Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Engineering Biology Missions Hubs and Mission Awards

Apply for 60-month Mission or 24-month Mission Awards in Engineering Biology.

This funding will develop an integrated research and innovation programme to deliver UK research and capacity and capability, drive technology development and uptake, and stimulate innovation to tackle major challenges through a mission focus.

Engineering biology is the application of rigorous engineering principles to the design and fabrication of biological components and systems, from modifications of natural systems to new forms of artificial biology. It encompasses the entire innovation ecosystem, from breakthrough synthetic biology research to translation and application.

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for BBSRC funding.

This competition is part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) National Engineering Biology Programme (PDF, 103KB).

Who can apply

These opportunities are open to eligible researchers at:

  • higher education institutions
  • research council institutes
  • approved independent research organisations
  • public sector research establishments

Check if you’re eligible for research and innovation funding.

Principal and co-investigators must meet our standard eligibility criteria, as outlined in BBSRC’s guidance for applicants.

Principal investigators or co-investigators based outside the UK are not permitted.

This opportunity has two strands; for each strand multiple applications by the same principal investigator are not permitted. A principal investigator may be a co-investigator on other applications. Co-investigators may participate in multiple applications.

Only include investigators who are essential for the delivery of the project.

The inclusion of researcher co-investigators is encouraged where they have made a substantial intellectual or technical contribution to the development of the proposal and will be engaged with the ensuing research. UKRI recognises the vital role that technicians make to research and innovation as per the UKRI technician commitment action plan, accordingly we strongly support the appropriate inclusion of skilled technical staff in grant proposals.

Potential applicants who are unsure whether they or their institution meet the relevant eligibility criteria are encouraged to contact us at engbio@bbsrc.ukri.org

What we're looking for

UKRI is inviting applications for:

  • Mission Hubs in Engineering Biology, maximum funding of £13.1 million (100% FEC) for up to 60 months, with a further £1.15 million capital equipment available per proposal
  • Mission Awards in Engineering Biology, funding ranging from £0.6 million to £1.9 million (100% FEC) for up to 24 months, with a further 20% as capital per proposal
  • UKRI will fund 80% of the full economic cost

Purpose

UKRI recognises the importance of engineering biology as a strategic priority for the UK and the need for a variety of interventions to support discovery research, national capability, commercialisation, industry adoption and private investment. Continued investment is required for transformative underpinning research and technology development in order to stimulate innovation to tackle major challenges such as climate change, health and energy.

Aims

This investment is anticipated to play an important part in delivering against the below aims for engineering biology in the UK, to:

  • generate new knowledge from research and innovation activities
  • stimulate growth of multi and interdisciplinary communities to support the future exploitation of engineering biology: increase the interdisciplinary collaborations that are fundamental to the development of new technological solutions, and to the adoption and exploitation of existing technological solutions into new sectors and markets
  • increase investment and engagement with business, and increase productivity in the UK to:
    • improve academic and business collaboration in the UK
    • increase inward investment from manufacturers and companies
  • increase job and company creation. Increase business growth and employment
  • translate fundamental research and innovation for the benefit of the UK, enabling the faster development of:
    • effective materials
    • food
    • chemicals
    • energy carriers
    • medicines
    • therapies
    • remediated environments
  • deliver infrastructure benefits: Improve the capability of research and development (R&D) infrastructure, unlocking any benefits associated with this novel R&D
  • enhance the UK’s research standing internationally, increasing the number of highly trained researchers attracted and retained in the UK
  • deliver enhanced equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) cultural benefits to UK: introduce positive changes in EDI in research, improving the reputation of the UK and attract new talent nationally and internationally

Mission Approach

To achieve these aims we will develop foundational capability in the UK’s world class engineering biology research base which can be exploited by UK industry to accelerate the commercialisation and deployment of world leading technology. A missions-based approach will unlock the full potential of Engineering Biology in four priority areas selected through extensive stakeholder consultation as part of the National Engineering Biology Programme (NEBP), which will set inspiring and stretching targets which focus the efforts of academia, industry and other partners, on complex problems which require a coordinated approach for successful delivery.

