Current external funding calls

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses in the UK to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate.

A KTP enables a business to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project through a knowledge-based partnership.

Value: Approx 33% cost of a project to SME’s and 50% for Larger organisations.
Deadline: Runs continuously through the year with October, December, February and April application deadlines.


NERC Call for ideas for potential Strategic Priorities Fund programmes

ERC is seeking ideas that could form the basis of future bids to the Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF). The opportunity for NERC to bid for an SPF programme is only likely to arise following a spending review but ideas are being sought now to allow for early identification and development of potential programme proposals.

The Douglas Bomfort Trust travel awards for research
Value: £1500
Deadline: open


The Rank Prize Awards for international collaborations in crop, nutrition and optoelectronics
Value: up to £10,000 for early and mid-career researchers
Deadline: open, with January, May and September reviews


JAPAN Gen Foundation – Award in Food Tech

The Gen Foundation was registered with the Charity Commission on 14th August 1998.  The aim of the Foundation is to enhance the importance of cross-cultures between Japan and the rest of the world in today’s  global society. The Foundation is supporting those who excel in the areas of natural sciences, in particular food sciences/technology. Since 1998, awards have been granted to over 100 people studying or researching within these fields.  Successful candidates are asked to submit a report to the Trustees at the end of their studies. All potential candidates should be aware that the Gen Foundation grants are one-off, non-renewable awards.

UKRI Pre-announcement: Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will support bold new ideas for tools and technologies that improve our physical, mental and social wellbeing as we age, through the global Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards. Established by the US National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and funded under the Healthy Ageing Challenge Fund, the Awards will support early stage innovation and stimulate interest in global opportunities.

Value: £50,000

Call Opens: Call is expected to open in January 2020


UKRI ESPRC Pre-announcement: Prosperity Partnership Fourth Round

To support existing, strategic, research-based partnerships between business and universities by providing an opportunity for co-investment in large-scale, TRL 1-3 research programmes which address EPSRC’s Prosperity Outcomes Framework and the strategies of the universities and businesses.

Value: Not specified

Call opens: 7th January  2020

Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship

The scheme seeks to provide opportunities for experienced academic researchers to focus on full-time research for up to one year, by relieving them of all their teaching and administrative duties during that period. Preference will be given to candidates who, as well as demonstrating scientific excellence, can show that such relief is particularly needed and timely. Applications from mid-career candidates are particularly encouraged.

Value: Salary cost of a teaching replacement and £2,500 expenses.

Deadline: 2nd February 2020


AHDB P1912329: Improving integrated pest and disease management in tree fruit

The focus of this call will be on building resilient integrated programmes which are able to control all the major tree fruit pest species. It is essential the control of an individual pest or disease is not studied alone but takes into consideration the control of other pests and diseases in a crop production system. Control for one pest or disease must not be at the expense of the control of another.

Value: £200,000

Deadline: 14th February 2020


FAMAE: Food for Good Challenge to Develop Innovative and Concrete Solution 

The FAMAE is seeking applications for the Food for Good Challenge to develop an innovative and concrete solution from field to fork to deliver fair, sustainable & healthy food, for everybody, everywhere. The goal of the FAMAE endowment fund is to seek pragmatic, efficient, durable, universal and money-saving solutions to make life easier for urban citizens while reducing their environmental footprint. As a consequence, FAMAE endowment fund has set up a collaborative Competition to enable brilliant and innovative inventors to make their ideas come true or to effectively launch their product.

Value: EUR 2 million

Deadline: 14 February 2020


ISCF Transforming Food Production science and technology into practice: Feasibility Studies

Funding to test the feasibility of solutions that can transform food production. The feasibility study must; evaluate the early stage feasibility of precision solutions to transform food production; work with end users, such as farmers and producers; evaluate, in practice, the potential of early stage ideas that address industry identified problems; consider both the technical feasibility and the feasibility of the business model; consider the route to adoption; enable decisions to be made on the future development of the solution.
The solution must have the potential to improve productivity and sustainability and contribute to the target of net zero emissions from agriculture by 2040. Lead organisation can be a research organisation.

