MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Metropolitan University

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BBSRC Tools and Resources Development Fund: Bioimaging

BBSRC invites applications for its tools and resources development fund programme call – bioimaging. This aims to pump prime the next generation of tools, methods and technologies and resources required by bioscience researchers in scientific areas within the council’s remit. This call will focus on bioimaging, incorporating technological development as well as software, bioinformatics and data analysis components of the previous calls.

Grants are worth up to £150,000 each for a duration of 6-18 months.

The deadline for applications is 23 Nov 16.

For more information, please visit BBSRC.


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GFS Resilience of the UK Food System in a Global Context: call 2

Global Food Security, in collaboration with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council and the Scottish Government, invites applications for its second call on resilience of the UK food system in a global context. This aims to provide the evidence base to underpin the UK’s strategic approach to food security and create a more resilient food system. Interdisciplinary projects should address one or more of the following key themes:

•optimising the productivity, resilience and sustainability of agricultural systems and landscapes;

•optimising resilience of food supply chains both locally and globally;

•influencing food choice for health, sustainability and resilience at the individual and household level.

A food systems approach is encouraged, and proposals must integrate science areas from all three of the research councils involved.

The closing date for applications is 10 Nov 16.

For more information, please visit BBSRC.

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RCUK Joint Calls under the Global Challenges Research Fund

Translating Cultures and Care for the Future Innovation Awards on International Development

The call aims to support projects that take innovative approaches to the following research strands: Languages, cultural exchange and development assistance; Pressures in global mobility; Cultures and development; Cultural heritages, interpretation and representation. Proposals should clearly demonstrate the value of arts and humanities research to international development issues and provide a platform for further research in the relevant area.

Deadline for proposals: 21 July

GCRF Foundation Awards for Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs)

The aims of this call are to both address new research opportunities and develop capability and capacity to particular research areas, such as: Cardiovascular and metabolic research; Cancers of high prevalence in LMICs; Mental health and neurocognitive development; Adolescent, maternal, and childhood health; Impacts of demographic/behavioural changes across the lifecourse; Environmental change; Technologies, designs and methods suited to LMICs.

Deadline for proposals: 22 June

GCRF Foundation Awards for Infection Research

This call will develop new or expand existing strands of ODA applicable research and partnerships targeting LMIC infectious disease priorities. Areas of opportunity include: Detection and diagnostic development; Epidemiology; Cultural, social, economic, environmental and political influences on the emergence and spread of infections; Modelling; and many more.

Deadline for proposals: 22 June

GCRF Foundation Awards for Global Agricultural and Food Systems Research

This call highlights five broad research challenges as follows: Systems that deliver safe and nutritious food for all; Resilience of the food system to climatic variability; Reducing losses throughout the agri-food chain and reusing unavoidable food waste; Agriculture within the context of the wider landscape; Urban agriculture.

Deadline for proposals: 22 June

Tackling antimicrobial resistance: behaviour within and beyond the healthcare setting

The call aims to expand understanding of how the behaviour of public, professionals and organisations impacts on AMR: how it can enhance or control the spread of AMR; how it is affected by social, psychological and organisational context, cultures and history; and how it can be influenced to create different future scenarios.

Deadline for proposals: 20 July (Pump priming grants), 27 July (EOI for collaborative grants)

ESRC/AHRC Call for proposals on Forced displacement

This is a joint call for innovative, interdisciplinary projects focusing on the experiences of the forced displaced (both internationally and internally) whether due to poverty, war, conflict, persecution or human rights violations.

Deadline for proposals: 7 July

GCRF / PaCCS: Inter-Disciplinary Research Innovation Awards on Conflict and International Development

This call aims to support inter-disciplinary research innovation and international collaboration focussed on the interconnections between conflict and international development and with the potential to contribute to the welfare (broadly defined) and/or economic development of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).

Deadline for proposals: 28 July

For support with your application, please contact Research Development.

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BBSRC Publish Delivery Plan 2016/17-2019/20

BBSRC have just published their Delivery Plan 2016/17-2019/20. All Research Councils publish Delivery Plans as a final product of Government Spending Review. The Plans set out each Council’s funding priorities and outline the activities that they intend to undertake over a given period i.e. this is the document gives some genuine signposts as to what is coming up over next couple of years. We’ve provided a summary below.

