Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: International partnerships with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Academic research, industrial R&D and the UK economy benefit from the increasing scientific activity across the globe. Through standard research grants, BBSRC can increase our impact by working with overseas partners and by recognising and harnessing the mutual benefit that comes from collaborative international research.

BBSRC’s standard research grant provides up to £2 million for projects.
The standard research grant is an ongoing scheme. Projects can last up to five years.
Partners involved:
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

The scope and what we're doing

Here are some examples of how research applications to BBSRC can address this overarching priority.

Encourage the movement of researchers, particularly at the start of their postdoctoral careers, between the UK and overseas

If justified within the delivery of the grant, you can seek funds for visits or periods of collaborative work overseas by staff associated with the grant. Typical visits may be to access unique facilities, databases or training opportunities.

Provide the UK participation in joint research activity with partners outside the UK

BBSRC grants may cover the UK costs of joint research in larger projects that involve more than one country. If you are submitting parallel applications in another country, please contact the relevant committee contact before submitting. We can usually (with sufficient advance information) liaise with partner funding organisations to make sure our review mechanisms are complementary, for example shared referees and timescales.

We see benefit in how such research levers resources in other countries, reduces fragmentation of research effort and draws from a larger skills and resource base.

Access world-class infrastructure and information

Bioscience advances depend on new research tools, technologies and datasets, using informatics and other computational resources. Many of the facilities needed are complex and costly and may be provided on an international basis or in another country. We remain alert to the development of these kinds of facilities and monitor their potential benefit to UK bioscience.

Where justified BBSRC grants can cover the costs of accessing facilities and technologies overseas or training overseas in the use of new technologies.

Contribute to strategies to realise Millennium Development Goals

UK bioscience contributes to strategies for tackling major global challenges such as the impacts of climate change, adequacy of food supply and the threat of pandemics from livestock-to-human diseases. Much of the research we support has the potential to reduce hardship and promote prosperity in the developing world.

If relevant, please show in your grant application how the proposed activity, including any international aspects such as those described above, might contribute to realising Millennium Development Goals.

Why we're doing it

We have a responsibility to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in the biosciences, and that academic research, industrial research and development, and the UK economy benefit from the increasing scientific activity across the globe.

Balancing collaborations with competitiveness means we can increase our impact, bringing considerable benefit to the society and the UK economy by working with overseas partners.

While we do not provide direct funding for research in institutions outside the UK, we recognise and harness the mutual benefit that comes from collaborative international research.

Opportunities, support and resources available

This is one of BBSRC’s priorities for our standard research grant. You can apply at any time.

Apply for a BBSRC standard research grant.

Standard (sometimes known as ‘responsive’) funding opportunities are open to a wide range of research and approaches within BBSRC’s remit.

Find out more about applying for funding and what to include in your application.

You can also find out about further support for international partnerships through the BBSRC international travel award scheme.

Working with Brazil (Sao Paulo)

BBSRC-Brazil (FAPESP) joint funding is available through Lead Agency Opportunities.

You can apply to work on projects with Brazilian researchers based at higher education and research organisations eligible for support from the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).

More about working with Brazilian scientists (PDF, 34KB).

Working with the US

Funding for working with the US is available through Lead Agency Opportunities with the US National Science Foundation Directorate for Biological Sciences (NSF/BIO).

You must be based at an organisation eligible for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding. US partners must be eligible for NSF/BIO funding.

Any funding opportunities are published on the funding finder. An expression of interest is required prior to submitting a full proposal.

Last updated: 28 July 2023

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