or profits. The salary of a single member of staff (researcher, postdoctoral research associates or grant manager) can be covered in partnership by the business lead and BBSRC funds in a ratio that best suits the project.

Below we state the eligible cash contributions for business leads and partners.

Researcher salaries

All or part of the pro rata gross salary cost associated with researchers employed by universities (including co-investigators).

Postdoctoral research associates’ salaries

All or part of the gross salary cost associated with research associates employed by research organisations to work exclusively on the prosperity partnership.

Research associates can also be employed directly by the businesses in the partnership and the appropriately costed gross salary can be claimed as a cash contribution depending on how much time the person spends on the prosperity partnership.

Professional grant manager salaries

Pro rata gross salary cost of a professional grant manager.

Technician salaries

Pro rata gross salary cost of technicians.

Software licences

New software licences needed for the project and their maintenance cost for the duration of the grant. Software licences or intellectual property (IP) owned by the business which are already accessible by the partners will apply at marginal cost, not at market rate.

New equipment

Equipment may be sought as part of the prosperity partnership and the equipment requested must be necessary to the successful delivery of the proposed research.

Items of multiple-use equipment (where the equipment is necessary for the pursuit of the proposed research but will not be fully occupied on it) may also be sought.

The application must set out the other proposed uses and explain the overall benefit to BBSRC science of the equipment investment being sought. Find out more in the BBSRC research grants guide.

Equipment produced by the business

Equipment produced by the business is only claimable at the cost of manufacture (not market) rate.

Access to equipment and facilities

Access to specific equipment and facilities critical to achieve the outcomes of the project. If the facility is based at the academic project or business lead’s facility, the cash contribution will be valued at cost.

Facilities development

Facilities development can be an eligible business cash contribution if the upgrade will increase the capability of the facilities with specific benefit to the proposed work. This contribution must be justified in addition to any estate costs already factored in. Any facilities development contributions require discussion with us prior to submission.

Business cash donation

Business cash donations which will be provided to the partner universities, for the universities to manage in line with the project objectives.

Skills and talent training

Extra skills and talent training to support doctoral and research master’s studentships, higher apprenticeships, continuing professional development of the project’s research and innovation team, exchanges, and secondments. Skills and talent training may be up to a maximum of 20% of the matching contribution.

Skills and talent training

Workforce development plan

The workforce development plan will set out your aims, objectives, future actions, and anticipated outcomes for developing an excellent, inclusive, and supported team with the right people and the right skills to deliver the strategic objectives of the proposed prosperity partnership.

It will describe any other added value actions the partnership will take to develop skills in the wider research and innovation community. The plan will set out what resources will be required and deployed to meet these goals.

It will consider:

  • the team of people needed to lead, implement, and support the prosperity partnership’s work streams
  • the depth and breadth of skills in the current team and how skills gaps will be addressed through continuing professional development or new recruitment
  • the diversity profile of the team and measures to address any identified social and demographic imbalances
  • opportunities for added value activities to train the next generation of researchers, technical specialists, entrepreneurs, and innovators

To meet the ambitions of the workforce plan, skills and talent training activities should be costed into the main grant. Examples of these activities include doctoral and research master’s studentships, higher apprenticeships, continuing professional development of the project’s research and innovation team, exchanges and secondments, and the development of training resources.

These activities may be targeted to the core team assembled to deliver the prosperity partnership, or for the purpose of developing new talent for the sector at all levels and in all roles needed.

Note that any requests for doctoral or research master’s studentships or higher apprenticeships based in academia must ensure that the projects allocated to these trainees will not be critical to the successful delivery of the prosperity partnership’s strategic objectives.

For any doctoral studentships requested, we expect that they receive cohort-based training by either aligning them with existing doctoral investments within the research organisation (for example, a Doctoral Training Partnership or Collaborative Training Partnership) or through new plans in this prosperity partnership for cohort-based training. Details of these approaches will be required.

We encourage you to follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the Technician Commitment.

Intellectual property

Given that strategic partnership arrangements should already exist between partners, BBSRC expects that collaboration agreements and arrangements for the management of intellectual property (IP) will be in place ahead of the submission of a full proposal.

