1 An Introduction to BBSRC & Current Funding Opportunities Dr Jo O’Leary Science Delivery Manager Research Innovation and Skills Directorate University of Leicester 23 June 2010
Overview Introduction to BBSRC BBSRC’s Strategy and Priorities BBSRC Grant Funding and Peer Review BBSRC Studentships University of Leicester Funding Current Funding Opportunities 2
Introduction to BBSRC BBSRC’s Strategy and Priorities BBSRC Grant Funding and Peer Review BBSRC Studentships University of Leicester Funding Current Funding Opportunities 3
Research Councils UK Strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils Combined budget of £3.4 billion in 2010/11 4
5 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council ACADEMIA INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS PUBLIC GOVERNMENT Our Mission (Royal Charter) is: to support high-classscienceandresearchtraining,andtopromoteknowledge transfer in support of bio-basedindustriesandpublicengagementinbioscience. BBSRC funding totals around £450M p.a. (09/10)
Introduction to BBSRC BBSRC’s Strategy and Priorities BBSRC Grant Funding and Peer Review BBSRC Studentships University of Leicester Funding Current Funding Opportunities 6
7 Cross-Government Grand Challenges Environmental Change Food Security Bioenergy The Science of Life Healthy Ageing Diet and Health Tools and technologies, including software Importance of new techniques Virtualisation of science Distributed information and modelling
8 Delivery of Multidisciplinary Cross-Council Programmes Food Security Bioenergy Living with Environmental Change Ageing Global Threats to Security Bio-nanotechnology (Digital Economy)
9 BBSRC Strategic Planning Documents 10 years 3 years 5 years Vision Practical delivery
10 BBSRC’s New Strategic Plan 2010 - 2015
11 BBSRC Strategy Formulation Refreshment Strategy Advisory Board and Strategy Panels Delivery Committees Membership and Agenda for Strategy Advisory Board and Strategy Panels will be on the BBSRC website
12 BBSRC Priorities Historically, multiple priorities covering everything Restructured to enable Excellence with Impact Now fewer priorities BBSRC-wide priorities
13 BBSRC Priorities 2008-2011 Research Priorities Ageing Research: Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Animal Health Bioenergy Crop Science (Food Security) Global Security Living with Environmental Change Nanoscience Through Engineering to Application: Bionanotechnology Synthetic Biology Systems Approach to Biological Research Technology Development for Bioscience Policy Priorities Economic and Social Impact Impact on Public Policy Increased International Collaboration Replacement, Refinement and Reduction (3Rs) in Research Using Animals Welfare of Managed Animals (including Livestock and Companion Animals) Details of all these are on the BBSRC website
14 Food Security “when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” Greater agricultural yields with fewer inputs of nutrients and water in the face of competing demands for land use and in the face of continuing threats of diseases of both plants and animals, and with a need for microbiological and nutritional safety
15 Examples of BBSRC Food Security Work Rinderpest Close to global eradication estimated to benefit Africa by over $1 billion annually Striga (Witchweed) BBSRC research has lead to management and reduction of striga weed
16 Bioenergy Clostridium New Biofuel? BBSRC Bioenergy Review 2006 Centre for Sustainable Bioenergy Research (launched in 2009) Multi-disciplinary and systems approaches International collaboration through SysMo Courtesy of Nigel Minton
17 Systems Biology Emerging research area Predictive models of biological systems (pathways, cells, organs, organisms, ecosystems) Iterative cycles of modelling (dry) and biological (wet) experiments 6 BBSRC Centres established (2005/06) and 6 SABR grants (2006/07) International collaboration ERASysBio (11 EU partners) BBSRC:ANR (Fr)
Technology Development for the Biosciences Need for improved technology from bioscience community Multi-disciplinary (biosciences, physics, chemistry, engineering, computer sciences) Engagement with industry, potential for spin-out 18
Synthetic Biology Emerging area at intersection of biosciences and engineering BBSRC-led UK Research Councils initiative to form networks to address Science and Engineering, Ethical, Legal, Societal Impacts Need to form interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary partnerships European Union – Transnational Roadmap for Synthetic Biology 19
Key Messages Responsive Mode is the major vehicle to deliver our priorities We need to deliver more inter-disciplinary and strategically focussed science with greater impact We must deliver excellence science with demonstrable impacts 20
The Funding Cycle Partnership 21
Excellence with Impact What do we mean? Excellent science Strategic focus Capturing outputs Demonstrate benefit 22
Examples of high impact projects 23 Bluetongue research at BBSRC’s Institute for Animal Health saves £485M in 2008 through prevention of outbreaks, and protected 10,000 jobs Tools and models which reduce leaching of nitrate from farmland by 38% Food safety: improving techniques to chill foods; extended shelf life; reduced food poisoning contribute > £100M pa to the economy
Pathways to Impact
What is impact?
