Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: strategic Longer and Larger (sLoLa) grants: frontier bioscience 2023 to 2024

Apply for funding to undertake large team-based fundamental bioscience research projects which push the frontiers of human knowledge.

Your project should:

  • have the potential to lead to major breakthroughs in our fundamental understanding of living systems
  • significantly enhance the capability and capacity of UK biosciences
  • demonstrate a fully integrated team science approach
  • demonstrate the need for longer and larger scale funding

The full economic cost of your project must be over £2 million. BBSRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

Projects can be up to five years in duration.

Full stage submissions are invitation only.

Please note this funding opportunity is in the full stage for invited applications only. The outline stage for this funding opportunity closed on 26 July 2023.

Who can apply

Before applying, check if you are eligible for BBSRC funding.

Please note: the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service will offer a simpler and better experience through a funding process which is supported by more consistent and robust policies and guidance.

UKRI is updating the individual eligibility policy to make the application process more inclusive and consistent across research council funding opportunities. Anyone previously eligible for funding will continue to be so. Further details of the new policy will be announced in due course.

Who is eligible to apply

This funding opportunity is open to teams of eligible researchers at:

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

A single principal investigator, who will be the main contact for BBSRC, must be designated as the project lead for administrative purposes.

The intellectual leadership and overall management of the project may be shared with any number of co-investigators at any number of eligible research organisations as part of a team science endeavour, with roles clearly specified in the application.

Who is not eligible to apply

Principal investigators and co-investigators who are not resident in the UK are not permitted.

Multiple applications with the same principal investigator are not permitted within the same funding round.

Principal investigators of currently active sLoLa awards may not apply as a principal investigator in this funding round, unless their grant is in its final year.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

BBSRC is committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Consideration of equality, diversity and inclusion is important for all applications to BBSRC for funding. Particular care should be taken for projects taking a team science approach involving multiple co-applicants, such as those supported through the sLoLa scheme.

We expect sLoLa teams to be exemplars for best research practice by promoting a positive research culture and providing an inclusive environment which promotes the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI and BBSRC’s equality, diversity and inclusion action policy.

What we're looking for

Scope

Frontier bioscience

Projects must be grounded in frontier bioscience: discovery research that pushes the limits of human knowledge, and which has the potential to lead to major breakthroughs in our fundamental understanding of living systems.

Projects are expected to generate new fundamental biological knowledge of broad and long-term significance, changing how we think about bioscience within and likely transcending their immediate fields. They should have the potential to make transformational, not incremental, contributions to our understanding of the principles which govern biological processes.

Projects can investigate ideas on any scale, or scales, of biological organisation in any study system, or systems, within BBSRC remit including but not limited to molecules, organisms, and populations. We particularly encourage applications which take a multiscale approach, integrating data-driven and experimental approaches from different bioscience disciplines.

Projects will typically be expected to utilise or, if needed, to develop the most cutting-edge transformative technologies, methods and approaches which you consider necessary to unlock and explore the frontiers of the bioscience area, or areas, under investigation.

We also welcome applications grounded in frontier bioscience but which are also potentially relevant to one or more of BBSRC’s world-class impact themes within our strategic delivery plan. However, applications that are not principally designed to deliver new fundamental bioscience knowledge, are unsuitable and likely to be excluded at the registration or outline stages.

Examples of unsuitable applications include those where the primary aim is to apply knowledge to tackle contemporary socio-economic challenges related to end-user driven objectives from within industry or sustainable development goals.

Other requirements

Longer and larger scale

Through an original and fully integrated research project, your idea must have the potential to lead to a major new contribution to biological knowledge, commensurate with the longer and larger scale of support provided.

Your application must provide a clear justification for the necessity of the longer and larger scale of funding through the sLoLa scheme, to the extent that the work could not be undertaken through several separate smaller awards, either in parallel or in series.

Your application must include a clear strategy for the integration of data and results generated such that the overall outcomes of the project are substantively different than the outcomes of individual work packages.

Your application must demonstrate overall coherence, connectivity, coordination and integration of the work to be carried out. This includes how the team will deliver substantively different and synergistic outcomes than could be achieved through the efforts of individual members or their research groups working in isolation.

Applications that lack a clear case for the need of longer and larger scale funding will be at a competitive disadvantage and may be excluded at the registration or outline stages.

Team science

Your application is expected to assemble a distinctive team of researchers drawn from the full breadth of expertise available across the UK with the collective capability of delivering the proposed work. Typically, this will span several research organisations or departments, or both.

