Funding FUNding Opportunities

A selection of the latest calls for funding

lead the way with AAA

Our selection of funding opportunities, from current calls with deadlines approaching or no closing date to industry collaborations and fellowships, have particular emphasis on the AAA sector - Animal Health, Agritech and Aquaculture. 

This is a growing sector and represents three of the Scottish Life Sciences sectors (including Digital Healthcare), having a distinct crossover with biotech, gene modification, gene editing etc. for food security and in crop science and environmental research.

Scotland is the ideal environment to carry out research and development in the area of domestic livestock, companion animals, aquaculture and plant science. We offer a truly world–leading scientific expertise, access to state of the art research facilities, a pool of highly skilled personnel and a growing cluster of innovative bioscience companies.

current with deadlines approaching

The British Society of Animal Science and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have come together to recognise the importance of animal welfare in all aspects of life, be that research, farming, working animals or in the home.

The first of its kind, the BSAS/RSPCA "PRAISE" Award (Prize for Research with Animal Impact by Scientists in Early career) will recognise students or early career scientists (within 3 years of graduating, or PhD student) whose research focuses on delivering a significant and positive impact on animal welfare. This award was launched during the final session of the first ever BSAS virtual conference on the 15th of April 2021.

Applicants can be undergraduate, post-graduate, post doctorate or early career scientists who may put themselves forward for the award, or they may be nominated by their supervisors, tutors or colleagues.


Application deadline: 1 December, 2021

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will work with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to invest up to £5.5million in innovation projects.

This funding is part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme which is delivered in partnership with UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge.

The aim of this competition is to:

  • investigate early-stage solutions that have the potential to substantially improve the overall productivity, sustainability and resilience of farming, and move existing agricultural sectors to net-zero
  • prioritise solutions that will have positive outputs for farmers, growers and foresters in commercially relevant situations
  • accelerate research and development of new agricultural solutions by actively engaging collaboration with the wider UK research community in the innovation process

Innovate UK 

Application deadline: 11am (UK), 1 December, 2021

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will work with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to invest up to £11million in innovation projects.

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £11 million for small research and development (R&D) Partnership Projects, from the industry-led R&D Partnerships Fund, a part of the Farming Innovation Programme.

This funding is part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme which is delivered in partnership with UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge.

Innovate UK 

Application deadline: 11am (UK), 1 December, 2021

SAIC’s Call 3 2021 focuses on an area of key priority for the aquaculture sector: innovations for continued improvement in fish biology, regeneration and environmental practices.

We encourage applications that cover the integration of multiple species, such as multitrophic aquaculture.

Collaboration Agreements must be complete within four weeks of the award of funding, and we would advise applicants to start working on these at their earliest opportunity. Successful projects must be ready to start by 1 June 2022.


SAIC funds innovative R&D projects through Timed Funding Calls. The team also has extensive experience in providing advice, guidance, signposting and consultancy on third-party funding opportunities from across the UK, Europe and further afield. If you would like SAIC’s help in reviewing and potentially supporting your application for third-party funding, make sure you get in touch with us as early as possible in the process, allowing 6-8 weeks for a timely turnaround.

Application deadline: 5pm (UK), 8 December, 2021

Research and innovation jointly funded by the ICRAD partners seeks collaborative approaches towards the development of novel and improved instruments to address, detect and control zoonotic diseases, particularly regarding novel detection, intervention and prevention strategies.

The previous co-fund call within the ICRAD ERA-NET successfully funded 19 collaborative projects looking at infectious animal diseases. This first additional call looks to further knowledge in the area of One Health with an emphasis at the animal-human interface.

In light of this, ICRAD announces the upcoming call for joint transnational research projects on animal health. The overall goal of the ICRAD call is to support cross-cutting research and innovation to better understand zoonoses focusing on the animal-human-environment interface and by developing novel vaccine and diagnostics technology platforms to improve animal health and by consequence animal welfare.

The objective of this funding call is to increase preparedness and improve the ability to respond to (re)-emerging zoonotic disease threats and contribute to improved animal and public health. This will be done through studies focusing on (re)-emergence of pathogens with zoonotic potential, understanding animal host-pathogen interactions and the immune response, and by developing detection and prevention platforms.

Pre-proposal opening date: 1 October, 2021

Pre-proposal submission deadline: 15 December, 2021

Calling all fledgling animal scientists and technologists!

Sponsored by KTN, this scholarship is aimed at those in the early stages of their animal science career (postgraduate student or within three years of graduating with a PhD, or those working in commerce or industry with an equivalent level of experience without necessarily having a PhD).