Value: Between £75,000 and £250,000. (80% of full economic costs for a research organisation)

Deadline: 26th February 2020


ISCF Transforming Food Production science and technology into practice: Demonstrators

Funding to demonstrate solutions that can transform food production. The demonstration project must; Demonstrate the viability of combinations of precision solutions to transform food production; demonstrate solutions across different production environments, to encourage their widespread use; work with end users; produce evidence of technical feasibility and economic viability at commercial scale. The solution must have the potential to improve productivity and sustainability and contribute to the target of net zero emissions from agriculture by 2040. Lead organisation can be a research organisation.

Value: Between £400,000 and £4 million. (80% of full economic costs for a research organisation)

Deadline: 26th February 2020


MRC – UK Nutrition Research Partnership (UK NRP): Travelling Skills Awards for Nutrition-related Research

This call is aimed at talented early career researchers who have recently established their independence (or will do so imminently) and have a proven track record of research in their own discipline. The call offers flexible awards to support ‘rising star’ early career researchers to work in the world’s best research laboratories (UK or overseas) to gain deeper knowledge, skills and best practice. This could be a nutrition researcher gaining experience in a different discipline or a non-nutrition researcher receiving training from a world class nutrition group/Institute.
Eligible researchers based within the UK are invited to apply to this UK NRP Call. The research interests of applicants should have a clear relevance to human nutrition research and its role in health and/or the development of disease.
Awards will provide a maximum of £100k (at the 80% FEC level) of funding for up to 12 months. The UK NRP expects to fund a portfolio of different topics related to human nutrition, health and disease.

Deadline: 27 February 2020


UKRI AHRC UK Climate Resilience Programme – Living with Climate Uncertainty

Projects will raise awareness of what it means to work with uncertainty to build climate resilience in the real world and deliver useful knowledge (narratives, learning histories, case studies, film and other material) to further inform practices and behaviours that build confidence in practical approaches to living with uncertainty and community and environmental resilience building.

Value: £330,000 (at 80% FEC) each for at least 3 proposals

Deadline: 27th February 2020

World Bank — Innovate4Climate Pitch Hub Competition
Innovate4Climate seeks innovators, startups and entrepreneurs who develop climate-smart solutions with potential for transformative impact in reducing emissions and/or increasing resilience to climate change. Solutions can be goods, services (e.g. financial instruments, risk management mechanisms), technological solutions, or innovative business models. The competition aims to support climate-smart cities with innovations for energy, food/agriculture, waste/water, and two additional categories.

Deadline: 01 March 2020


Agropolis Foundation — Agriculture-based Solutions

Subject to having a partner as lead within an Agropolis institute.

The Agropolis Foundation seeks to promote the agro-ecological transition by promoting practices and solutions which conserve natural renewable resources. Therefore, the Foundation invites research and project proposals along three transversal axes: Agriculture and climate change: adaptation and mitigation (Axis 1); Conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity (Axis 2); Responsible production and consumption (Axis 3). The call will finance two types of projects. Type 1 projects may request between €150 thousand and €250 thousand, Type 2 projects may request between €20 thousand and €25 thousand. The lead proponent should be from one of the research units belonging to the Foundation’s scientific network.

Deadline: 03 March 2020


Follow-on Funding call

Our Follow-on Funding (FoF) supports the translation of research into practical application, including commercialisation. The aim of the programme is to help researchers maximise the societal and economic benefits of their research. The FoF is a proof-of-concept programme to support bioscience innovation and provide funding where further work on an idea will take it through to a stage at which the route to application is clear, which may include a spin-out, licensing opportunity or the creation of a social enterprise. The programme enables researchers to conduct activities essential to preparing a robust business plan and to secure, where appropriate, further funding and support to progress the project.

Value: Standard Follow-on Fund (FOF) Projects 12-24 months in duration. Valued at under £250,000 (FEC).

Super Follow-on Fund (SuperFOF) Projects 12-24 months in duration. Valued at between £250,000 and £800,000 (FEC). BBSRC funding is at 80% of FEC

Deadline: 17 March 2020


UKRI-GCRF Collective Programme Climate Resilience Network Development Call

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), on behalf of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Department for International Development (DfID) are pleased to invite applications for a new Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) call for Climate Resilience Network Development Scoping grants. Applications are invited up to a maximum value of £200,000 (100% fEC) and 15 months duration. Climate Resilience Network Development Scoping grants are intended to support the building of new researcher-practitioner-policy maker teams to search for novel solutions for complex climate risks. Successful teams will be invited to apply for a second stage round of larger Climate Resilience Network Plus awards to co-design solutions.

