Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Research to inform public policy

One of BBSRC’s priorities is to support research that can contribute to the development of scientifically informed public policy, or that will enable a more scientific and evidence-based approach to its delivery – in any area of science in our remit.

BBSRC’s standard research grant provides up to £2 million for projects in this priority area.
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

Applications are invited that seek to provide scientific understanding or technological innovation to help solve public policy problems. This may be, for example, through developing new knowledge or evidence, applying advanced scientific methods and techniques and training skilled people.

This may be in any area of science within BBSRC’s remit.

Applications within this priority area will be expected to engage with owners of the problem (government department, local authority, public sector body and so on) from the outset, and throughout the research planning and delivery. There is no mandatory requirement for a financial or in-kind contribution from these partners, but an appropriate contribution will be expected where a partner is likely to benefit directly.

Organisations with a significant role in analysing and developing policy (for example charities, NGOs, policy study units) may also act in this role where they have a proven record of influencing and informing public policy. Problem owners may not receive funding from the grant unless they would be eligible for BBSRC responsive mode funding.


The potential to apply research outputs to public policy considerations must be explored during the course of the project.

In addition, where there is justification, grant applicants may wish to consider including:

  • research staff attendance at relevant policy conferences and public policy forums
  • public engagement activity which can inform how public policy is shaped
  • interdisciplinary elements within their research to collaborate with social scientists (for example economists, and academics working on the social and economic impact of public policy) to inform the policy context of their work.

Opportunities, support and resources available

Who to contact

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Last updated: 27 July 2023

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