Teams must collectively demonstrate that they have the appropriate depth and breadth of scientific, leadership, technical and management expertise to deliver the scale and complexity of the work proposed. This includes the ability to maintain the focus and momentum of longer and larger projects, as well as the skills to ensure the successful functioning of the wider team who may be distributed across multiple sites.

There is no requirement for principal investigators nor co-investigators to have held a similar sized award before. However, it should be clear how any individual holding significant scientific, leadership or management responsibilities will be mentored or otherwise supported by the wider team or institutional environment.

This is particularly important where an individual is stepping into a position with a greater degree of leadership or management responsibility than they have previously held. Dedicated project management support can also be incorporated into applications.

Your application should ensure the full complement of skills and expertise needed to achieve the expected outcomes are included and that the unique roles and responsibilities of each team member are clearly outlined and justified. Most sLoLa projects are expected to generate significant amounts of data, and therefore the key themes outlined in BBSRC’s recent review of data intensive biosciences (PDF, 4.2MB) should be carefully considered when assembling a research team.

Teams are encouraged to include researchers from the full depth and breadth of the UK’s diverse research and innovation talent pool, including different career pathways and stages. You should follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the Technician Commitment.

Strategic position

The proposed work should establish or significantly enhance an exceptional and unique bioscience research capability in the UK. Projects should lead to significant and distinctive improvements to health and vitality of the UK bioscience area, or areas, under investigation, raising its international profile to the point of being recognised as world-leading.

Your application should include consideration of how the proposed research fits with and complements other active UK and international research in the area, or areas, under investigation.

To facilitate the positioning of your application against the wider landscape of research investments, see the list of currently active BBSRC grants over £2 million. This is not an exhaustive account and you should consult other resources to build and demonstrate your own knowledge of the wider landscape.

BBSRC takes a strategic approach to investments, considering the overall balance of our portfolio in bioscience research. Applications in areas in which there is already substantial BBSRC or other UK Research and Innovation research council investment will be at a competitive disadvantage if significantly overlapping  these investments and may be excluded at the registration or outline stages. Particular attention should be paid to existing sLoLa-scale awards or research in areas covered by BBSRC institute strategic programme grants.

Remit

Work principally outside of BBSRC remit will be excluded. We encourage multidisciplinary applications, but we strongly advise potential applicants to contact us at support@funding-service.ukri.org before submission if you suspect substantial aspects of the application may be outside of BBSRC remit.

Duration

The duration of this award is up to five years.

It is anticipated that awarded grants will start in the latter half of the 2024 to 2025 financial year.

Funding available

The full economic cost of your project must be at least £2 million.

BBSRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

The indicative budget for this funding opportunity is up to £20 million, subject to the quality of applications received. We anticipate awarding between three and five grants in this funding round.

How to apply

Summary

Word limit: 550

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

We may make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, so 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)
  • researcher co-lead (RcL)
  • specialist
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher

Only list one individual as project lead.

Find out more about UKRI’s new grant roles.

Vision

Word limit: 2,000

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 fields or areas
  • 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

As part of this section, we expect you to:

  • introduce the topic of research and explain its academic and wider context
  • demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of past and current work in the subject area both in the UK and internationally
  • provide a summary of the results and conclusions of your recent work in the research area(s) relevant to the proposal
  • identify the overall aims of the proposed sLoLa research programme, set in the context the funding opportunity’s frontier bioscience scope, current knowledge, and the leading edge within the research domains

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant, please:

  • provide only directly relevant images that complement the written content in a section. Images should not be used to extend the word count
  • include within the image itself only text that is an integral part of it, including the legend. Ensure each image and any text included in it is clearly readable after uploading it
  • include a brief description of the image within the “Alternative description” text field, so that screen reader software can describe the image to meet accessibility requirements
  • include all other text associated with the description of the image, such as the figure number, and figure title, within the narrative text so that it can be read by screen readers and contribute to the word count of a section
  • files must be smaller than 8MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Approach

Word limit: 6,000

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

As part of this section, we expect you to:

  • provide the individual measurable objectives for the planned sLoLa and explain how these will be tackled. This should include a detailed description and justification for the methods and approaches to be employed
  • describe the programme of work, indicating the research (experimental and data analysis) to be undertaken and the milestones that can be used to measure its progress. The detail should be sufficient to indicate the programme of work for each member of the research team. Identify any potential risks within the research programme and strategies to mitigate these risks (for example, alternative approaches)
  • identify any equipment or resources you will need to access
  • explain why the proposed project is of sufficient timeliness and novelty to warrant consideration for funding. Highlight features which are particularly original or unique. sLoLa proposals are expected to be ambitious and potentially transformative, resulting in a step change in knowledge that will have a major impact on the research area

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant, please:

  • provide only directly relevant images that complement the written content in a section. Images should not be used to extend the word count
  • include within the image itself only text that is an integral part of it, including the legend. Ensure each image and any text included in it is clearly readable after uploading it
  • include a brief description of the image within the “Alternative description” text field, so that screen reader software can describe the image to meet accessibility requirements
  • include all other text associated with the description of the image, such as the figure number, and figure title, within the narrative text so that it can be read by screen readers and contribute to the word count of a section
  • files must be smaller than 8MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

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.