We will not specify terms for collaboration agreements or IP arrangements but expect any agreements to recognise the significant amount of public funding being invested in the programme.

Funding available and timeframe

The full funding amount of £17 million will be delivered in a single round with projects being up to five years in length.

BBSRC funding is at 80% full economic costs with exceptions for skills and talent training costs (100% full economic cost).

Requested funds may include:

  • staff costs
  • equipment and other items required to carry out the project
  • costs related to impact
  • travel and subsistence
  • skills and talent training costs

Please see the BBSRC research grants guide for guidance on equipment funding.

How to apply

We are running this funding opportunity on the new UKRI Funding Service. You cannot apply on the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system.

The academic project lead is responsible for completing the application process on the Funding Service, but we expect all team members and project partners to contribute to the application.

Only the lead research organisation can submit an application to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

To apply

Select ‘Start application’ near the beginning of this Funding finder page.

  1. Confirm you are the project lead.
  2. Sign in or create a Funding Service account. To create an account, select your organisation, verify your email address, and set a password. If your organisation is not listed, email support@funding-service.ukri.org
    Please allow at least 10 working days for your organisation to be added to the Funding Service.
  3. Answer questions directly in the text boxes. You can save your answers and come back to complete them or work offline and return to copy and paste your answers. If we need you to upload a document, follow the upload instructions in the Funding Service. All questions and assessment criteria are listed in the How to apply section on this Funding finder page.
  4. Allow enough time to check your application in ‘read-only’ view before sending to your research office.
  5. Send the completed application to your research office for checking. They will return it to you if it needs editing.
  6. Your research office will submit the completed and checked application to UKRI.

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into words
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • files must be smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Guidance on the types of support that may be sought and advice on the completion of the research proposal forms are given in BBSRC’s guidance for applicants which should be consulted when preparing all proposals. It is important to get in contact with us directly if you have any queries regarding what we will support at 100% or 80% full economic cost.

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.

For more guidance on the Funding Service, see:

References

Applications should be self-contained, and hyperlinks should only be used to provide links directly to reference information. To ensure the information’s integrity is maintained, where possible, persistent identifiers such as digital object identifiers should be used. Assessors are not required to access links to carry out assessment or recommend a funding decision. Applicants should use their discretion when including references and prioritise those most pertinent to the application.

References should be included in the appropriate question section of the application and be easily identifiable by the assessors, for example Smith, Research Paper, 2019.

You must not include links to web resources to extend your application.

Deadline

BBSRC must receive your application by 8 May 2024 at 4:00pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time.

Make sure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines.

Following the submission of your application to the funding opportunity, your application cannot be changed, and applications will not be returned for amendment. If your application does not follow the guidance, it may be rejected.

Personal data

Processing personal data

BBSRC, as part of UKRI, will need to collect some personal information to manage your Funding Service account and the registration of your funding applications.

We will handle personal data in line with UK data protection legislation and manage it securely. For more information, including how to exercise your rights, read our privacy notice.

Publication of outcomes

BBSRC, as part of UKRI, will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity on our website.

If your application is successful, we will publish some personal information on the UKRI Gateway to Research.

Summary

Word limit: 550

In plain English, provide a summary we can use to identify the most suitable experts to assess your application.

We usually make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, therefore do not include any confidential or sensitive information. Make it suitable for a variety of readers, for example:

  • opinion-formers
  • policymakers
  • the public
  • the wider research community

Guidance for writing a summary

Clearly describe your proposed work in terms of:

  • context
  • the challenge the project addresses
  • aims and objectives
  • potential applications and benefits

Core team

List the key members of your team and assign them roles from the following:

  • project lead (PL)
  • project co-lead (UK) (PcL)
  • specialist
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • doctoral student
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher
  • researcher co-lead (RcL)

Only list one individual as project lead.

The project lead and project co-lead have replaced the principal investigator and co-investigator roles, respectively. Please see the full descriptions of these new harmonised set of role types being used in the Funding Service.

The researcher co-lead role has replaced the research co-investigator role previously used in Je-S grant applications. They will be an individual who merits appropriate recognition for making a substantial contribution to the formulation and development of the application and will be closely involved with the project. They will be employed on the project by and based at the institutions of the project lead or any project co-leads.