RCUK recognises that the research we fund has both academic, and economic and societal impacts.
The potential to maximise both of these is assessed within peer review process
Academic impact: Academic beneficiaries and case for support
Economic/societal impact: Impact summary and Pathways to Impact
Pathways to Impact?
Changing name of ‘Impact plans’ to clarify their purpose
Not changing the purpose
‘Pathways to Impact’ chosen to reflect that we want applicants to explore ways to enhance potential impact, not predict impact
What is economic and societal impact?
The demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy by:
Fostering global economic performance, and specifically the economic competitiveness of the UK
Increasing the effectiveness of public services and policy
Enhancing quality of life, health and creative output
RCUK is committed to excellence with impact
This means continuing to invest in the best research, people and infrastructure; whilst aiming to enhance the impact of that funding on society.
Why are we asking you to explore Pathways to Impact?
Asking applicants to consider activities to enhance economic and societal impact is not new
We know that the research we fund has a huge impact on the wellbeing and economy of the UK
Recent changes help emphasise the importance we place on this and ensure that potential impacts are demonstrated and supported
Also ensures common format for capturing and assessing this information across different Research Councils
What do I need to write in my application?
Should cover potential academic impact and pathways towards realising that.
Should cover potential economic and societal impact and seek to answer two questions:
Who might benefit from this research?
How might they benefit from this research?
Pathways to Impact
Should detail the activities which will help develop potential economic and societal impact, answering the question:
What will be done to ensure that potential beneficiaries have the opportunity to benefit from this research?
What exactly should I write?
Activities outlined in the Pathways to Impact should be
For more guidance see individual Research Council websites.
From April www.rcuk.ac.uk/pathwaystoimpact
Will Pathways to Impact affect the funding decision?
Yes they could
The primary criterion is still excellent research
Beyond that, a number of considerations
Of which Pathways to Impact is one
Likely to affect decisions for example…
At the borderline
Where there is a clear need for user engagement
What if my research is assessed as excellent but my Pathways to Impact are deemed unsuitable?
BBSRC reserves the right to withhold the award of grant until Pathways to Impact are of a standard appropriate for the project.
What if my Pathways to Impact are assessed as excellent but my research is deemed unsuitable?
Excellent research remains the primary criterion, you will not be funded.
How does Pathways to Impact assessment compare with REF considerations?
We share a common understanding on the description of economic and societal impact.
The REF aims to assess impact which has been achieved.
The BBSRC peer review process is not trying to assess impact. It is designed to explore the potential for impact by considering potential beneficiaries from the outset.
RCUK undertake impact evaluations, but this is a separate exercise, and they are done retrospectively.
Can I request resources to fund the activities detailed in my Pathways to Impact?
Yes, all Research Councils provide resources to enable impact generating activities.