Added value

Word limit: 700 words

How will your sLoLa project add value to the research landscape?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

  • justify the need for sLoLa funding, describing the added value of funding through this mechanism. Outline a clear strategy for how the research team’s outputs (experiments, data and results) will be fully integrated to deliver ‘greater than sum of parts’ outcomes which could not be achieved through a series of smaller, shorter grants (for example, Responsive Mode awards)
  • outline how the proposed research complements and does not overlap with other research funded in this area nationally and internationally, including BBSRC’s research portfolio. For information on BBSRC’s portfolio, please see Gateway to Research and downloads on the funding opportunity web page

Strategic case

Word limit: 700 words

What is the strategic case for your sLoLa project?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

  • the significance and importance of the proposed research, including how the sLoLa award will enhance the international position of UK bioscience in the research area
  • how the research programme will have an impact on the broader health and vitality of UK bioscience. Where applicable, this might include:
    • plans for ensuring the longer-term legacy of data
    • software
    • technologies
    • other community resources
    • skills and national capability developed during the project
    • identifying potential routes towards economic or societal impacts where these may already be evident

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 3,000

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

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how you, and if relevant 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

The word count for this section is 3,000 words: 2,500 words to be used for R4RI modules and, if necessary, a further 500 words for Additions.

Use the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) format to showcase the range of relevant skills you and, if relevant, 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:

1. Describe the specific contribution of each applicant to the proposed sLoLa
  • their scientific contributions, for example, research field and specialist knowledge, experience, technical and data analysis expertise
  • their role and responsibilities, for example, managerial, leadership, mentoring
  • references to specific work packages are recommended
  • highlight where applicants will work collaboratively to deliver specific project requirements
  • include clear time commitments for each applicant
2. Describe how each applicant has contributed to the generation of new ideas, knowledge, tools, or methodologies
  • examples might include: contributions to (and skills acquired from) past research projects; key outputs such as publications, datasets, software and intellectual property
  • the most relevant examples are likely to relate to previous work related to the proposed sLoLa project
3. Describe how team members have contributed to the effective working of research teams and the development of others
  • examples might include: contributions to (and skills acquired from) past project management, supervision, mentoring or line management activities which were critical to the success of a team; strategic leadership which shaped the direction of a team or organisation; personal development activities; management of complex multi-investigator or multi-site projects
  • examples provided should evidence the team’s collective capability to lead and manage the proposed sLoLa project
4. Describe how team members have contributed to the wider research and innovation community
  • examples might include: contributions to wider collaborations and networks; establishment of community resources; contributions to the improvement of research culture including equality, diversity and inclusion practices; commitments such as editing, reviewing and committees
5. Describe how team members have contributed to broader society
  • examples might include: engagement across the public or private sector or with the wider public; past research which has influenced policy development

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 information relating to periods that may have impacted team members such as career breaks, secondments, part time work or career disruptions (for example, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise) can be included here. An explanation of the specific circumstances that have caused disruption of outputs or affected career progression is not required.

In this section you can reference anticipated contributions of any collaborators, project partners or sub-contractors

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

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

For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Management strategy

Word limit: 700 words

How to you plan to manage the sLoLa?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

  • describe how the project will be managed to ensure effective working of the investigators and wider team, effective utilisation of resources, and successful delivery of the planned outcomes. The management approach should be appropriate to the nature and scale of the programme
  • provide details about the governance, advisory and management structure, details of the approach to project and risk management, and the monitoring strategy for the proposed programme
  • an independent advisory board is required for large-scale programmes. Provide information on the membership of this advisory board

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant.

Include any relevant figures and:

  • provide only directly relevant images that complement the written content in a section. Images should not be used to extend the word count
  • include within the image itself only text that is an integral part of it, including the legend. Ensure each image and any text included in it is clearly readable after uploading it
  • include a brief description of the image within the “Alternative description” text field, so that screen reader software can describe the image to meet accessibility requirements
  • include all other text associated with the description of the image, such as the figure number, and figure title, within the narrative text so that it can be read by screen readers and contribute to the word count of a section
  • files must be smaller than 8MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

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

Applications proposing to use animals must abide by the guidance on Animal Use detailed in the BBSRC Grants Guide.

