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

UK registered academic institutions, RTOs or Catapults can apply for a share of up to £9 million to fund innovation projects with businesses or not for profits.

Your application must be for a specific, strategic innovation project that tackles one or more challenges faced by the business partner. It can be any kind of project and must show:

  • how it helps the business with a real need
  • how it fits the strategic aims of the business partner
  • a genuine market opportunity and a viable route to market
  • how the knowledge gained will be embedded within the business partner
  • what makes your project innovative
Each application must be led by a knowledge base, working with a business partner and supported by a knowledge transfer adviser.

Innovate UK: KTN 

Innovate UK KTN exists to connect innovators with new partners and new opportunities beyond their existing thinking – accelerating ambitious ideas into real-world solutions.

Registration closing date: 16 November, 2022

current & Upcoming 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.

EIT Food is the world’s largest food innovation community, creating connections right across the food system. Supported by the EU, we invest in projects, organisations and individuals who share our goals for a healthy and sustainable food system.

If you’ve got an innovative project that will create positive change in the food system, EIT Food want to help. Seeking projects that will put new products on the market, introduce new and improved commercial processes and services, and achieve:

  • Healthier Lives Through Food
  • A Net Zero Food System
  • A Fully Transparent, Fair and Resilient Food System
EIT Food can provide funds of up to 70% of your project costs to de-risk your investment, leaving you free to focus on finishing rather than funding.


EIT Food

Submission window 2 deadline: 13 April, 2023

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best game-changing and world-leading ideas, designed for swift, successful commercialisation. Ideas need to be genuinely new and novel, not just disruptive within their sector, and the competition is open to UK-registered organisations.

Your proposal must be business focused, with deliverable, realistic, adequately resourced plans to achieve return on investment, growth and market share following project completion. Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as, but not exclusively, net zero, the arts, design and media.


Innovate UK

Competition opens: 27 October, 2022

Competition closes: 11am (UK), 18 January, 2023

cALlS with no closing date

Our standard research grants are for researchers at eligible organisations that include:

  • higher education institutions
  • research council institutes
  • approved independent research organisations
  • public sector research establishments
We will award 80% of the full economic costs of your research, and your organisation must agree to find the balance. Projects can range in size up to £2 million and last up to 5 years. Funding can support a range of activities from research projects to technology development, new infrastructure and equipment, use of equipment and facilities, networks, and summer schools.


BBSRC

You can apply if you:

  • are resident in the UK for at least 183 days in a tax year
  • hold a lecturer or lecturer-equivalent position at a UK higher education institution, research council institute or UK Research and Innovation approved independent research organisation
Principal applicants must be employed at the submitting research organisation at lecturer level, or equivalent, or due to move to the organisation before the start date of the grant. Or if not employed, applicants must have an agreement that the research will be conducted at the submitting research organisation as if they were an employee at lecturer level, or equivalent.

Co-applicants must be employed at an eligible organisation and meet the same employment criteria.

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.


UKRI

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: jeshelp@rcuk.ac.uk t: 01793 444164 

Grant eligibility: eligibility@bbsrc.ukri.org 

Remit: remit@bbsrc.ukri.org

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.


currently closed

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

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.


BSAS

No open calls at present.

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

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.

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.


UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy. This funding is from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

Your proposal must be business focused, with deliverable, realistic, adequately resourced plans to achieve return on investment, growth and market share following project completion. Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as, but not exclusively net zero, the arts, design and media.


Innovate UK

SMART is Innovate UK’s responsive grant funding programme. It has focused eligibility criteria and scope to support SMEs and their partners to develop disruptive innovations with significant potential for rapid, economic return to the UK.

The Moredun Foundation Award recognises the value of education, collaboration, experience and travel in improving knowledge of farming and livestock industries.

As part of its charitable activities, the Moredun Foundation established an award scheme to provide an opportunity for individuals in the UK to pursue a short term project to broaden their education and experience in areas relating to livestock health and welfare and the agricultural industry.

The Moredun Foundation Award supports personal development and encourages innovative and diverse contributions to our mission to prevent and control infectious diseases of livestock.


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. 


UK-registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25million for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy. This funding is from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.


Pathfinder is a fully funded opportunity for entrepreneurs to accelerate their new product or business in only six months. Participants will be taught practical tools and techniques to interrogate their idea, plan for opportunities and optimise for marketplace success.

To help you execute your idea, Pathfinder delegates are coached directly by experts across a range of disciplines including new product development, innovation, business strategy, finance, investment and more. The programme includes a “Dragon’s Den” style pitching session in front of real investors in a safe environment to help to you prepare for just about anything in the commercial world.


The RSE’s Research Awards autumn programme provides funding opportunities for all academic disciplines, across all career stages.

Available for application are eight different research funding opportunities designed to support Scotland’s academics to realise their potential, stimulate research in Scotland, and promote international collaboration.

The Research Awards Programme runs twice a year in spring and autumn.

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.


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.

Women with exciting, innovative ideas who will inspire others can apply for an award which includes a £50,000 grant and bespoke business support.

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is offering up to 50 Women in Innovation Awards to women entrepreneurs across the UK. The winners will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support. Applicants must be confident, with the support of an award, that they can make a significant contribution to a pressing societal, environmental or economic challenge through their innovative project.

The competition is split into 2 phases. In the application phase 1, the awards will be assessed by independent experts. In the interview phase 2, the shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a panel of experts.

This competition is open to single applicants only. To lead a project you must be a woman founder, co-founder or senior decision maker within a UK registered micro or small and medium-sized enterprise business that has been operating for at least one year by the competition closing date.


Innovate UK

nnovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. It supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions. It also helps businesses grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes, and services, supported by an outstanding innovation ecosystem that is agile, inclusive, and easy to navigate.

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 (iTPA@ed.ac.uk). 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.

Wellcome

Edinburgh Innovations, University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service. 

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

FEllowships

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.

This scheme is for outstanding scientists who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field. These long term fellowships provide the opportunity and freedom to build an independent research career in the UK or Republic of Ireland and pursue cutting-edge scientific research.


The Royal Society 

Scheme opens: 12 July, 2022

Scheme closes: 3pm (UK), 6 September, 2022

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

There are currently no open fellowships.

STUDENTSHIPS 

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 studentships@ahdb.org.uk indicating to which sector(s) your question is addressed. 


There are currently no open studentships.


LATEST ADDITIONS

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