Worth up to £5,000, the award is to specifically support a short research project that is connected to working towards achieving net zero in a livestock farming environment.


Application deadline: 31 December, 2021

current opportunities

Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) is an agricultural technology venture studio in partnership between Deep Science Ventures and the Roslin Institute. 

The programme is a first in Scotland and will provide scientists with opportunities to research, design and then start their own science startups at the intersection of agriculture, food security and ecological sustainability.

Entrepreneurial scientists are being recruited to join, develop technology company concepts, and receive seed investment of up to £500,000 from Deep Science Ventures  to develop technology company concepts around three Opportunity Areas: Regenerative Aquaculture, Pollinator Reinforcement and Controlled Environment Agriculture.

Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) 

Programme in partnership with Deep Science Ventures (DSV) and the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute

Applications ongoing. Reviewed within 10 working days of receipt and if the candidacy successful, it normally takes no more than 2-3 weeks to get started.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas. All proposals must be business focused.

Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as, but not exclusively:

  • the arts, design and media
  • creative industries
  • science or engineering
Whilst we welcome projects that overlap with the grand challenge areas this is not a requirement, as we are also keen to support projects in other areas.

Innovate UK 

Smart is Innovate UK’s ‘open grant funding’ programme.

Application deadline: 11am (UK), 5 January, 2022

The UK Seafood Innovation Fund welcomes feasibility study applications from all organisations, as long as your idea, product or technology will benefit the sustainability and/or productivity of the UK seafood industry.

You will need to register as either yourself or your organisation. After registering, search for ‘Seafood Innovation Fund’ and you will be able to download all relevant documents and guidance to support your application.All applications must be submitted via the BRAVO procurement portal.

UK Seafood Innovation Fund 

The UK government’s Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) is a research and development (R&D) fund that launched in July 2019. The SIF programme is now part of the UK Seafood Fund under the Science and Innovation pillar.

Application deadline: 12pm (UK), 7 January, 2022

AgriFood Africa Connect brings innovative people and organisations across the UK and Africa together to address key AgriFood challenges in Africa. They build diverse connections across the UK and Africa to drive positive change that aligns with the UK’s Overseas Development Assistance goals.

Target long term outcomes of the programme include:

  • Developing sustainable intensification of African agriculture
  • Improving human health and diversity of diets and nutrition
  • Impacting positively on rural income and food security
  • Facilitating increased trade activity in agricultural products

The virtual missions are the next stage in the delivery of the GCRF AgriFood Africa programme, and continue the effort to build a community of stakeholders from numerous African countries and the UK.

The goal is to realise sustainable management of the food production systems in Africa in a way that alleviates poverty, enhances economic prosperity and delivers improved well-being.

Sign up to become a member of the GCRF Agrifood Africa Network.

This award is aimed at those interested in animal genetics, helping them to attend the World Congress in Genetics Applied Livestock Production (WCGALP).

Applications should reflect areas of current or future interest that will advance research and education in the application of genetics to livestock production. 

Up to £4000 prize fund is available and can be awarded to a single applicant or divided between a number of successful applicants dependent on the quality of submissions. 

Alan Robertson was a population geneticist and a major influence in the widespread adoption of artificial insemination of cattle and on estimating genetic effects that influence quantitative traits. Robertson spent most of his working life based at the National Animal Breeding and Genetics Research Organisation in Edinburgh as a member of the Unit of Animal Genetics.


No open calls at present.

The 12th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP 2022) will be held in the Netherlands.

In years when the WCGALP is being held (every four years - 2022, 2026, 2030...) an additional application period will be added as notified by the society.  

This scholarship is open to both members and non-members of BSAS.

What can you build in 2 weeks that scales and saves lives? We've got to work together to get ahead of this fast-moving virus.

COVID Accelerator brings together people and ideas with resources to move forward. It exists to serve the countless people who want to be helpful during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Join doctors on the frontlines, engineers, and designers, all working toward a common goal. 

No technical background? Not a problem. Everyone’s got something to add.

COVID Accelerator COVID Accelerator allows you to work through an idea, form a team, and quickly spin it up.

COVID Accelerator 

Application ongoing: Projects are starting all the time.

EUREKA is the leading platform for innovative entrepreneurs in Europe. Eurostars is the only European funding programme specifically dedicated to support R&D-performing SMEs in their innovative R&D projects. With its bottom-up approach, it stimulates international collaborative research and innovation projects that will be rapidly commercialised. 

There are hundreds of international projects led by R&D-performing SMEs from Eurostars Participating States and Partner Countries. Organisations of all types from across the globe are receiving government and European Commission support to improve their performance and focus on world-class market-oriented research and development.