Funding opportunity structure

There will be a single funding opportunity for proposals comprising two funding options spanning both Mission Hub and Award opportunities, with a mandatory Expression of Interest required by 5 May 2023 at 4:00pm and full applications by 19 July 2023 at 4:00pm

Applications must be demonstrably in the field of engineering biology which UKRI defines as:

  • engineering biology is the application of (rigorous) engineering principles to the design and fabrication of biological components and systems, from modifications of natural systems to new forms of artificial biology. It encompasses the entire innovation ecosystem, from breakthrough synthetic biology research to translation and application.’

Each application to this funding opportunity must be focused on at least one of the following four engineering biology mission areas:

Engineering Biology for Food Systems: Delivering a more productive, sustainable and secure agriculture and food sector.

This mission will address key challenges in agriculture and food including food and nutrition security, sustainability, and resilience. It will deliver transformative solutions that enable the agri-food system to be more sustainable, productive, diverse, resilient and healthy.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • developing an engineered agricultural soil microbiome to deliver more effective fertiliser uptake, plant microbial associations, resilience to heat, drought or salinity, and improved soil-based plant disease resistance
  • development of sentinel plant species for production challenges such as pests and diseases and nutritional deficiency
  • developing alternative protein sources, lab-grown meats and new forms of food for human health which are sustainable, healthy and safe
  • supporting sustainable livestock production by developing engineered feed supplements to reduce methane emissions

Engineering Biology for Biomedicine: Delivering new therapies and diagnostics

Engineering biology will provide new biologic therapies and new diagnostic tools leading to improved human health outcomes. This mission would enable development of novel technologies and solutions, such as, engineered cells/tissues/networks and biomaterials for regenerative medicine, precision drug delivery and targeting, new classes of enzymes and drugs, novel diagnostics and advanced therapy manufacturing technologies. It will transform and enhance our toolkit by which we can diagnose, prevent and fight disease.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • exploiting engineering biology approaches for the innovation of diagnostics such as biosensors or theranostics for the real-time regulation of complex disease states redesigning the genetic code with the intention of developing new materials and functions to improve human health
  • developing engineering biology approaches to dissect molecular pathways and map the relationship between genotype and phenotype to improve health
  • using engineering biology, alongside regenerative biology and stem cells in approaches to develop novel technologies and solutions

Engineering Biology for Clean Growth: Delivering less carbon-intensive and more environmentally sustainable manufacturing processes and supply chains.

This mission will present bio-manufacturing solutions, create sustainable and renewable supply chains, and develop efficient and smart power generation and storage solutions, increasing productivity and reducing carbon emissions. It will contribute to achieving the UK government’s ambitious net zero targets.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • producing one or more product types, including fine chemicals and chemical precursors as an alternative to petrochemical feedstocks
  • establishing circular economies for key areas such as metals, plastics and textiles and creating value from waste streams
  • efficient and sustainable production of biopharmaceuticals such as monoclonal antibodies, enzymes and growth factors
  • developing engineered living materials with adaptive properties beneficial to the construction industry

Engineering Biology for Environmental Solutions: Supporting the diagnosis and cure of environmental issues

In this mission engineering biology technologies will be developed and applied to address challenges including bioremediation, waste management, carbon-capture, biomining, and resilient, biodiverse agri-environmental systems and ecosystems.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • improving or expanding bioremediation capability of plant or microbial systems for soil, land or ecosystem restoration
  • developing sentinel species for the early detection of environmental challenges such as, for example., drought, disease, toxicity
  • developing solutions to invasive plant or animal pathogens, providing robust long-term resistance to new diseases.
  • testing and deploying engineered biological tools for monitoring and treatment of pollutants in water systems

As described in UKRI’s Engineering Biology Overview (PDF, 103KB), both cross-cutting research and technologies and discovery-led projects are key elements of UKRI’s National Engineering Biology Programme. However, for this specific opportunity projects must positively demonstrate that they are addressing one or more of the four missions above. Projects investigating disruptive approaches with broad applicability can be considered but must have a clear line of sight to at least one mission area.