It is mandatory for this funding opportunity to have a business lead. The business must be based in the UK or have UK-based research activity. See ‘Scope’ in the funding opportunity text to find out more about what constitutes as a business lead.

Find out more about UKRI’s core team roles in funding applications.

Application questions

Vision

Word limit: 500

What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how your proposed work:

  • is of excellent quality and importance within or beyond the field(s) or area(s)
  • has the potential to advance current understanding, or generate new knowledge, thinking or discovery within or beyond the field or area
  • is timely given current trends, context, and needs
  • impacts world-leading research, society, the economy, or the environment

Within this section, we expect you to outline the following:

  • a research vision which should clearly lead to or directly enable a significant step change in knowledge, understanding, or technology that will have a major impact on the UK research base
  • a clearly stated business-led vision and ambition which identifies why the challenges are ambitious, the relationship between the academic and industrial partners, why academic-business collaboration is essential for success, and why the objectives cannot be achieved by any single partner alone

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Approach

Word limit: 4000

How are you going to deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your approach so that it:

  • is effective and appropriate to achieve your objectives
  • is feasible, and comprehensively identifies any risks to delivery and how they will be managed
  • uses a clearly written and transparent methodology (if applicable)
  • summarises the previous work and describes how this will be built upon and progressed (if applicable)
  • will maximise translation of outputs into outcomes and impacts
  • describes how your, and if applicable your team’s, research environment (in terms of the place and relevance to the project) will contribute to the success of the work

Within this section, we expect you to address the following:

  • the response should outline in detail the science and innovation to be undertaken throughout the proposed project and clearly demonstrate the methodology intended to be used in order to attain the objectives
  • the response should explain how appropriate and feasible this is for the programme of work, whist also considering responsible research and innovation
  • the response should set the proposed research in the context of the current state of knowledge, other work underway in the field, and how the research partnership might be relevant to national and international strategy or policy
  • a workplan which should cover the full length of the project and indicate appropriate milestones for when important decisions on the direction of the research will be taken
Contextual information

Given the nature of the prosperity partnership programme, context should be given which details the business, academic, UK economic, and societal benefits that will be derived. The reviewers will be asked to focus on the research programme, methodology, feasibility, and associated technical detail.

The following headings should be used in your response:

  • Background
  • Academic and industrial outcomes, and benefits
  • Research hypothesis and objectives
  • Research programme and methodology
  • Workplan

You are expected to include a workplan and a project Gannt chart in this section. A project Gannt chart is compulsory and should be inserted as an image at the very end of this section. The Gannt chart should identify appropriate deliverables, responsibilities, and time points for each objective.

We understand that there may be some flexibility within the project so plans must be covered in detail for the first two years of the programme. The plan should reference the management and governance strategy, highlight relevant KPIs, as well as refer to the monitoring and evaluation framework where relevant.

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. You may include images, graphs, tables

Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

References may be included within this section.

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 2500 (R4RI) and 500 (Additions)

Why are you the right team to successfully deliver the proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how your team, have:

  • the relevant experience (appropriate to career stage) to deliver the proposed work
  • the right balance of skills and expertise to cover the proposed work
  • the appropriate leadership and management skills to deliver the work and your approach to develop others
  • contributed to developing a positive research environment and wider community

Within this section we expect you to:

  • outline how the team’s skills and expertise as a whole relate to the delivery of the project’s vision and ambition, and how these will directly contribute to the realisation of proposed outcomes and wider benefits
  • expand on your outline stage application to evidence and demonstrate the additionality and added-value the business partner(s) will bring to the team in relation to the delivery of the projects work packages and vision

Use the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) format to showcase the range of relevant skills you and your team (project and project co-leads, researchers, technicians, specialists, partners and so on) have, and how this will help deliver the proposed work. You can include individuals’ specific achievements but only choose past contributions that best evidence their ability to deliver this work.

