The International Partnering Award Plus (IPAP) scheme aims to:
- pump prime collaborations between the UK and Japan in synthetic biology
- build readiness in the community to take on future joint opportunities.
Funding is available to build links with overseas researchers and technical specialists and for UK research costs. The IPAP funding opportunity is conceived to facilitate partnerships beyond what is possible with the International Partnering Awards (IPA) scheme.
Synthetic biology is the design, engineering and re-engineering of biologically based parts, devices and systems.
It incorporates the principles of engineering (for example modularity, abstraction and orthogonality) into classical biotechnology, and has a number of potential applications within the bio-based knowledge economy.
The intention of this IPAP funding opportunity with Japan is to only fund projects that are demonstrably in the themes of synthetic cells or synthetic genomes.
It is anticipated that partnership between the UK and Japan will span complementary and multidisciplinary expertise that will further the fields of synthetic genomics and synthetic cells.
This will either be through the development of fundamental approaches and technology or through the exploitation of these synthetic cells or systems for further biological understanding and application.
This funding opportunity aims to develop novel approaches, technologies and applications that allow for the efficient and effective construction or utilisation of ‘de novo’ or modified existing cells and genomes. We anticipate that applications may include:
- innovations in precision genome engineering technologies
- challenges at different biological scales (for example synthetic organelles, functionally modified cells and compartments, and artificial cells)
- bottom-up engineering or top-down strategies towards artificial cells and synthetic genomes.
You are encouraged to consider the exploitation of multidisciplinary expertise offered by partners in the UK and Japan.
To fully capitalise on the opportunity, where appropriate, you are particularly encouraged to integrate and exploit complementary technological advances, including, but not limited to:
- artificial intelligence
- computer-aided design.
Early career researcher and technician collaboration
Collaborative activities are not limited to the principal investigator and we encourage the involvement of early career researchers and technicians within the project.
UKRI aims to enable a dynamic, diverse and inclusive system of research and innovation in the UK, that gives the opportunity for everyone to participate and to benefit.
People are the heart of this system. We encourage principal investigators to consider the involvement of the broader research base when developing applications for this funding opportunity, explaining their approach in the case for support.
Further detail on the breadth of the technical, practical, analytical and management skills that technicians contribute, may be found within the UKRI Technician Commitment Action Plan.
What we will fund
The full economic cost of your collaboration may be up to £187,500. BBSRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost, so your award will not exceed £150,000.
The collaborative activity must last for 18 to 24 months.
You are encouraged to obtain additional funding to complement this award. This could be direct funding from other sources, or funding in-kind from host organisations or collaborators.
For UK participants, the grant will cover:
- UK research costs
- facilities costs in the UK and Japan.
The grant may be used to fund partnership building costs for participants in either country, such as:
- travel between the UK and Japan, including subsistence and accommodation costs
- venue hire, workshops and networking costs.
In addition, direct research costs that may be covered in the UK include:
- salary costs.
Costs to cover additional caring responsibilities are also eligible.
What we will not fund
We will not fund:
- international project partner costs such as salary and estates costs, except for travel and subsistence
- conference attendance. Award funds cannot be used to pay for conference accommodation and costs such as registration, but for convenience and cost efficiency BBSRC does allow award holders to arrange collaborative meetings alongside conferences at which their partners are already present.
Support available for people with caring responsibilities
You can request additional care costs as part of an IPAP grant proposal. These may cover the additional care requirements for visits, meetings and overseas travel undertaken as part of the supported activity.
Costs which form part of someone’s normal care arrangements must not be included and making arrangements for the care to be provided is the responsibility of the carer themselves.
Costs should be reasonable and outlined in the ‘other directly incurred costs’ section of the Je-S application. Funds for supporting people with caring responsibilities should form part of the overall budget envelope.
COVID-19 travel implications
You must follow the travel advice set out by your institution and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office before departure and should check Japan’s travel guidance when preparing an application.
BBSRC will not cover the cost of any time spent in quarantine due to travel on an IPAP.
How to present costs
Applications should be made at current costs in accordance with subsistence and travel regulations at the applicant’s institutions.
For each main activity, indicative costs should be shown within the Je-S form being submitted.
How awards will be paid
BBSRC may index approved costs, therefore awards made will include an allowance for inflation. All resources requested in the application must be fully justified.
BBSRC will pay the award directly to the lead UK organisation, which, where necessary, will be responsible for disbursing the funds to the co-investigators.
All grant holders must use Researchfish to record key findings and specific outputs from their grants. Grant holders can enter information into Researchfish at any time throughout the year and submit during the annual submission period.
Further details are available in our information on reporting your project outcomes.
UKRI may contact the grant holder and request more information on their grant for use in UKRI publicity or for use in ongoing office projects. Grant holders should make reasonable efforts to provide UKRI with information where requested.
BBSRC carries out the processing of personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The information you provide will only be used by BBSRC for the purpose of carrying out reviewing and assessment for making a funding decision. By providing your information you are consenting to its use as detailed above.
BBSRC is committed to protecting personal information and will ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the information supplied by the applicant. Further relevant information is available in the privacy notice and the data protection policy.