Applicants may request resources to cover the costs of eligible, project specific activity within their Pathways to Impact, unless applying via STFC where separate funding schemes for impact should be used
Introduction to BBSRC BBSRC’s Strategy and Priorities BBSRC Grant Funding and Peer Review BBSRC Studentships University of Leicester Funding Current Funding Opportunities 36
Responsive Mode Must Deliver: Excellent science Basic, strategic and applied research Impact Strategic priorities Interdisciplinary science Grants of all sizes e.g. LoLas Hypothesis- and non-hypothesis-driven research 37
To Clarify 38 Fundamental Research Responsive Mode Research Blue Skies Research = = If there is no hypothesis it can be fundable Applied research can be excellent research We fund technology, resources and databases
Research Committees 39 animal welfare basic microbiology animal physiology applied plant science soil science diet & health basic plant science evolutionary biology A B agricultural systems animal disease applied microbiology population biology crop science genome analysis food borne pathogens behaviour environmental change systems biology neuroscience bioenergy ageing 3Rs Stem Cells developmental biology environmental biotechnology genetics/genomics immunology bioinformatics molecular biology mathematical tools for biology cell cycle synthetic biology metabolic engineering structural biology food technology technology development C D biotechnology drug delivery recombination chemical biology tissue engineering biomaterials bionanotechnology biological chemistry gene action & regulation bioprocessing bioinformatic tools bioimaging cell biology biochemistry methods development enzymology/biocatalysis biophysics A: Animal Systems, Health & Wellbeing B: Plants, Microbes, Food & Sustainability D: Molecules, Cells & Industrial Biotechnology C: Technological & Methodological Development
Research Committee Membership CORE Deputy CHAIR CHAIR POOL To serve on BBSRC Committees
Check BBSRC website
Subscribe to our monthly alert for opportunities to apply
Criteria for Peer Review 41 Animal Usage Ethical & Social Concerns Data Sharing Impact Scientific Excellence Economic and Social Impact Cost Effectiveness Investment in People & Skills Timeliness and Promise Industrial/Stakeholder Relevance Relevance to BBSRC Strategy
The Peer Review Principles 42 Application via JeS Assessment by Referees Response to Referees Assessment by Committee Recommendation
Committee Input into Strategy 43 Council Strategy Advisory Board Strategy Panels Assessment Responsive Mode Proposals & Reported Outputs Evidenced Based Input Strategy Development
Responsive Mode Schemes New Investigator Award early-career researchers firstname.lastname@example.org Industrial Partnership Award must have at least 10% of the full economic cost of the project (cash only) email@example.com Applications in these schemes receive an uplift in the rankings - significant increase in likelihood of funding 44
Highlight Notices Will Deliver Timely Strategic Focus Relate to BBSRC Strategic Aims Time-limited Focused 45
Strategic LoLas Run on an annual call – next call expected Spring 2011 Applications must be over £2M FEC and up to 5 years in duration Support research projects requiring "big" science approaches: longer timescales, intensive resources or multidisciplinary approach 2 stage application process via Je-S Outline Full proposal All applications must address BBSRC's strategic priority areas Ensure scientific excellence Focus on the impact and quality of the research team 46
Simple pre-submission checks Is your Institution eligible? Is the research within BBSRC’s remit? Which research committee? Is it a resubmission? Are the PI/ Co-Is eligible? Has all the paperwork been done and submitted correctly? Are the fEC costs correctly inputted to the form? 47
Make the case properly A worthwhile and reasoned aim: what, why, how Appropriate, measurable, achievable objectives with realistic timelines Well-written, concise, & well-presented Supported: evidence of skills, knowledge, preliminary data, etc Risks and contingencies Context: awareness/appreciation of current activity Justify costs, related to case. Get the costs checked – appropriate admin help needed Think about impacts: say what will be done to address them - links and contacts 48
Help is at Hand Talk to us: Prior to submission - submit 1-2 page research summary After submission - read the feedback Help the Office by: Explaining your science (to intelligent non-experts) Peer reviewing (refereeing) when asked Reading the Je-S guidance notes and BBSRC grants guide Treating the Office staff with respect 49
Introduction to BBSRC BBSRC’s Strategy and Priorities BBSRC Grant Funding and Peer Review BBSRC Studentships University of Leicester Funding Current Funding Opportunities 50
Training highly-skilled scientists BBSRC supports over 2000 postgraduate students One third trained in collaboration with industry (CASE) Additional training provided in “transferable skills” Over 30% PhD students take immediate employment in private sector Addressing skills needs e.g. bioprocessing, in vivo physiology, mathematical biology
Delivery Plan 2008-2011 ‘Skills and Training’ positioned under Economic Impact Warry Report: “.. the output of highly educated people rather than research results is widely regarded as the most effective knowledge transfer mechanism.”
