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2018 Bioinformatics and Biological Resources Fund

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Call status: Closed
Previous call: 19 September 2018 - 14 November 2018


The Bioinformatics and Biological Resources (BBR) Fund aims to facilitate the establishment, maintenance and enhancement of high-quality bioinformatics and biological resources to support the UK bioscience research community.

The indicative budget for the call is up to £6 million, subject to the quality of applications received.

Please note that all applications must have a start date no earlier than 1 July 2019.


We recognise the UK bioscience community need for access to state-of-the-art bioinformatics and biological resources, to facilitate ground-breaking research in an internationally competitive environment.

  • Bioinformatics resources (for example databases, software suites): enable management, analysis and sharing of large and/or complex datasets and development of novel software solutions for deeper analysis of datasets and greater understanding of biological systems
  • Biological resources: provide access to materials that underpin cutting edge bioscience research, for example culture and germplasm collections, mutant lines, DNA samples, clones, genetic libraries etc.

We take a strategic approach to investment in research capability, to ensure that the UK bioscience community has access to the infrastructure, facilities and resources necessary, focusing on the needs of the research community, and facilitating the development of sustainable models of operation. The BBR Fund was established to help address this need.


The BBR Fund supports the following types of applications:

  • Establishment and maintenance of a new resource applicable to a broad BBSRC user community
  • Maturation and subsequent maintenance of a project-based resource into a community-based one
  • Development and subsequent maintenance of an existing community resource to increase its relevance to a broader BBSRC user community
  • Interfacing and integrating resources to better meet user needs.

Continuation funding

Requests for continuation funding to support existing resources, funded through BBR or alternative funding sources, are permitted under this call, provided a number of key points are addressed in the proposal:

  • Project focus is on further development of the resource
  • Ongoing UK bioscience community need is established, evidenced by usage data included in the proposal - with parties providing letters of support encouraged to include similar supporting data where appropriate. Some examples data types include:
    • Access requests from independent users/ sites
    • Citations or acknowledgements
    • Other public resources providing links to the resource
    • New major acquisitions captured by the resource.
  • Long-term sustainability of the resource beyond BBSRC funding, as well as the true cost of running and maintaining the resource in question, have been considered. The proposal should include:
    • Cost recovery plans, where appropriate
    • Details for alternative support plans outside of BBSRC funding
    • Clear arguments as to why BBSRC should continue to support the resource, should cost recovery and other alternatives be deemed unsuitable.

Proposals for continuation funding will be assessed alongside and in competition with all other proposals submitted to the call.


Proposals in the following areas will not be accepted:

  • Projects with an exclusive research focus - some elements of research can be included, but should support technological development of the resource to address changing user needs
  • Resources already suitably supported via other means
  • Principal beneficiaries are outside of the UK
  • Principal beneficiaries are outside of bioscience
  • Archive-only resources without active usage
  • Collections of preserved, non-recoverable specimens (for example herbaria, formalin-fixed material).

Please contact us well in advance of the deadline if you are unsure whether your application fits within the scope of the call.


This call for proposals is open to all institutions and applicants normally eligible for BBSRC funding. See section three of our grants guide for further information on institutional and applicant eligibility.

Research technical professionals

We recognise the value of technical expertise to the UK research workforce, and support recognition of their contributions where appropriate. Arrangements for professional development of technical and support staff should be described in the proposal. For further information please see: Research technicians and technology and skills specialists.

Research software engineers

BBSRC notes the significant contribution of staff such as Research Software Engineers (see: Research Software Engineer Association) and equivalent roles to interdisciplinary computational projects, and supports recognition of their contributions and encourages applicants to cost them appropriately on applications.

For any queries about eligibility, please contact before submitting your application.

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

Applications must be submitted using Je-S by 14 November 2018, 16:00, selecting the following options:

  • Council: BBSRC
  • Document Type: Standard Proposal
  • Scheme: Bioinformatics and Biological Resources Fund
  • Call: 2018 Bioinformatics and Biological Resources Fund
  • Create Document.

We advise applicants to refer to the call guidance notes, FAQs and our grants guide before completing their application.

Assessment process

Applications will be subject to external review with an opportunity to respond to reviewers' comments. Overall assessment will be conducted by a panel of experts covering scientific, managerial, technical and user aspects of resource provision.

The following assessment criteria will be used for all applications:

  • Scientific quality and strategic relevance of the resource
  • Quality of the overall arrangements for resource management, advisory functions, as well as user access and engagement
  • Evidence for need / demand and potential benefit to the UK research community
  • Cost effectiveness, particularly considerations for long-term sustainability beyond BSBRC funding
  • Potential for economic and social impact beyond the academic community.
  • Fit to scope of the BBR Fund


Call opens 19 September 2018
Application deadline 14 November 2018, 16:00
Panel meeting w/c 4 March 2019
Earliest start date 1 July 2019


Bioinformatics and Biological Resources Fund

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