If you are a small company in need of public funding for your innovative idea, participation in a Eurostars project can bring you a passport to growth, further innovation, an opening to new global markets and even greater business success.

Assistance is available for pan-European near-market, collaborative R&D projects which lead to the development of advanced products, processes or services. Assistance may include help with finding partners and the lowering of likely barriers to commercial success.

EUROSTARS project portfolio features a number of technological areas including Agriculture and Marine Resources. In this area, previously funded Eurostars projects included sustainable agriculture, agritech; crop production, protection and management; innovation in plant breeding and aquaculture resources.


When applying for Eurostars funding, note that Eurostars has two submission deadlines per year.

Small Research Grants are designed to support personally conducted high-quality research. The awards are available to cover eligible costs arising from a defined research project.

They are designed to encourage high-quality research and academic innovation and, where possible, to integrate with the overall programme of awards such that successful applications may lead to future bids for RSE Research Workshop or Network Grants funding, or act as preliminary investigations for other larger research grants.

Funding areas: Arts and Humanities, Career Development, Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM), Social Sciences.

cALlS with no closing date

We are looking for partnerships that help businesses to innovate, develop, grow and become more productive by employing academic expertise that they do not have in-house.

Your project can focus on any type of innovation in any sector but it must aim to deliver results that your business would not otherwise be able to deliver. As a business, you may be looking for an academic partner to help you to address a particular innovation challenge.

Partnerships are part-funded by a grant. Your business will have to contribute to the costs of the project, including the salary of the graduate, known as the associate, and the cost of a supervisor to oversee the project. The associate is employed by the academic partner but works in the business and brings new skills and thinking to deliver a specific innovation project. The project will last between 12 and 36 months.

Project costs vary greatly but typically a small or medium sized business might expect to contribute £35,000 a year and a large company in excess of £50,000. Your company may have additional costs such as purchasing capital equipment, which are not covered by this grant.


Key features of a UKRI Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) are that:

  • they are open to businesses or not-for-profit organisations, research organisations and graduates to work on an innovation project
  • partnerships can last between 12 and 36 months
  • funding is provided to support the total cost of the project – businesses provide around one-third to half of the project costs depending on their size
Scottish Enterprise research and development (R&D) grants help projects that will lead to innovative new products, processes and services to:

  • Improve company competitiveness
  • Benefit the Scottish economy

Scottish Enterprise

New grant funding model launching soon.

Funding for Industry Collaborations

The RSE Joint Projects aims to facilitate international collaboration between researchers based in Scotland with researchers overseas. Applications for two-year joint projects are invited from Scottish-based researchers to include an overseas Higher Education Institution (HEI), Research Institute (RI) or Cultural Institution of your choice (open to all countries).

The RSE provides up to a maximum of £6,000 per year and up to a maximum of £12,000 over two years. The collaborating institution is expected to provide the equivalent level of funding per two-year joint project.

Funding areas: Arts and Humanities, Career Development, International, Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM), Social Sciences.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is  one of seven Research Councils that work together as Research Councils UK (RCUK). Funded by the Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

BBSRC provide a range of funding opportunities to enable individuals and groups to pursue world-class bioscience research. This includes joint opportunities with other Research Councils and organisations.  

The BBSRC Grants Guide covers all aspects of research grant funding, including: eligibility, research equipment and application procedures. 

If you can't find what you're looking for please contact: 

Research grant submission: t: 01793 444164 

Grant eligibility: 


UK Research and Innovation is a new body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. Operating across the whole of the UK, working with many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas, with a combined budget of more than £7 billion.

UKRI provides a range of funding opportunities to enable individuals and groups to pursue world-class research and innovation. 

The government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund brings together leading research and business to tackle the big societal and industrial challenges today. 

The fund is a core pillar in the government’s commitment to increase funding in research and development by £4.7 billion over 4 years to strengthen UK science and business.

It will invest in the world-leading research base and highly-innovative businesses to address the biggest industrial and societal challenges today and is designed to ensure that research and innovation takes centre stage in the government’s Industrial Strategy.

Innovate UK is part of UKRI, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

As the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK works with people, companies and partner organisations to fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into research and development and realise the potential of new ideas that grow the economy, including those from the UK’s world-class research base.

The Knowledge Transfer Network is Innovate UK’s network partner and also provides innovation networking for other funders in line with its mission to drive UK growth. 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) accelerate business innovation by supporting knowledge exchange with academic institutions. KTP operates through an open call which includes the entirety of BBSRC's remit. 