Complete this section using the R4RI module headings listed. Use each heading once and include a response for the whole team, see the UKRI guidance on R4RI. You should consider how to balance your answer, and emphasise where appropriate the key skills each team member brings:

  • contributions to the generation of new ideas, tools, methodologies, or knowledge
  • the development of others and maintenance of effective working relationships
  • contributions to the wider research and innovation community
  • contributions to broader research or innovation users and audiences and towards wider societal benefit
Additions

Provide any further details relevant to your application. This section is optional and can be up to 500 words. You should not use it to describe additional skills, experiences, or outputs, but you can use it to describe any factors that provide context for the rest of your R4RI (for example, details of career breaks if you wish to disclose them).

Complete this as a narrative. Do not format it like a CV.

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

References may be included within this section.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new Funding Service.

For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Monitoring, evaluation, and benefits realisation

Word limit: 500

What are the plans for monitoring, evaluation, and benefits realisation throughout the lifetime of the project?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence that the team has appropriately demonstrated how:

  • regular monitoring and evaluation will be considered throughout the project
  • deliverables and milestones will be routinely reviewed to ensure that the most exciting and promising lines of research are pursued and that sufficient resources are assigned to ensure the project is professionally managed and benefits can be realised
  • potential routes to benefits realisation and how these will be exploited throughout the lifetime of the project, including through strategic collaboration between the lead academic and business partners in order to maximise translation and impact arising from the partnership

National Importance and Global Relevance

Word limit: 500

How will the proposed research and partnership be of national importance and global relevance?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

The panel will consider the extent to which the proposed work could:

  • contribute to addressing important UK or global challenges (current, emerging, or future)
  • support UK economic success or enable the emergence or growth of new and existing sectors or industries
  • meet national strategic needs and capability by establishing, growing, or maintaining unique, world leading research and innovation capacity (including areas of niche capability)
  • fit with and complement other UK research already funded in the area or related areas, including the relationship to the BBSRC portfolio

Resources and cost justification

Word limit: 1,000

What will you need to deliver your proposed work and how much will it cost?

In this section we will ask for the following:

  • what is the full economic cost of your project?
  • what is the total value of funding being requested from BBSRC?
  • what is the total value of the business lead’s cash contribution?
  • what is or are the individual cash contributions of additional project partners?
  • what is the total value of the project lead’s organisation’s cash contribution?
  • what is the total project value?
  • what is the total value of the business lead’s in-kind contributions?
  • what is the total value of the project lead’s organisation’s in-kind contributions?
  • what is the total value of the additional project partners (academic and business) in-kind contributions?
  • what is the overall project value?

In the Funding Service a table will be provided that can be used to complete your response.

In your text response, the following headings should be used:

  • Resources requested from BBSRC
  • Cost exceptions
What the assessors are looking for in your response

Justify the application’s more costly resources, in particular:

  • project staff
  • significant travel for field work or collaboration (but not regular travel between collaborating organisations or to conferences)
  • any equipment that will cost more than £10,000
  • any consumables beyond typical requirements, or that are required in exceptional quantities
  • all facilities and infrastructure costs
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘Exceptions’

Within this section we expect you to demonstrate that:

  • the resources requested are credible and appropriate in terms of meeting the needs of the scientific research programme
  • the resources requested are sufficient to deliver the stated vision and ambition of the programme including any relevant training, the realisation of the outlined benefits, and delivery of impact to the UK
  • any cost exceptions, for example costs being requested at 100% full economic cost such as studentships and any equipment that is being requested at greater than 50% of the research council contribution.

Assessors are not looking for detailed costs or a line-by-line breakdown of all project resources. Overall, they want you to demonstrate how the resources you anticipate needing for your proposed work:

  • are comprehensive, appropriate, and justified
  • represent the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes maximise potential outcomes and impacts

If you are unsure about what BBSRC is able to support at 100%, please contact us directly.

Please see the BBSRC research grants guide for guidance on equipment funding.

Technical annex

Word limit: 4,000

In a technical context, what is the proposed research that will be undertaken throughout the proposed project?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence that the technical annex outlines:

  • in detail the technical science and innovation to be undertaken throughout the proposed project

Your answer should be comprised of 500 words per major research challenge identified in the approach section, that is 500 words per work package. The format of the technical annex is for the applicants to decide and is specifically for the expert reviewers to assess the scientific merit of the proposal.

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

References may be included within this section.