The full document is available HERE.

  • Three strategic research priorities identified: Agriculture and Food Security; Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy; and Bioscience for Health. More details on each priority, including specific focus and potential partners, can be found in section 2.1.2 of the document.
  • Aim to support 400 new studentships per year.
  • In line with the new Global Challenges Research Fund (GCFR), more work will be undertaken with UK and overseas funding partners e.g. Human Frontiers Science Programme, European Molecular Biology Organisation, US National Science Foundation, and ERA.

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BBSRC Responsive Mode deadlines

BBSRC logo

BBSRC has a unique and central place in supporting the UK’s world-leading position in bioscience. They are an investor in research and training, with the aim of furthering scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Note for applicants: You will be formally contacted, shortly following the Committee Chairs meeting, by the office regarding the outcome of your application once the final funding decision has been confirmed.

More information about the following deadlines can be found here 

Round Application Deadline Committee meeting dates

(when applications are assessed)

Committee Chairs meeting dates
15RM3 23 September 2015, 4pm 2-3 February 2016 March 2016 (date TBC)
16RM1 13 January 2016 11-12 May 2016 June 2016 (date TBC)

Remember the RKE office are here to help you develop your bids! If you are interested in applying, please contact your RDM. Or email

How do bone cells grow in space?

A ROCKET carrying technology developed with BBSRC support has blasted into space for use in experiments on board the International Space Station (ISS). Alvetex® Scaffold technology, produced by Durham University spin-out company Reinnervate, allows cells to be grown in three dimensions (3D), overcoming problems with two-dimensional (2D) culture methods and offering a more life-like model of how cells grow in tissues.

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ESRC/BBSRC Joint Research Call On Epigenetics 2014/15 


The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) are pleased to announce a joint call for research projects in the area of Social and Behavioural Epigenetics. Up to £3 Million is available for this call.

Epigenetics provides a key emerging platform for interdisciplinary research among the biological and social sciences to further understand the complex interactions between social phenomena, human biology and behaviour. Overwhelming evidence shows that experiences in early life are linked to subsequent adult outcomes, yet the pathways and mechanisms by which experiences become embedded into the life course are not fully understood.

The goal of this call is to encourage new, innovative and collaborative work between the social and biological sciences in the area of epigenetics. We are seeking truly interdisciplinary proposals which will make a significant contribution towards the development of this emerging field.

Networking event

In order to enable potential applicants to network with each other and for us to provide more information about this specific call, a one day meeting will be held on 5 November in London (Location TBC).  Places at this event will be limited so we recommend that you contact us as soon as possible if you are interested in attending this event.

Please contact to express an interest in attending this by 20 October.

Application process

The closing date for proposals is 16.00 on 15 January 2015

Further details can be assessed here

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Research Images Competitions

Looking to share the wonder of your research with the wider world? Here are two image competitions that might be of interest:

BBSRC Images with Impact


  • “Images with Impact: the Great British Bioscience Image Competition”, BBSCRC are seeking the best images that showcase UK bioscience and its importance in everyday life.
  • Open to the public, students and the bioscience research community.
  • £2,400 of prizes to be won for images capturing exciting developments in bioscience.
  • Any type of image can be entered: photography, visualisations and even illustrations.
  • The overall winner will be decided by public vote from attendees at the Great British Bioscience Festival, London.
  • The deadline for submissions is 6 October 2014.

Wellcome Image Awards


  • Wellcome Images is the world’s leading resource for medical imagery, with themes extending from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare, biomedical science and clinical medicine.
  • Placing images in a picture library is an excellent way to engage with the public and to increase their understanding of your work.
  • If you are a research scientist, clinical photographer or illustrator, we would love to see your work. 
  • In order for your images to be considered for the Awards, they first need to be accepted into our collections. 
  • The winning images will go on display at science centres and public galleries across the UK.
  • The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2014.


And here are just some of the other funders / learned societies who typically run photo competitions. Keep an eye out for future calls: