Under on-going implementation of the BBSRC strategy for maintaining and improving engagement with industry, BBSRC would like to highlight their Collaborative Training Partnerships call and some of their regular industry collaborative research, training and people movement schemes which operate throughout the year.
Collaborative Training Partnerships (CTPs) – closing date 25 May 2016
The BBSRC’s CTP call is open. CTPs co-invest in training the next generation of skilled people for the research base and wider bioeconomy. Our vision is to provide PhD students with a first-rate, challenging research training experience within the context of a mutually beneficial research collaboration, between academics and companies. The CTP competition awards a block allocation of 4-year studentships covering several years’ intake in which businesses take the lead in arranging projects with an academic partner of their choice in research relevant to our remit and strategic priority areas. CTPs are one of the main ways in which we fund collaborative training and enables businesses to better integrate studentships into their planning cycles.
New Strategic Training Awards for Research Skills (STARS) – closing date 2 June 2016
BBSRC has recently launched a new training awards scheme, targeted at eligible academics, but which strongly encourages the participation of industry in the design and/or delivery of the three types of training that are eligible for funding – research placements, skills schools and training resource development (e.g. e-learning packages). BBSRC will look favourably on proposals under this scheme which carry financial contributions (either cash and/or in-kind) from industrial partners. The scheme is principled around boosting vulnerable and/or sought-after skills in biologists. Our contact for further information on this new scheme is my colleague Clare Bhunnoo.
Flexible Interchange Programme (FLIP) – next closing date 17 August 2016
FLIP is a relatively new BBSRC fellowship scheme designed to promote the movement of people between a range of different organisations, including from industry to academia and vice versa. Applications must be led by an academic who is an existing BBSRC grant holder, with an industrial collaborator. However, for “FLIPs” which involve movement of a company member into academia, their salary costs for the secondment can be claimed on the grant application and recovered by the company in association with the academic partner. This can also extend to costs such as travel and subsistence as well. Funding of up to £150k is available for up to two years, on a full-time or part-time basis, though this is typical rather than absolute – some flexibility on funding amount and duration is allowed with the appropriate justification. You are encouraged to find academic partners who are already funded by BBSRC and make the most of this new scheme.
Modular Training Partnerships (MTP) with Industry – next closing date 2 June 2016
Modular Training Partnerships (MTPs) fund the development of industrially-relevant short training courses at Masters level. Training is developed in close collaboration with industry, and evidence of industrial demand is a key requirement for funding. Proposals are led by academics and grants cover course development, materials and marketing costs. Industrial partners often contribute to course delivery in a lecturing capacity, as well as advising on course design and content.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) – apply at any time
The KTP scheme is a UK-wide programme which operates through an open call covering the entirety of BBSRC’s scientific remit. It serves as a mechanism to transfer knowledge between academia and industry and to develop graduate and postgraduate personnel for industrial careers. Partnerships last between 1 and 3 years, and employ 1 or more high-calibre KTP Associates (early-career researchers) to work on an innovative project within industry. Follow the link for further details.
BBSRC Industrial Partnership Awards (IPAs) – next closing date 11 May 2016
IPAs are academia-led projects in which a collaborating company provides a minimum 10% cash contribution as a proportion of the full economic cost (FEC) of the project. They are assessed three times per year in BBSRC’s regular responsive mode grant rounds, but they carry a degree of assessment privilege. Providing IPA proposals meet conventional criteria for scientific excellence, they can be funded ahead of standard grant applications of comparable quality (but no guarantee of funding). In practice, this means that IPA projects carry a slightly higher success rate than conventional projects, so the scheme is well worth investigating if you have not encountered it before.
BBSRC LINK Projects – next closing date 11 May 2016
LINK projects are academia-led projects in which a collaborating company, or consortium of companies, contribute 50% of the full projects costs either in kind, in cash or a combination of both. They ‘stand alone’ in any area of BBSRC’s remit i.e. they are no longer connected to a managed programme, and are assessed three times per year in BBSRC’s regular responsive mode grant rounds. LINK projects cover pre-competitive research i.e. research which typically demonstrates proof-of-concept but which does not usually lead to product development and commercialisation within the lifetime of the project. Similarly to IPAs, LINK applications carry a certain degree of assessment privilege in that, providing they meet conventional criteria for scientific merit alongside other grant applications, they receive an uplift in the ranking process (but no guarantee of funding). Again, this scheme is well worth you investigating if you have not encountered it before. Some of the best-functioning LINK projects typically involve a world class academic researcher, a large company and up to 2 or 3 smaller companies (e.g. technology providers) working in collaboration, though any mix is possible provided the minimum 50% contribution from industry is met. The maximum possible BBSRC grant to an academic under LINK at 100% FEC is £2M.
Industrialists in Research Grant Application Peer Review – are you interested in getting involved?
Bioscience for Health Highlight
For those of you who may still be getting to grips with BBSRC’s research portfolio and its relevance to your business, you may wish to take a look at the following recent research highlight ; it features BBSRC-funded research led at Birmingham which has taken a ‘big data’ approach to uncovering some previously unknown regulators of blood cell development.