Engineering Biology Opportunities – Missions Funds

This funding will develop an integrated research and innovation programme that will generate interdisciplinary critical mass and offer skills development and expertise, secure foundational activity and drive discovery towards commercial impact. It will tackle strategic challenges aligned with the challenge areas, found below.

Applications must adopt a mission approach which provides leadership and a clear focus to support research and innovation, driving commercialisation, adoption and diffusion of engineering biology in a challenge area. Fundamental research in isolation will not be considered within scope of this funding opportunity, rather the research and innovation must be presented in a manner that demonstrates significant technological development and drives translation and commercialisation of engineering biology concepts.

Applicants will be invited to submit applications to one of two opportunities, Mission Hubs or Awards:

Hubs – maximum funding of £13.1 million at 100% FEC (£10.5 million 80% FEC) for up to 60 months. With a further £1.15 million capital equipment available per proposal

The mission hubs are significant long-term investments that will act as a beacon in the UK engineering biology landscape, providing a focal point and playing a leadership and coordination role that will deliver benefits far greater than could be achieved by individual projects alone.

A hub should drive research and innovation (existing or new and novel) towards tangible mission-oriented impacts, including both economic and societal. Fundamental research may feature as a part of the programme. However, this should not be the primary focus of any individual hub.

The hubs will be for up to five years and UKRI will award up to £10.5 million (80% FEC), with a further £1.15 million capital available per proposal. These capital funds must be spent by the recipient within the first 12 months of the award and applicants should discuss this requirement with their relevant procurement and finance officers prior to submission, particularly taking into UKRI’s guidance for applicants on costs we fund.

After 60 months, we anticipate that each hub will demonstrate impact towards the UK’s aims for engineering biology, and ultimately deliver validated processes or major platforms with multiple beneficial outcomes, making a clear difference to how technology impacts UK society. Through relevant research and innovation, translation and commercialisation activities, various outcomes and impacts are anticipated, including for example:

  • the generation of intellectual property and licenced technology
  • the adoption of technology and applications into industry; solutions to commercially exploit technological developments (including spin-out or start-up companies)
  • creation of jobs and growth; establishment or further development of capability distributed across the UK
  • attracted or increased investment into UK R&D
  • other comparable outcomes

These investments will be monitored to ensure performance towards impact for the UK society and economy.

The hubs will be geographically distributed, train the next generation of innovators, and enable multiple institutions and organisations to work in collaboration.

It is anticipated that 1 60-month hub will be funded within each of the four mission areas (details above), subject to the review and assessment of the applications. In demonstrating the importance of the mission and how engineering biology can be exploited towards translation and commercialisation, we strongly encourage applications from consortia of suitable crossdisciplinary and multidisciplinary communities, seeking to work together to drive cutting-edge advances in engineering biology toward impacts in key sectors.

Collaboration and consortia formation will be crucial to the successful translation of ideas towards translation and commercialisation. Through this opportunity we anticipate that multiple partners can work towards a common focus with complementary and joined up research and innovation activities. Institutions may collaborate on more than one hub (meaning those that are not leading the hub) and single institutions applying to this opportunity must clearly demonstrate why and how the necessary collaboration and capacity building can be achieved within their own institution.

Appropriate consideration for industrial engagement and partnership on applications is anticipated, particularly on strands of research and innovation that are expected to have step-changing impact on markets and sectors. Similarly, you should factor in approaches to managing responsible research and innovation, and regulation, and should ensure that your proposed activities align with UKRI’s trusted research and innovation principles.