As part of a UK-wide programme, these partnerships serve as a mechanism to transfer knowledge and to develop graduate and postgraduate personnel for industrial careers.Each partnership, lasting between 1 and 3 years, employs 1 or more high-calibre KTP Associates (early-career researchers) to work on an innovative project within industry.

Associates are jointly supervised by the participating industrial and academic partners. Government support is delivered through a grant to the academic partner. In addition, a contribution from the participating company fully covers an HEI’s cost of participation.

BBSRC seeks to promote KTP in industrial sectors that are able to benefit from the UK's excellent bioscience research base and encourages the appointment of KTP Associates at post-doctoral level. 

Applications are particularly welcomed from:
  • Small and medium sized biotechnology companies requiring access to advanced technology
  • Academic partners who have received BBSRC support

How to Apply:

Contact your local KTP Adviser or Office or call +44 (0) 300 321 4357.

A KTP can last between 12 and 36 months depending on the project and the needs of the business. It is part-funded by a grant. The amount businesses need to contribute is different for SMEs and larger companies.

2020 close dates for submission are aligned with Innovate UK’s sector and open competitions.

Find out about the latest Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) funding calls of relevance to the agriculture and food & drink manufacturing sectors.

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is part of Innovate UK's suite of business support products. It is a well established process to connect public sector challenges with innovative ideas from industry, supporting companies to generate economic growth and enabling improvement in achieving government objectives.

SBRI provides innovative solutions to challenges faced by the public sector, leading to better public services and improved efficiency and effectiveness. It generates new business opportunities for companies, provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a route to market for their ideas and bridges the seed funding gap experienced by many early stage companies. It supports economic growth and enables the development of innovative products and services through the public procurement of research and development (R&D).

The aim of the Medical Research Council (MRC) is to improve human health through world-class medical research, from fundamental science to early clinical trials and preventive medicine. The MRC works in partnership across UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and devolved administrations, the NHS, charities and industry.

The Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) is a unique partnership between the MRC and Innovate UK, providing responsive and effective support to the most innovative life sciences opportunities regardless of scientific approach.

The BMC aims to de-risk innovative science and commercialise ideas arising out of academia and industry helping UK SMEs to develop into competitive and sustainable organisations. This accelerates the progress of novel products to market, facilitates onward investment and bridges “the valley of death”.

MRC supports academically-led feasibility research through the Confidence in Concept which is open to institutions but not individual researchers. Academic-led applications for Early and Late Stage awards are primarily administered through the Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS).

Since BMC launched in April 2012, the scheme has awarded more than £250m funding, matched by £150m of private finance, to over 300 projects seeking to develop a wide range of therapies, diagnostics and devices.

Algae-UK and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) are pleased to announce a joint Proof of Concept call for projects addressing the technical challenges of delivering bio-polymers, natural pigments, dyes and inks from algae.invites applications for industry led collaborative research with funding of up to £25k available per project.

These compounds have a broad range of applications in several sectors and while there are some specific challenges associated with each sector and specific applications of polymer and pigment materials, there are some cross-cutting themes:

  • Sustainable and naturally sourced “ingredients” and products
  • Ensuring the product delivers to its main marketed purpose, e.g. stable natural polymers used in textile manufacture, but can then be biodegraded or effectively be recycled/ reused at end of life
  • Providing the key to disruptive sustainable technologies and solutions
  • The added benefit of being applicable to more than one sector, with modification to formulation, stabilisation, etc.

currently closed

Check direct with the funding organisation for information and any updates.

We are a worldwide network of public, private and third sector organisations spanning the GovTech, CivTech and CivicTech spectrum to support and nurture an ecosystem developing products and services which make citizens’ lives better.

The RSE grants funding and awards to recognise excellence and support leading research that benefits Scotland's cultural, economic and social wellbeing.

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a five year £1.5 billion resource funding stream, announced as part of the 2015 spending review, to ensure that UK research takes a leading role in addressing the problems faced by developing countries.

The GCRF will deploy the UK’s world-class research capability to address the challenges faced by the developing world. 

Professor Steve Bishop was a world-renowned scientist, making an outstanding contribution to the understanding of the impact of genetics on infectious diseases in farm animals. He took up a position at the Roslin Institute in 1988, building up a major research group with international recognition, and was a member of BSAS from 1993 to 2015.

The Grand Challenges family of initiatives fosters innovation to solve key global health and development problems. Each initiative is an experiment in the use of challenges to focus innovation on making an impact. Individual challenges address some of the same problems, but from differing perspectives.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Round 25 Challenges (Grand Challenges Explorations) has now closed.

The Grand Challenges family of initiatives fosters innovation to solve key health and development problems. See below for Grand Challenges grant opportunities with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as sole or contributing funder.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The are currently no open grant opportunities.