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

Word limit: 10

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

If not, enter ‘N/A’ into the text box, mark this section as complete and move on to the next section.

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 and upload the document as instructed. If this does not apply to your proposed work, please complete the box with N/A.

Studies proposing to use non-human primates, cats, dogs, equines or pigs will be assessed during NC3Rs review of research applications.

Conducting research with animals overseas

Word limit: 10

Will any of the proposed animal research be conducted overseas?

If not, enter ‘N/A’ into the text box, mark this section as complete and move on to the next section.

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. 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.

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 as a PDF. If you use more than one checklist, save it as a single 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.

Research involving human participation

Word limit: 700

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

If not, enter ‘N/A’ into the text box, mark this section as complete and move on to the next section.

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?

If not, enter ‘N/A’ into the text box, mark this section as complete and move on to the next section.

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.

Resources and cost justification

Word limit: 3,000

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

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, will be funded at 50% FEC but the 100% FEC cost should be inputted into the Funding Service under directly incurred – equipment. You must obtain 3 quotes for the equipment (from multiple suppliers where possible) and use these as the basis for your costings. We may ask successful applicants for quotes prior to award. A separate business case is not required.
  • any consumables beyond typical requirements, or that are required in exceptional quantities
  • all facilities and infrastructure costs

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

Your organisation’s support

Word limit: 10

Provide details of support from all the applicant research organisations

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide a Statement of Support from your research organisation(s) 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 committee will be looking for a strong statement of commitment from your research organisation(s).

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.

You must also 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

Upload details are provided within the service on the actual application.

Project partners

Add details about any project partners’ contributions. If there are no project partners, you can indicate this on the Funding Service.

A project partner is a collaborating organisation who will have an integral role in the proposed research. This may include direct (cash) or indirect (in-kind) contributions such as expertise, staff time or use of facilities.

Add the following project partner details:

  • the organisation name and address (searchable via a drop-down list or enter the organisation’s details manually, as applicable)
  • the project partner contact name and email address
  • the type of contribution (direct or in-direct) and its monetary value

If a detail is entered incorrectly and you have saved the entry, remove the specific project partner record and re-add it with the correct information.

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

Project partners: letters or emails of support

Word limit: 10

Upload a single PDF containing the letters or emails of support from each partner you named in the Project Partner section.

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

Save letters or emails of support from each partner in a single PDF no bigger than 8MB. Unless specially requested, please do not include any sensitive personal data within the attachment.

For the file name, use the unique Funding Service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘Project partner’.

If the attachment does not meet these requirements, the application will be rejected.

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 as indicated in the contributions template.

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

Do not provide letters of support from host and project co-leads’ research organisations.

Data management and sharing

Word limit: 1,000 words

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

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide a data management plan that clearly details how you will comply with UKRI’s published data sharing policy, which includes detailed guidance notes.

Facilities

Word limit: 600

Does your proposed research require the support and use of one or more of these specified facilities?

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

For more information, please see BBSRC guidance for applicants.

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

References

Word limit: 500 words

List the references you have used to support your application.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Include all references in this section, not in the rest of the application questions.

You should not include any other information in this section.

We advise you not to include hyperlinks, as assessors are not obliged to access the information they lead to or consider it in their assessment of your application.

If linking to web resources, to maintain the information’s integrity, include persistent identifiers (such as digital object identifiers) where possible.

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

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

The full stage will only open to applicants who have been invited to submit following the assessment of their outline application in stage two.

The full stage is divided in two phases:

  1. Panel: full stage applications will be sent for external peer review. They will then be subject to assessment by a multidisciplinary panel comprised of outline stage SLC members and further subject matter experts co-opted from BBSRC’s responsive mode research committees and pool of experts. The panel will provide feedback and a recommendation to BBSRC for applications to invite for an interview.
  2. Interview: the most highly rated applications recommended by the panel will be interviewed by members of the SLC who will make a final funding recommendation to BBSRC.

All applications at both outlines and full stage are assessed against a set of assessment criteria. The outline and full stage panels will be scoring your applications against the set criteria using a set of scoring definitions based on a one to 10 scale.

At the full stage, applications will be sent out for full external peer review and you will have the opportunity to respond to reviewers’ comments.

The following are the areas for assessment.