Consideration of the generation, diffusion and adoption of standards and metrology is encouraged where appropriate, including any suitable partnership to maximise their development and uptake:

  • awards funding range from £0.6 million to £1.9 million at 100% FEC (£0.5 million to £1.5 million at 80% FEC) for up to 24 months. With a further 20% available for capital equipment available per proposal

Building on existing strengths and emerging opportunities in engineering biology, these awards will also align with the four mission areas. They are not expected to be integrated with pre-existing hubs nor affiliated with applications submitted to the hubs opportunity above, but will be expected to act as sites of distributed research and innovation excellence, exploiting the potential of engineering biology and potentially focused on growing capacity and capability, in support of the four missions.

The awards will be for up to two years and UKRI will award funding in the range of £0.5 million to £1.5 million (80% FEC), with a further 20% as capital per proposal. These capital funds must be spent by the recipient within the first 12 months of the award. Applicants should discuss this requirement with their relevant procurement and finance officers prior to submission, particularly taking into UKRI’s guidance for applicants on costs we fund.

In comparison to the 60-month hubs, it is anticipated that these 24-month awards would have a focus on shorter-term developments for engineering biology in the UK, for example, a focus on the testing of existing technological solutions in new and novel contexts, or the establishment or growth of a new or nascent community and capabilities to create a platform for future UK growth.

After 24 months, we anticipate that recipients of funding will be able to demonstrate how the outcomes from this could serve as a springboard towards future opportunities.

It is anticipated that multiple 24-month awards could be funded within each of the four challenge areas, subject to the review and assessment of the applications.

You should demonstrate the importance of the mission and how engineering biology can be exploited towards translation and commercialisation, and we strongly encourage applications from consortia of suitable crossdisciplinary and multidisciplinary communities, seeking to drive cutting-edge advances in engineering biology toward impacts in key sectors.

Similar to the model for the hubs , it is anticipated that these 24-month awards could take a variety of configurations subject to the maturity of the field.

An application focused on the establishment of a community towards a new and novel concept for engineering biology would not have the same expectations for the level of industry participation nor investment. Appropriate consideration, however, for industrial engagement and partnership on applications must be clearly demonstrated. Similarly, you should factor in approaches to managing responsible research and innovation, and regulation.

For both the hubs and mission awards:

UKRI partners will provide opportunities for the recipients of funding to form a cohort to network and disseminate the developments and impact of their research and innovation within and across the challenge areas. We anticipate that recipients of this funding will become community champions, working with UKRI and other award holders to help shape the future development of the NEBP.

Engagement, diversity, and connectivity are encouraged across and between disciplines and communities to bring about the growth of new and novel translation and commercialisation opportunities while enhancing the UK’s resilience and responsiveness for the future.

How to apply

Stage one: Mandatory Expression of Interest (Closed)

A mandatory Expression of Interest (EoI) stage must be completed before it closed on 5 May 2023 at 4:00pm UK time. This EoI will require information about your proposed idea, a summary description of aims and objectives and details of the team and project partners. Failure to complete the EoI will mean any full proposals submitted will automatically be rejected.

Stage 2 Mission Hubs: full proposal (invitation only)

After the EoI has been completed and the office has got in touch to invite a full application, you must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S).

The opportunity for Mission Hubs will open on 24 May 2023 and proposals must be submitted through the Je-S System. The deadline for submission is 19 July 2023 at 4:00pm.

When applying select:

  • council: BBSRC
  • document type: Standard Proposal
  • scheme: Standard
  • call/type/mode: Engineering Biology Mission Hubs

See the Je-S handbook for advice on completing applications to BBSRC.

Please read the full BBSRC guidance for applicants before applying.

As well as the Je-S application form, the following documents must be submitted:

  • case for support (up to 12 pages)
  • justification of resources (up to 5 pages)
  • team résumé for researchers (up to 3 pages)
  • work plan (up to 2 pages)
  • data management plan (up to 2 pages)
  • letter(s) of support

For specific guidance on documentation, please see the Engineering Biology Mission Hubs call guidance document, which can be found in the additional information at the bottom of this page.

Stage 2 Mission Awards: full proposal (invitation only)

After the ItS has been completed and the office has got in touch to invite a full application, you must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S).

The call for Mission Hubs will open on 2 June 2023 and proposals must be submitted through the Je-S System. The deadline for submission 19 July 2023 at 4:00pm.

When applying select:

  • council: BBSRC
  • document type: Standard Proposal
  • scheme: Standard
  • call/type/mode: Engineering Biology Mission Awards

See the Je-S handbook for advice on completing applications to BBSRC.

Please read the full BBSRC guidance for applicants before applying.

As well as the Je-S application form, the following documents must be submitted:

  • case for support (up to 8 pages)
  • justification of resources (up to 2 pages)
  • team résumé for researchers (up to 2 pages)
  • work plan (up to 1 pages)
  • data management plan (up to 1 pages)
  • letter(s) of support

For specific guidance on documentation, please see the Engineering Biology Mission Awards funding opportunity guidance document, which can be found in the additional information at the bottom of this page.

Attachments: guidance for both funding opportunities

For all forms all submissions must:

  • adhere to the stipulated page limits
  • use standard font (size: 11 point. We recommend the use of Arial, Helvetica or Verdana typeface)
  • use standard margin sizes (not less than 2 centimetres)

This excludes text on diagrams and the use of mathematical symbols.

A minimum of single line spacing and standard character spacing must be used.

Applications that do not adhere to these guidelines may be rejected. We recommend that where a document contains any non-standard fonts (scientific notation, diagrams, and so on) and that the document is converted to PDF prior to attaching it to the proposal.

As part of UK Research and Innovation’s commitment to the principles of San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), publication references within the application should be provided as Digital Object Identifiers wherever possible.

How we will assess your application

The assessment of applications will be a 2-stage process:

  • Expression of Interest (Mandatory)
  • Full proposal

In the event of this funding opportunity being substantially oversubscribed as to be unmanageable, UKRI reserve the right to modify the assessment process.

Stage 1: mandatory Expression of Interest (EoI) for Mission Hubs and Mission Awards

  • Check eligibility, remit and fit to funding opportunity scope
  • anticipate expected submission levels
  • identify panel members

In the event of high demand for this funding opportunity, UKRI reserves the right to introduce demand management measures during the assessment process.

Stage 2 Mission Hubs: expert panel review with interview

Proposals will be reviewed by an independent panel of experts and candidates will be invited to an interview by the panel in 2023.

Full details of the interview process will be sent to candidates before the interviews. The interview will assess whether the proposed hub meets the assessment criteria sufficiently.

The panel may recommend conditions for UKRI to impose before funding is awarded. Based on the panel’s recommendations, UKRI reserves the right to seek further information from the applicants before awarding funding.

Feedback will be provided following interview.

Stage 2 Mission Awards: expert panel review and prioritisation

All proposals which meet the eligibility criteria will be sent to external peer reviewers for their comments. When a sufficient number of quality reviewer comments have been received, and if the application gains enough support from these comments, the principal investigator will be invited to submit a response to the reviewers’ comments.

UKRI will then convene a panel for those competitive applications invited to principal investigator response. The panel will rank the proposals drawing on the assessment criteria using the applications, reviews and principal investigator responses. UKRI will decide, based on the advice of the panel, which applications to support.

Assessment criteria

The following assessment criteria will be used for both Stage 2 for both the Mission Hubs and Mission Awards. Your application is assessed on:

  • scientific quality
  • strategic relevance to the national research portfolio
  • diverse talent and skills capacity
  • commercial relevance and alignment to industry needs
  • cross-disciplinary breadth and diversity of collaboration
  • impact and engagement
  • fit to the scope of the funding opportunity
  • value for money
  • leadership, management and governance
  • capability to deliver

Outcomes

You will be notified of the funding decisions by email following the assessment process.