Management and governance

Word limit: 500

What are your plans for management and governance?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence that plans for management and governance:

  • outline the operational and strategic aspects of the programme’s management and governance arrangements and should expand on the detail provided in the outline stage

The panel will consider the extent to which the proposed work demonstrates:

  • alignment to any existing governance arrangements for the partnership and the specific governance arrangements for this programme
  • day-to-day management strategy, including project, risk and financial management, and approach to monitoring and evaluation
  • plans for advisory and management boards, including indicative membership
  • plans for how the equality, diversity, and inclusion strategy will be implemented
  • plans for how responsible research and innovation strategy will be implemented

Successful applicants will be expected to hold annual independent advisory board meetings which must include individuals that are external from the project and are able to provide external expert advice. The advisory board must include BBSRC as well as any other co-funder representation.

Skills and talent training

Word limit: 1,000

What are your plans for workforce development (training and support) and what is required to deliver the objectives of the prosperity partnership?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

The panel will consider the extent to which the workforce development plan demonstrates:

  • that an excellent and inclusive training environment will be provided which is appropriate for alignment with the prosperity partnership
  • how the skills being developed will enable the delivery of the prosperity partnership’s goals and that the delivery of the plan is feasible
  • how the plan will offer career development opportunities for the people in receipt of this training
  • the value-added from the partnership with regards to skills and talent training

Within this section, we expect you to consider:

  • how the whole project team, from both the research organisation and the business will receive appropriate training and research experience
  • how the activities undertaken may benefit the workforce outside of the direct prosperity partnership project, for example other researchers and the innovation community
Contextual information

The plan should set out the team members required to deliver the prosperity partnership, for example researchers, technicians, apprenticeships, studentships, any other roles that would develop skills in the wider research and innovation community.

If your application includes doctoral or research master’s studentships or higher apprenticeships, regardless of the source of funding, they should be incorporated into the workforce development plan and should not be critical to the objectives of the project.

In order to receive doctoral students from UKRI, a letter of support from the director of a UKRI funded doctoral training partnership (DTP), collaborative training partnership (CTP), or centre for doctoral training (CDT) in which the students will be embedded, must be included.

Data management and sharing

Word limit: 1,000

How will you manage and share data collected or acquired through the proposed research?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

A data management plan which:

Your organisation’s support

Word limit: 5

Provide details of support from your research organisation.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide a statement of support from your research organisation detailing why the proposed work is needed. This should include details of any matched funding that will be provided to support the activity and any additional support that might add value to the work. The following letters of support are expected from your research organisation:

  • institutional letters of support. These should be provided by the lead and partner universities. These should outline the university commitment (cash and in-kind contributions) to the programme and the long-term strategy of working together
  • Technology Transfer Office (TTO) letters of support. These should detail the management of outputs from the proposed research
  • studentship letters of support (if applying for doctoral students). These should be provided by the institution responsible for hosting any UKRI-funded doctoral students

The committee will be looking for a strong statement of commitment from your research organisation.

For all letters of support, you must include the following details:

  • a significant person’s name and their position, from the TTO or research office, or both
  • office address or web link

Letters of support must be on headed paper and be signed and dated within six months of the proposal submission date.

BBSRC recognises that in some instances, this information may be provided by the research office, the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) or equivalent, or a combination of both.

Please note that the contribution of 20% of full economic was taken into account in designing this funding mechanism and any offer detailed must be in addition to the standard 20%.

Academic university researcher and investigator time, unless wholly covered by the university, should not be detailed here. Similarly, allocation of BBSRC funds received through other sources (for example DTP studentships) the proposed programme do not count towards the university offer.

It is expected that the Technology Transfer Office letter of support should outline:

  • the objectives of the collaboration
  • the key tasks, contributions, and responsibilities of the different partners
  • the agreed routes for dissemination of emerging results and management of intellectual assets, intellectual property, or both.
  • any direct or indirect interest from the academic partner in the commercialisation of the project
  • confirmation that, if the application is successful, a collaboration agreement will be put in place between all partners before research commences in line with UKRI research grant terms and conditions

Upload details are provided within the Funding Service on the actual application.