Value: £200,000 (fEC)

Deadline: 25 March 2020


WRAP Resource Action Fund: Citizen Food Waste Behaviour Change Grant

These grants will support projects that demonstrate new and proven citizen interventions that will encourage and influence citizens to reduce food waste. The aim of this grant is to support new, behaviour change interventions that encourage citizens to waste less food.

Value: The scheme will award grants between £25,000 and £100,000 for both capital and revenue project expenditure.

Deadline: 25 March 2020


WRAP Resource Action Fund: Value from Food Waste

These grants will support collaborative pilot projects that trial and test new processes and ideas to specifically target difficult and challenging streams of wasted food, to ensure that this food remains useful and retains value, preventing it from being sent for disposal and becoming waste.

Value: This small-scale grant will fund projects between £20,000 and £100,000, with a finite, overall budget of £500,000.

Deadline: 26 March 2020


UKRI NERC Landscape Decisions Fellowships

Applications are invited for three types of fellowships: Research Synthesis, Research Translation, and Community Engagement Research. The outcomes of activities undertaken during the fellowships are expected to lead to new and improved understanding from the synthesis of research from different disciplines, the uptake of research outcomes in policy making and applications, and new and innovative methods for participatory and inclusive landscape decision processes.

Value: Total funds of up to £1m are available for this call to fund at least 4-5 fellows. Fellowships will be funded at 80% FEC.

Deadline: 26th March 2020


Chinese Academy of Sciences — PhD and Master Fellowships in China 2020

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) invites applications for the ANSO Scholarship for Young Talents to pursue Masters and PhD studies in China. Eligible fields of study include agricultural sciences, various fields of biology, and other areas of the natural sciences and engineering. The program will award scholarships to non-Chinese applicants worldwide. The maximum age of applicants is 30 (master) and 35 (PhD). Applicants are required to provide proof of proficiency of English or Chinese language.

Deadline: 31 March 2020


Academy of Medical Sciences Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grants

The awards provide up to £25,000 over one year to support collaborations between developing countries and the UK and to hold networking events aimed at addressing global challenges.

Value: up to £25,000

Deadline: 31 March 2020


International Coordination of Research on Infectious Animal Diseases (ICRAD)

BBSRC are supporting UK participation in a transnational European call for research on infectious animal diseases.

The ERA-NET Cofund International Coordination of Research on Infectious Animal Diseases (ICRAD) is a new ERA-Net Cofund Action under Horizon 2020 that will build upon the achievements of the ERA-NET EMIDA (Emerging and Major Infectious Diseases of Animals) and the ERA-NET ANIHWA (Animal Health and Welfare).

The Joint Call – with an indicative budget of approximately 23.7M€ – brings together twenty-two funding organisations from nineteen countries. It covers the major groups of infectious diseases of animals (including fishes and bees), and infections by viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal pathogens, prions, and multifactorial diseases, with particular emphasis on African Swine Fever and Animal Influenza.

BBSRC is making €2M available for this call.

This co-funded call for research will be open to international research proposals addressing one or more objectives under the following three research areas (taking into account the exclusions). The research projects should focus on one research area primarily.

Research areas will include:

1: Improved understanding of epidemic and emerging infectious animal diseases
2: Generic technology platforms for producing novel and/or improved vaccines
3: High-throughput, rapid, accurate and easy to use in-field detection technologies

Value: unspecified; BBSRC has allocated EUR 2M and DEFRA  EUR 0.5M

Deadline (pre-proposals): 31 March 2020

ISCF Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging

This supports early-stage projects in smart and sustainable plastic packaging. Projects are welcomed across one or more of the following areas: materials; design; technology or process; business model or behavioral change. Lead organisations must be a registered UK business, and academic institutions can collaborate.

Value: Up to £100,000

Deadline: 1st April 2020


Royal Society International Collaboration Awards

As part of the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF), the Royal Society has launched an award to enable outstanding UK research leaders to develop international collaborations with the best leading researchers from around the world, to work on some of the global challenges and problems facing developing countries.