Feedback

We will provide panel feedback to all applicants by email.

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

If you have any queries regarding the remit of engineering biology opportunities, please do get in touch via engbio@bbsrc.ukri.org or contact the following individuals.

Contacts

Ian Lewis, BBSRC

Email: ian.lewis@bbsrc.ukri.org

Karen Davies, EPSRC

Email: karen.davies@epsrc.ukri.org

Graham Campbell, MRC

Email: graham.campbell@mrc.ukri.org

Simon Kerley, NERC

Email: simon.kerley@nerc.ukri.org

Gordon Ford – Innovate UK

Email: gordon.ford@iuk.ukri.org

Include ‘Engineering Biology Missions’ in the subject line.

We aim to respond within 5 working days.

Get help with applying through Je-S

Email

jeshelp@je-s.ukri.org

Telephone

01793 444164

Opening times

Je-S helpdesk opening times.

Additional info

Mission hubs and awards webinar

A webinar was held on 18 April that provided an overview of the Engineering Biology Mission Hubs and Awards opportunities, outlining the missions and providing more information on eligibility and how to apply.

There was also a question and answer session following the main presentation with a panel that included representatives from BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC and NERC.

View a recording of this webinar on Zoom.

To view the webinar, please enter the passcode: 9^+Gyq27

Please note the presentation commences one min 30 seconds from the start of the recording.

UKRI collaboration

The funding opportunity will be led by BBSRC on behalf of the funders, however, please do not interpret BBSRC’s delivery of this opportunity as a limitation to the scope nor remit of the funding opportunity. Engineering biology spans the remit of UKRI, and not just one specific council.

The funding opportunity has been developed in partnership with:

  • BBSRC
  • EPSRC
  • Innovate UK
  • MRC
  • NERC

As these opportunities are part of the overall National Engineering Biology Programme (NEBP), we also recognise the close collaboration with Dstl (MoD) as partners in the NEBP.

Scope: definition of engineering biology

Applications must be demonstrably in the field of engineering biology.

What is engineering biology?

Engineering biology is the process of taking synthetic biology concepts and translating them into real-world solutions. It is the design and fabrication of biological components and systems, from modifications of natural systems through to artificial biology. For the purposes of UKRI activities, engineering biology refers to:

  • the development or use of synthetic biology, using engineering principles, to design and fabricate biological components and systems
  • the adoption of synthetic biology into industrial processes
  • the development of tools and technologies that specifically support synthetic biology

Consequently, engineering biology encompasses the entire innovation ecosystem, from breakthrough synthetic biology research to translation and application.

Synthetic biology can be described as the design and construction of novel biologically based parts, devices and systems, as well as redesigning existing natural biological systems for useful purposes. It incorporates the principles of engineering (for example modularity, abstraction and orthogonality) into classical biotechnology.

Building on past funding opportunities, the following bullet points will help applicants identify whether they are within scope of engineering biology:

  • is the project demonstrably and predominantly engineering biology?
  • if the project is not demonstrably engineering biology, will this work enhance the field of engineering biology? For example, development of a solely computational approach that will revolutionise engineering biology design of experiment
  • if the work is building on pre-existing engineering biology expertise and knowledge, how is this project going to further the impact, through translation and commercialisation?

In addition to the considerations above, we have identified the following list of exclusions and inclusions to demonstrate the boundaries of the remit for this opportunity. This list is not exhaustive; however, these will hopefully demonstrate the requirements and scope of the engineering biology component(s).