Project partners: letters of support

Upload a single PDF containing the letters or emails of support from each partner. These should be uploaded in English or Welsh only.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Enter the words ‘attachment supplied’ in the text box, or if you do not have any project partners enter ‘N/A’. Each letter or email you provide should:

  • confirm the partner’s commitment to the project
  • clearly explain the value, relevance, and possible benefits of the work to them
  • describe any additional value that they bring to the project
  • outline the company’s contribution to the collaboration including justification of the value of contributions where included
  • outline agreed routes for dissemination of emerging results and management of intellectual assets, intellectual property, or both.
  • confirm that, if the application is successful, a collaboration agreement will be put in place between all partners before research commences in line with UKRI research grant terms and conditions

It is expected that letters of support include:

  • an explanation of the direct ‘cash’ and in-kind contributions made by the lead business. This section must articulate how the provided resources will be used to add benefit
  • this section should include detailed information of the time the business investigators (including the business lead) will spend on the programme including costings

Letters of support must be on headed paper and be signed and dated within six months of the proposal submission date.

Allocation of BBSRC funds received through other sources, for example studentships or time apportioned to other activities will not count towards the business offer.

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply. If you do not have any project partners, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Ensure you have prior agreement from project partners so that, if you are offered funding, they will support your project.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word limit: 500

What are the ethical or RRI implications and issues relating to the proposed work? If you do not think that the proposed work raises any ethical or RRI issues, explain why.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate that you have identified and evaluated:

  • the relevant ethical or responsible research and innovation considerations
  • how you will manage these considerations

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

We will not fund a project if we believe that there are ethical concerns that have been overlooked or not appropriately accounted for. All relevant ethics sections must be completed.

Genetic and biological risk

Word limit: 700

Does your proposed research involve any genetic or biological risk?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

In respect of animals, plants or microbes, are you proposing to:

  • use genetic modification as an experimental tool, like studying gene function in a genetically modified organism
  • release genetically modified organisms
  • ultimately develop commercial and industrial genetically modified outcomes

If yes, provide the name of any required approving body and state if approval is already in place. If it is not, provide an indicative timeframe for obtaining the required approval.

Identify the organism or organisms as a plant, animal or microbe and specify the species and which of the three categories the research relates to.

Identify the genetic and biological risks resulting from the proposed research, their implications, and any mitigation you plan on taking. Assessors will want to know you have considered the risks and their implications to justify that any identified risks do not outweigh any benefits of the proposed research.

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Research involving the use of animals

Does your proposed research involve the use of vertebrate animals or other organisms covered by the Animals Scientific Procedures Act?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing research that requires using animals, download and complete the Animals Scientific Procedures Act template (DOCX, 74KB), which contains all the questions relating to research using vertebrate animals or other Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 regulated organisms. Save it as a PDF.

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply. If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Conducting research with animals overseas

Word limit: 700

Will any of the proposed animal research be conducted overseas?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing to conduct overseas research, it must be conducted in accordance with welfare standards consistent with those in the UK, as in Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research, page 14. Ensure all named applicants in the UK and overseas are aware of this requirement.

If your application proposes animal research to be conducted overseas, you must provide a statement in the text box. Depending on the species involved, you may also need to upload a completed template for each species listed.

Statement

Provide a statement to confirm that:

  • all named applicants are aware of the requirements and have agreed to abide by them
  • this overseas research will be conducted in accordance with welfare standards consistent with the principles of UK legislation
  • the expectation set out in Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research will be applied and maintained
  • appropriate national and institutional approvals are in place
Templates

Overseas studies proposing to use non-human primates, cats, dogs, equines or pigs will be assessed during NC3Rs review of research applications. Provide the required information by completing the template from the question ‘Research involving the use of animals’.

For studies involving other species, select, download, and complete the relevant Word checklist or checklists from this list:

Save your completed template as a PDF and upload to the Funding service. If you use more than one checklist template, save it as a single PDF.

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply.

If conducting research with animals overseas does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Research involving human participation

Word limit: 700

Will the project involve the use of human subjects or their personal information?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing research that requires the involvement of human subjects, provide the name of any required approving body and whether approval is already in place.

Justify the number and the diversity of the participants involved, as well as any procedures.

Provide details of any areas of substantial or moderate severity of impact.

