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1 An Introduction to BBSRC & Current Funding Opportunities Dr Jo O’Leary Science Delivery Manager Research Innovation and Skills Directorate University.

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Presentation on theme: "1 An Introduction to BBSRC & Current Funding Opportunities Dr Jo O’Leary Science Delivery Manager Research Innovation and Skills Directorate University."— Presentation transcript:

1 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

2 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

3 Introduction to BBSRC BBSRC’s Strategy and Priorities BBSRC Grant Funding and Peer Review BBSRC Studentships University of Leicester Funding Current Funding Opportunities 3

4 Research Councils UK Strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils Combined budget of £3.4 billion in 2010/11 4

5 5 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Our Mission (Royal Charter) is: to support high-class science and research training, and to promote knowledge transfer in support of bio-based industries and public engagement in bioscience. BBSRC funding totals around £450M p.a. (09/10) STAKEHOLDERS ACADEMIAINDUSTRY PUBLIC GOVERNMENT

6 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 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 8 Delivery of Multidisciplinary Cross-Council Programmes Food Security Bioenergy Living with Environmental Change Ageing Global Threats to Security Bio-nanotechnology (Digital Economy)

9 9 BBSRC Strategic Planning Documents Vision 10 years Practical delivery 3 years5 years

10 10 BBSRC’s New Strategic Plan

11 11 BBSRC Strategy Formulation Refreshment Strategy Advisory Board and Strategy Panels DeliveryCommittees Membership and Agenda for Strategy Advisory Board and Strategy Panels will be on the BBSRC website

12 12 BBSRC Priorities Historically, multiple priorities covering everything Restructured to enable Excellence with Impact Now fewer priorities BBSRC-wide priorities

13 13 BBSRC Priorities 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 14 Food Security 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 “ 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”

15 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 16 Bioenergy BBSRC Bioenergy Review 2006 Centre for Sustainable Bioenergy Research (launched in 2009) Multi-disciplinary and systems approaches International collaboration through SysMo New Biofuel? Clostridium Courtesy of Nigel Minton

17 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)

18 Need for improved technology from bioscience community Multi-disciplinary (biosciences, physics, chemistry, engineering, computer sciences) Engagement with industry, potential for spin-out Technology Development for the Biosciences 18

19 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 Synthetic Biology 19

20 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

21 The Funding Cycle Partnership 21 Stakeholder Inputs

22 Excellence with Impact What do we mean? Excellent science Strategic focus Capturing outputs Demonstrate benefit 22

23 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

24 Pathways to Impact

25 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

26 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

27 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

28 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.

29 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

30 What do I need to write in my application? Academic beneficiaries –Should cover potential academic impact and pathways towards realising that. Impact summary –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?

31 What exactly should I write? Activities outlined in the Pathways to Impact should be – Project specific – Appropriate For more guidance see individual Research Council websites. – From April

32 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

33 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.

34 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.

35 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

36 Introduction to BBSRC BBSRC’s Strategy and Priorities BBSRC Grant Funding and Peer Review BBSRC Studentships University of Leicester Funding Current Funding Opportunities 36

37 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

38 To Clarify If there is no hypothesis it can be fundable Applied research can be excellent research We fund technology, resources and databases 38 Fundamental Research Responsive Mode Research Blue Skies Research ==

39 Research Committees 39 bioenergy environmental biotechnology evolutionary biology population biology genome analysis applied plant science soil science basic plant science agricultural systems basic microbiology environmental change applied microbiology crop science ageing immunology drug delivery tissue engineering synthetic biology 3Rs bioinformatics animal welfare animal physiology animal disease behaviour diet & health food borne pathogens developmental biology neuroscience molecular biology biochemistry metabolic engineering enzymology/biocatalysis structural biology chemical biology cell cycle recombination gene action & regulation cell biology mathematical tools for biology bioprocessing biotechnology food technology bionanotechnology biomaterials bioinformatic tools bioimaging methods development technology development biophysics biological chemistry genetics/genomics systems biology Stem Cells CD A B A: Animal Systems, Health & Wellbeing B: Plants, Microbes, Food & Sustainability D: Molecules, Cells & Industrial Biotechnology C: Technological & Methodological Development

40 CHAIR Deputy CHAIR Research Committee Membership POOL CORE To serve on BBSRC Committees Check BBSRC website Subscribe to our monthly alert for opportunities to apply

41 Criteria for Peer Review 41 Scientific Excellence Economic and Social Impact Cost Effectiveness Investment in People & Skills Timeliness and Promise Industrial/Stakeholder Relevance Relevance to BBSRC Strategy Animal Usage Ethical & Social Concerns Data Sharing Impact

42 The Peer Review Principles 42 Recommendation Application via JeS Assessment by Referees Response to Referees Assessment by Committee

43 Committee Input into Strategy 43 Responsive Mode Proposals & Reported Outputs Assessment Council Strategy Advisory Board Strategy Panels Strategy Development Evidenced Based Input

44 Responsive Mode Schemes New Investigator Award –early-career researchers Industrial Partnership Award –must have at least 10% of the full economic cost of the project (cash only) Applications in these schemes receive an uplift in the rankings - significant increase in likelihood of funding 44

45 Highlight Notices Will Deliver Timely Strategic Focus Relate to BBSRC Strategic Aims Time-limited Focused 45

46 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

47 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

48 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

49 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

50 Introduction to BBSRC BBSRC’s Strategy and Priorities BBSRC Grant Funding and Peer Review BBSRC Studentships University of Leicester Funding Current Funding Opportunities 50

51 www Studentships

52 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

53 ‘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.” Previous ( ) Studentships£42.0M£43.7M£47.0M£51.1M Fellowships£5.3M£6.7M£8.9M£10.5M Delivery Plan

54 Training highly-skilled scientists A significant investment BBSRC funds around 2200 PhD students and 1900 postdocs at any one time

55 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) Training Awards Committee (TAC)

56 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 Bioscience Skills & Careers Strategy Panel (BSC)

57 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 Strategic use of Quota DTGs

58 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

59 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

60 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 Annual Industrial CASE competition 2010

61 Introduction to BBSRC BBSRC’s Strategy and Priorities BBSRC Grant Funding and Peer Review University of Leicester Funding Current Funding Opportunities 61

62 General Trends in Funding 62

63 BBSRC funding at University of Leicester Success rates for responsive mode and initiatives /62006/72007/82008/9 Funded Not funded Success by value (£k) %

64 Introduction to BBSRC BBSRC’s Strategy and Priorities BBSRC Grant Funding and Peer Review University of Leicester Funding Current Funding Opportunities 64

65 Application Closing dates Responsive Mode –23 June 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

66 Useful contacts BBSRC remit queries Specific queries about responsive mode applications: –Research Committee A –Research Committee B –Research Committee C –Research Committee D Help with JeS Details on Science Outreach Visits Dr Jo O’Leary 66


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