Specific examples of inclusions (illustrative not exhaustive):

  • orthogonal biosystems: we encourage proposals in engineering cells and organisms to include systems or parts not found in nature to impart new capacities or chemistry
  • regulatory circuits: proposals for designing and inserting well-characterised circuits or networks, to generate new functions or responses in cells and organisms, are encouraged
  • protocells: we also encourage proposals in bottom-up chemical design approaches to produce synthetic or semi-synthetic cells and compartments
  • metabolic engineering: proposals involving using complex modifications informed by predictive models of biosynthetic pathways to allow or enhance production of useful products are also encouraged
  • minimal genomes: we encourage proposals involving the understanding of the minimal number of parts (genes) needed for life, to serve as a chassis for engineering minimal cell factories for new functions
  • bio nanoscience: proposals for projects that utilise and exploit synthetic molecular nano machines based on cellular systems are also encouraged

Specific examples of exclusions:

  • applications that focus on the engineering of a system in which biology is embedded, rather than engineering the biological system itself
    • for example, engineering the scaffold in tissue engineering, while not engineering the biological component
  • applications that are learning from biology, rather than engineering the biological system.
    • for example, design of a purely physical or chemical mechanical construct, taking inspiration from biological systems, rather than engineering an artificial or modified biological system
  • applications focused on the development of an output of engineering biology, with no tangible engineering biology occurring in the project:
    • for example, an experiment using a metabolite of a well-established engineered chassis as an input to a chemical process, with no demonstrable element of engineering biology conducted by the applicants
    • counter point: projects would be considered in scope if they are taking pre-existing engineering biology in a new context, novel chemical production for the first time using this chassis
  • applications where engineering biology is only a small component of the overall workplan
    • for example, a large consortia project where only one of six work packages is demonstrably engineering biology

Capital equipment

A separate business case for the capital equipment component of the application will not be required, but the need for the equipment in meeting the aims of the project must be clearly outlined and described in the justification of resources.

Costs such as initial installation or service maintenance contracts can be included if they are one-off costs and part of the manufacturer’s offer. These costs should also be included in the justification of resources.

Service maintenance contracts may extend a maximum of 24 months past the end date of the award, but the contract cost must be paid within the first 12 months. Where a compelling case can be made for warranties and service contracts extending beyond this time, these will be considered if appropriately justified.

Refurbishment or installation costs may be eligible under the scheme providing these are an absolute requirement for the proper functioning of the capital equipment requested (for example, a ventilation system or cold room). These costs must be itemised in the application and fully justified.

Contributions from the host institution or institutions and other external sources are encouraged but not mandatory. These may take the form of cash contributions, running costs, or staff resourcing associated with the equipment, for example, managing, operating, or providing training on the equipment.

All resources requested (directly incurred, directly allocated and exceptions, including principal investigator and co-investigator time) must be fully justified. Items that would ordinarily be found in a department, for example non-specialist computers, should include justification both for why they are required for the project and why they cannot be provided from the research organisation’s own resources (including funding from indirect costs from grants).

The application should include at least three recent quotes (meaning, dated in the last six months at the time of the opportunity closing date) for the equipment, or reasons not to include three quotes are clearly stated in justification of resources. All quotes must be provided in GBP. When quotes are not provided in GBP the conversion rate used at the time of submission must be clearly stated in the justification of resources.

Capital equipment will be funded at 100% full economic cost.

Supporting documents

UKRI Engineering Biology Overview (PDF, 103KB)

Royal Academy of Engineering “Engineering Biology: A priority for growth” (PDF, 1720KB)

Equality Impact Assessment document (PDF, 156KB)

Engineering Biology Mission Hubs funding opportunity guidance (PDF, 192KB)

Engineering Biology Mission Awards funding opportunity guidance (PDF, 199KB)

Updates

  • 9 October 2023
    Updates to timeline: panel meeting changed from October 2023 to November 2023; new entry added for interviews (invite only); funding announcement changed from November 2023 to December 2023 (to be confirmed).
  • 7 July 2023
    1. New 'Capital equipment' content added in the 'Additional info' section. 2. Engineering Biology Mission Hubs and Engineering Biology Mission Awards funding opportunity guidance documents updated in the 'Additional info' section. 3. BBSRC contact updated in the 'Contact details' section.

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