Training highly-skilled scientistsA significant investment BBSRC funds around 2200 PhD students and 1900 postdocs at any one time
Training Awards Committee (TAC) TAC responsible for assessment and monitoring of studentship and fellowship funding: Membership includes academics and industrialists Departmental Visits Monitors progress of BBSRC Fellows Members act as Mentors for BBSRC David Philips Fellows Chaired by Professor Ian Roberts (Manchester)
Bioscience Skills & Careers Strategy Panel (BSC) BSC advises on the wider agenda now facing BBSRC’s strategy for investment in skills and careers Membership includes representatives from all other Strategy Panels A more integrated approach to developing training strategy Thinking about the broad economic and social impact of trained people in research and research related careers Chaired by Professor Ottoline Leyser CBE FRS Met for the first time 26 January 2009
Strategic use of Quota DTGs Part of the 2007 Quota competition was to ask departments about their processes for using DTG flexibility Processes need to take account of BBSRC priorities in selecting supervisors and studentship proposals Vital element of Quota DTG approach is that this flexibility is used strategically – also responding to local research skill needs and needs of industrial collaborators CASE requirement in Quota awards: 25% of studentships need to be CASE
Core Bioscience Skills Areas Introduced as part of the 2007 Quota DTG competition We expect all Quota DTG funded PhD programmes from October 2009 to provide students with a range of core bioscience skills We do not wish to be prescriptive on the level of training needed, but all students need to have some exposure to these
Core Bioscience Skills Areas Three groups of core skills for bioscientists: Mathematical skills Computational and data handling skills; Multi-disciplinary approaches to biological systems Public engagement and outreach opportunities Ethical awareness training Awareness of the social context of biological research Commercial awareness Business and management skills Entrepreneurial awareness
Annual Industrial CASE competition 2010 Annual Competition with proposals submitted by companies or by academic partner 88 four-year studentships available again this year Double the number available in the 2006 competition Individual projects specified Training Awards Committee reviews projects to ensure that they offer appropriate training vehicle to the student Research training has to be robust and genuinely collaborative Deadline 4pm, 28 July 2010
Introduction to BBSRC BBSRC’s Strategy and Priorities BBSRC Grant Funding and Peer Review University of Leicester Funding Current Funding Opportunities 61
General Trends in Funding 62
BBSRC funding at University of Leicester Success rates for responsive mode and initiatives 63
Introduction to BBSRC BBSRC’s Strategy and Priorities BBSRC Grant Funding and Peer Review University of Leicester Funding Current Funding Opportunities 64
Application Closing dates Responsive Mode 23 June 2010 - TODAY 6 October 2010 Fellowships Next call TBC Studentships Next call TBC International Schemes Next call September 2010 Business and Innovation Schemes See Donald’s talk 65
Useful email contacts BBSRC remit queries firstname.lastname@example.org Specific queries about responsive mode applications: Research Committee A email@example.com Research Committee B firstname.lastname@example.org Research Committee C email@example.com Research Committee D firstname.lastname@example.org Help with JeS JeSHelp@rcuk.ac.uk Details on Science Outreach Visits email@example.com Dr Jo O’Leary Jo.O’Leary@bbsrc.ac.uk 66