Value: £75,000 per year or up to £225,000 over three years

Deadline: 2 April 2020


ERA-HDHL Call for Joint Transnational Research Proposals: Development of targeted nutrition for prevention of undernutrition for older adults (PREVNUT)

The aim of this call is to support transnational, collaborative research projects that address important research questions regarding the prevention of undernutrition in European older citizens through the consumption of appropriate nutritious food.

This will develop a better understanding of the balance between nutrition and lifestyle; contribute to new recommendations and the development of innovative food products to prevent undernutrition in the older population, leading to European citizens having a better life in later life.

Value: Up to €1.5 M will be available to UK researchers for this call, from which we anticipate funding 5-6 proposals.

Deadline: 7 Apr 2020


BBSRC Responsive Mode Funding

You can submit research grant applications at any time for consideration by one of the Research Committees under the responsive mode scheme, on any topic within BBSRC’s portfolio.

  • Research Committee A – animal disease, health and welfare
  • Research Committee B – plants, microbes, food and sustainability
  • Research Committee C – genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
    *Science Technology Engineering and Maths – Committee C will consider generic STEM approaches to biology; specific applications will be considered by the Committee providing the appropriate biological context
  • Research Committee D – molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology.

Deadline: 29 April 2020


Fiat Panis Foundation — Josef G. Knoll European Science Award

The Fiat Panis Foundation makes awards for university thesis and dissertation research in themes of agriculture and natural resources, with a focus on food security in developing countries. The Josef G. Knoll European Science Award is made to a young scientist who focuses on helping to reduce hunger and malnutrition through agricultural research.

Value: €30,000

Deadline: 30 April 2020

UKRI-BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnerships

The UKRI-BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnerships (CTP) scheme is a doctoral training programme directed at industrial research challenges and delivered by consortia led by businesses in collaboration with Research Organisations. Its ambition is to build capacity and address strategic skills challenges in the UK bioeconomy at doctoral level and provide candidates with the research, innovation and transferable skills needed to be competitive for high-quality jobs in the labour markets of the bioeconomy, academia and beyond.

Value: Up to 10 CTPs will be awarded.  Total funding of £22.5M is available to support up to 75 four-year studentships per annum, for three consecutive intakes, the first being in 2021-2022 and the final cohort commencing in 2023-2024.

Deadline: Application deadline: 5 May 2020


Nestlé Foundation — Human Nutrition in Developing Countries 2020

The Nestlé Foundation supports research in human nutrition in low-income and lower middle-income countries. In relation to agriculture, the Foundation will consider research on food policy, food production, and food technology if the intervention has high potential for improved nutritional status and public health. The Foundation offers training grants, pilot grants, and full project grants. Priority is for proposals submitted by researchers in developing countries, or jointly with partners in developed countries. A Letter of Intent (LOI) can be submitted at any time of the year.

The deadlines for full grant applications are 10 January and 10 May 2020.


BBSRC David Phillips Fellowships

The David Phillips Fellowship (DPF) provides support for researchers wishing to establish their first independent research group. The DPF will invest in scientists who can demonstrate that they are on an upward trajectory and are eager to lead their own fully independent programme of research.

Value: Awards are for five years and include personal salary and a significant research support grant to enable fellows to establish their own independent research group. It is expected that up to five fellowships will be awarded, each at a value of up to £1 million (80% fEC).

Deadline: 12 May 2020


BBSRC Discovery Fellowships

The Discovery Fellowship (DF) provides support for researchers wishing to undertake independent research and gain leadership skills. The DF will support the transition of early stage researchers to fully independent research leaders.

Value: Awards are for three years and it is expected that up to 10 fellowships will be awarded, each of a value of up to £300,000 (80% fEC).

Deadline: 12 May 2020


U.S. Agency for International Development — Health, Ecosystems and Agriculture for Resilient, Thriving Societies

The Office of Forestry and Biodiversity in USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment seeks transformational solutions to cross-sectoral development challenges in biodiverse landscapes. Sectors that may comprise HEARTH concepts are: biodiversity conservation, health, food security (agriculture and nutrition), governance, economic development and livelihoods, water supply and sanitation, education, modern energy solutions, forest management and restoration, and climate resilience. Eligible priority countries include Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and South America Regional; Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Central Africa Regional; Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Vietnam and the Regional Development Mission for Asia.

Value: between US$1 million and US$10 million.
Deadline: 15 June 2020