A few funding opportunities for UK plant scientists

Here are the details of a few funding opportunities we have recently came across for early career and more established researchers – some of the deadlines are quite soon so if you’re interested, be quick!

Royal Society Research Grants

The Royal Society invites applications for its research grants. These provide seed-corn funding for early-career UK scientists for research within the society’s remit in the natural sciences, including the history of science. The aim is to increase the availability of specialised equipment and consumables for high quality research, and to enable scientists to further develop their new projects by obtaining funding from other sources.

Applicants should have a PhD or equivalent status, be working as independent researchers within five years of their first academic position and be resident in the UK. Non-tenured researchers and retired scientists may apply if the application is related to the history of science and the applicant works in association with an eligible institution. Eligible organisations are UK universities and non-profit research organisations, including institutes funded by the UK Research Councils.

Two types of grants are available for a maximum period of 12 months: grants of up to £15,000 for specialised equipment, essential consumable materials and services, and travel and subsistence for essential field research; and grants of up to £5,000 for the publication of scholarly works on the history of science.

Deadline: 26th May 2015

 

BBSRC Future Leader Fellowship

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Food Standards Agency invite applications for their future leader fellowship. This enables early-career researchers to undertake independent research on any area within biotechnology and biological sciences, and to gain leadership skills.

Applications that align with the following strategic priorities are particularly welcome:

  • animal health;
  • bioenergy – generating new replacement fuels for a greener, sustainable future;
  • combating antimicrobial resistance;
  • data driven biology;
  • food, nutrition and health;
  • healthy ageing across the lifecourse;
  • new strategic approaches to industrial biotechnology;
  • reducing waste in the food chain;
  • replacement, refinement and reduction in research using animals;
  • sustainably enhancing agricultural production;
  • synthetic biology;
  • systems approaches to the biosciences;
  • technology development for the biosciences;
  • welfare of managed animals.

In addition, the FSA will co-fund proposals that have the potential to impact on issues highlighted in its emerging strategy 2015–2020 and underpinning science, evidence and information strategy. A particular interest is for proposals that aim to realise the potential of utilising big data approaches to address complex issues that will ultimately lead to benefits for consumers. Fellows whose proposals are co-funded by the FSA may undertake a short term placement with the agency.

Applicants should have a PhD, or be expecting to have passed their viva prior to 30 November 2015. They should have no more than five years’ postdoctoral research employment by this point.

Approximately 12 fellowships are available. Each fellowship is worth up to £250,000 over a period of three years. Awards include personal salary as well as support for travel and subsistence, training activities and research consumables.

Deadline: 4th June 2015

 

Rank Prize Nutrition Fund New Lecturer Award

The Rank Prize Funds’ nutrition committee invites applications for its new lecturer awards. These support scientists who are conducting research in an area of human nutrition or crop science in order to further their careers.

Newly-appointed lecturers, researchers of equivalent status who are based in research institutes, or fellows with their own independent support who are working in a UK institution, may apply. The post must have been started at the earliest in 2013, and applicants should normally be three to nine years from their PhD. Postdoctoral scientists supported on a senior investigator’s funding are not eligible.

Awards are worth up to £20,000 each for a period of up to two years. Funding may be used for consumables, equipment or a contribution towards a salary or student support.

Deadline: 28 August 2015

Spring funding round-up

Categories: funding, UKPSF
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Published on: February 28, 2013

Spring 2013 is full of deadlines for various plant science funding opportunities. I compiled a list of calls that close in the next few months here. For up-to-date funding news, check the UKPSF website.

Research funding, partnering awards, and fellowships

BBSRC Strategic Longer and Larger Grants: Outline proposal deadline 18 April. Selected applicants will then be invited to submit full applications by January 2014. These sLoLa grants are worth over £2M and can last up to 5 years. The proposed projects must be in line with BBSRC Strategic Priorities, and in this round proposals are particularly encouraged in ‘innovative routes to fine and platform chemicals’ and ‘mechanisms for enhancing cellular productivity.’

BBSRC Responsive Mode: Deadline 24 April. Proposals are accepted to the four research committees for projects in line with BBSRC Strategic Priorities. Remember that plant scientists may apply to Committees B and D. For non-plant specific generic genes, development, technology, engineering, and maths approaches to biology, consider Committee C.

BBSRC Synthetic Biology China Partnering Award: Deadline 30 April. Up to 5 awards will be co-funded with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The funds are to form collaborations between UK- and China- based groups who are current BBSRC or CAS grant holders. The four key areas highlighted in the call are fairly well suited to plant science, so if you have Chinese contacts and are open to synthetic biology, do give this partnering award consideration.

BBSRC Enterprise fellowships: Deadline 17 May. This enterprise-driven award provides a salary for a year spent on developing a business plan and seeking investment, access to mentors and business experts, and business training. Academics, research staff, or post-grads may apply. (more…)

Links for Women in Science (and family men too)

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Published on: August 28, 2012
Some institutions which support women in science and family-friendly working practices

At the University where I did my PhD, male PIs far outnumbered female PIs in the School of Biological Sciences. The Head of School and all the Heads of Departments were male. The faculty lists of other universities show a similar story – and this is in life sciences, the science subject most dominated by girls at A-level. Gender balance among fellows of Royal Society is even more skewed, perhaps reflecting the wider scope of the Society, at 5% female.

These unbalanced ratios are not seen at school, university or even at post-doc level, so there is a time early in academic careers when more women than men leave academic research. The UK Resource Centre for Women in SET and the Royal Society of Chemistry commissioned a report to find out why. The report concluded that the lack of women in many areas of academia can seem isolating and off-putting; and an academic career demands a working life dictated by experiments and deadlines, with no room for part-time work or career breaks. The report also notes that both men and women are put off by the difficulties of life in academia, but more men than women are happy to make the sacrifices.

There are organisations and individuals calling for change, and providing support for female researchers at all stages of their careers. I have collected them below – feel free to get in touch if you know of any others.

Please note that many of these funds are available to men who require flexible working times and support for dependants. Most of them are not open now, but call for proposals annually or bi-annually. (more…)

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