Research excellence

How well does the project meet the highest international standards of research in the scientific area, or areas, covered? This includes:

  • the project should have a coherent vision addressing a significant and worthwhile research challenge employing ambitious, creative and innovative approach
  • the tools, methods and technologies applied should be the most appropriate for the delivery of the objectives according to the cutting-edge of the field, or fields, under investigation
  • the approach should be ambitious and feasible
  • that the work will be carried out in an appropriate institutional environment

The panel will pay particular attention to the ‘Vision’ and ‘Approach’ sections to assess research excellence.

Fit to the frontier bioscience scope

To what degree does the project fit the frontier bioscience scope of the funding opportunity?

It should be clear:

  • that the principal aim of the project is the delivery of new fundamental bioscience knowledge
  • how the project will lead to a distinctive and significant advancement with regard to both current state of knowledge and ongoing research efforts both within and beyond the field, or fields, under immediate investigation
  • that the project has the potential to lead to a non-incremental step-change in our understanding of the scientific area, or areas, under investigation

The panel will pay particular attention to the ‘Vision’ and ‘Approach’ sections to assess fit to the frontier bioscience scope.

Longer and larger scale team science

To what degree does the project evidence the need for the longer and larger scale funding through the sLoLa programme? This includes:

  • the benefit and added value of supporting a coherent programme of inter-related objectives and other research activities rather than individual project grants should be clearly demonstrated
  • the strategy for the integration of individual work packages to deliver outcomes greater than the sum of parts should be clear and achievable
  • the synergistic benefits of the team science approach to deliver outcomes which could not be achieved by individual groups working in isolation should be substantial

The panel will pay particular attention to the ‘Added value’ and ‘Team capability to deliver (team R4RI)’ sections to assess the longer and larger scale team science criterion.

Importance and transformative potential

To what extent will the proposed project establish or enhancing a unique, world leading research activity that will improve the international standing of UK bioscience?

It should be clear:

  • how the research programme will have significant impact on the broader health and vitality of UK bioscience and considers the potential for longer term legacy and sustainability
  • how the proposed research programme fits with and complements other active UK research in the area or related areas, including the relationship to the existing portfolio of BBSRC and wider UK Research and Innovation research councils’ portfolios of investment

The panel will pay particular attention to the ‘Vision’ and ‘Strategic case’ to assess importance and transformative potential.

Team capability to deliver

How well has the application evidenced that they have selected the most appropriate team to deliver the proposed programme of work from the UK’s full research and innovation talent pool?

It should be clear:

  • that the research will be carried out by a team with the full complement intellectual, technical, analytical and leadership skills and experience necessary to deliver the complexity and scale of work proposed
  • how the team will work together to mentor or otherwise support each other and particularly individuals stepping into roles with a greater degree of intellectual, leadership or management responsibilities than they have previously held

The panel will pay particular attention to the ‘Approach’ and ‘Team capability to deliver (R4RI)’ sections to assess team capability to deliver.

Management strategy

The application must demonstrate that a robust plan is in place to ensure effective working of the investigators and wider team. This strategy should ensure coordination of information and resources, integrated working across the team, management of diverse people and talent, the ability to address problems and to generally ensure the successful delivery of the planned outcomes. This should include information about governance and advisory structures, risk management, progress monitoring and project management.

Resources

The resources requested should be fully justified and appropriate relative to the anticipated project outcomes.

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 bbsrc.lolagrants@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.

Find out more 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 the Funding Service helpdesk on support@funding-service.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

The launch of this funding opportunity was supported by two webinars that presented an overview of the sLoLa scheme, followed by a question and answer session. A copy of the material presented will be provided after the live sessions.

Watch webinar recording on Zoom (passcode: Qm!31Wp*)

Conditions of award

Awards will be made under standard UK Research and Innovation research grant terms and conditions to the lead organisation, which will be responsible for the management of the award.

Reporting and monitoring

As a condition of a sLoLa award, in addition to standard reporting requirements, the principal investigator must complete an interim report during the third year of the grant. A report template will be provided.

BBSRC will also allocate a project officer for the duration of all sLoLa awards. They will:

  • provide a primary point of BBSRC contact for the principal investigator
  • monitor progress and issues
  • attend advisory board meetings
  • provide guidance during the course of the grant

Supporting documents

sLoLa equality impact assessment (PDF, 94KB)

BBSRC portfolio of grants over £2 million (PDF, 71KB)

Webinar slides (to be provided after the webinars)

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have some quick feedback or help us improve your experience by taking three minutes to tell us what you think of the UKRI website.