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Research involving human tissues or biological samples

Word limit: 700

Does your proposed research involve the use of human tissues, or biological samples?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing work that involves human tissues or biological samples, provide the name of any required approving body and whether approval is already in place.

Justify the use of human tissue or biological samples specifying the nature and quantity of the material to be used and its source.

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Facilities

Word limit: 500

Does your proposed research require the support and use of a facility?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you will need to use a facility, follow your proposed facility’s normal access request procedures. Ensure you have prior agreement so that if you are offered funding, they will support the use of their facility on your project.

For each requested facility you will need to provide the:

  • name of facility, copied and pasted from the facility information list (DOCX, 35KB)
  • proposed usage or costs, or costs per unit where indicated on the facility information list
  • confirmation you have their agreement where required

If you will not need to use a facility, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.

Peer review

We will invite experts to review your application independently, against the specified criteria for this funding opportunity. The academic and business project leads will have the opportunity to submit a joint response of no more than two A4 pages to these reviews.

You will not be able to nominate reviewers for applications on the new UKRI Funding Service. Research councils will continue to select expert reviewers.

We are monitoring the requirement for applicant-nominated reviewers as we review policies and processes as part of the continued development of the new Funding Service.

Interview

An expert interview panel will conduct interviews with applicants after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

We expect interviews to be held on 22 July 2024.

The panel will be run in accordance with BBSRC review policy and principles.

Panel members, unless conflicted, will have access to the funding opportunity and the documentation submitted to BBSRC. Panel members will be asked to refer to the assessment criteria as described above, and the reviewer forms will reflect this.

BBSRC will make the final funding decision.

Feedback

Written feedback will be provided to all applicants after the full stage peer review panel.

Principles of assessment

We support the San Francisco declaration on research assessment and recognise the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

Assessment areas

The assessment areas we will use are:

  • quality of proposed research (primary assessment criterion)
  • applicant and partnerships (primary assessment criterion)
  • monitoring, evaluation, and benefits realisation (primary assessment criterion)
  • national importance and global relevance (secondary assessment criterion)
  • resources and management (secondary assessment criterion)
  • skills and talent training (secondary assessment criterion)

Find details of assessment questions and criteria under the ‘Application questions’ heading in the ‘How to apply’ section.

Contact details

Get help with your application

If you have a question and the answers aren’t provided on this page

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Helpdesk is committed to helping users of the UKRI Funding Service as effectively and as quickly as possible. In order to manage cases at peak volume times, the Helpdesk will triage and prioritise those queries with an imminent opportunity deadline or a technical issue. Enquiries raised where information is available on the Funding Finder opportunity page and should be understood early in the application process (for example, regarding eligibility or content/remit of an opportunity) will not constitute a priority case and will be addressed as soon as possible.

Contact details

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.

For questions related to this specific funding opportunity please contact business.unit@bbsrc.ukri.org

Any queries regarding the system or the submission of applications through the Funding Service should be directed to the helpdesk.

Email: support@funding-service.ukri.org

Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

To help us process queries quicker, we request that users highlight the council and opportunity name in the subject title of their email query, include the application reference number, and refrain from contacting more than one mailbox at a time.

You can also find information on submitting an application.

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email business.unit@bbsrc.ukri.org

Include in the subject line: [the funding opportunity title; sensitive information; your Funding Service application number].

Typical examples of confidential information include:

  • individual is unavailable until a certain date (for example due to parental leave)
  • declaration of interest
  • additional information about eligibility to apply that would not be appropriately shared in the ‘Applicant and team capability’ section
  • conflict of interest for UKRI to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection
  • the application is an invited resubmission

For information about how UKRI handles personal data, read UKRI’s privacy notice.

Additional info

Webinar for potential applicants

We held a webinar on 5 September 2023. This provided more information about the funding opportunity.

Watch the webinar on Youtube.

Research disruption due to COVID-19

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities. We are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career, such as:

  • breaks and delays
  • disruptive working patterns and conditions
  • the loss of ongoing work
  • role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic

Reviewers and panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the capability to deliver and career development of those individuals included in the application. They will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the research they are proposing.

Where disruptions have occurred, you can highlight this within your application if you wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

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