The Wellcome Trust has awarded the University of Edinburgh an Institutional Translational Partnership Award (iTPA) to diversify and intensify the support available to engage Wellcome- and non Wellcome-funded researchers across the medical, life and social sciences. 

High potential translational projects will be considered for an award of up to a maximum of £20,000. The funds may be used on a broad range of activities aimed at stimulating future translation of specific early stage research projects. The award will support direct costs only, and be associated with a range of activities including but not limited to:-

Skills development via industry secondments, academic placements or people exchanges, or specialist training.

Some projects that have received funding:-

  • Developing and evaluating museum exhibition paradigm for enhanced science learning
  • Obtaining regulatory advice for a novel therapeutic approach
  • Developing imaging methods for disease progression biomarkers 
  • Developing an animal model of organ injury
  • A drug repositioning project for human and livestock infections
If you are considering applying, or would like to discuss your ideas, please get in touch with the Wellcome Trust Entrepreneur’s-in-Residence to discuss your proposal or email ( The EiR’s can work with you on your application, and can also offer additional support and guidance in developing translational opportunities. Alternatively, please contact your existing Edinburgh Innovations Business Development Executive contact for your Institute.  


Edinburgh Innovations, University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service. 

Applications are currently closed but please check Edinburgh Innovations for updates. 

The UK Government’s Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) is a £10 million research and development (R&D) fund that launched in July 2019. 

The 3-year programme focuses on delivering longer term, cutting-edge innovation across the seafood sector; helping to take innovative ideas from early stage research to commercial viability. Products must benefit the sustainability and productivity of the seafood industry. Applications for collaborative projects that include both seafood sector organisations and technology businesses are encouraged. 

To be considered for funding you must provide an innovative idea or solution relevant to the seafood sector; demonstrate long-term sustainability and environmental benefits; be from an organisation of any size within the EU; follow the full submission process correctly. 

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) is administering the SIF programme on behalf of the UK Government.

The Seafood Innovation Fund is not currently open for applications. 

Applicants to a second funding call will be notified of the outcome in due course.


This scheme is for academic scientists who want to work on a collaborative project with industry and for scientists in industry who want to work on a collaborative project with an academic organisation. This exciting opportunity allows researchers to establish personal, scientific and corporate links between sectors.

The Industry Fellowship, part of the Royal Society's Industry programme, aims to enhance knowledge transfer in science and technology between those in industry and those in academia in the UK.

The scheme provides a basic salary for the researcher and a contribution towards research costs.

The Royal Society

Details of future rounds to be announced in due course.

This scheme, part of the Royal Society's Industry programme, enables scientists employed in industry or academia and/or their postdoctoral researcher to have shorter more dynamic engagements between academia and industry, working on a mutually beneficial and collaborative project.

Collaborations between academia and early-stage companies are particularly encouraged. It is anticipated that the personal and corporate links established by the researcher between the two sectors in the UK will seed longer-term collaborations and contribute to their long-term future development.

The Royal Society

There are currently no open fellowships.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowships enable promising science and technology researchers to grow into successful entrepreneurs.

Fellowships funded by Scottish Enterprise comprise the bulk of the programme. These awards are designed to encourage and enable the development of a new business based in Scotland around a technological idea developed by the Enterprise Fellow, either individually or with others, and within which the Enterprise Fellow would be expected to play a leading, though not necessarily the leading, role.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Awards are twice a year. Closing dates are generally April and October. The next call will be announced in the Summer.

RSE Personal Research Fellowships provide eligible applicants with the opportunity to take between three to twelve months to focus on a research project of their choice. The award provides funding for the appointment of a temporary replacement to enable the awardee to take research leave, either in their own institution or elsewhere, whilst remaining in continuous employment with their present employer.

In addition to funding the salary for the replacement member of staff (including on costs), this grant funds research costs for the awardee.

Funding areas: Arts and Humanities, Career Development, Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM), Social Science.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Closing date: 12pm (UK), 25 October, 2021


PhD and MScR opportunities are available at The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

A number of studentships for taught and research postgraduates are offered each year.

PhD and MScR opportunities are available at The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

A number of studentships for taught and research postgraduates are offered each year.

Click here for further information and details of open studentship calls at Easter Bush Campus.

AHDB fund a wide variety of PhD students to support the increase of new talent and ideas into our agricultural and horticultural sectors.

Requests for further information should be sent to indicating to which sector(s) your question is addressed. 

There are currently no open studentships.


New funding calls will be added regularly so please bookmark this page for the latest additions and those with deadlines approaching.