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Global Partnering Awards

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Call status: Open
Application deadline: 12 November 2020, 16:00


The Global Partnering Awards will provide funding to support the development of long-term collaborations with overseas scientists in countries not currently offered though our existing partnering award schemes.


  • To establish partnerships between UK and overseas laboratories
  • To promote the exchange of scientists, particularly early career scientists
  • To promote access to facilities
  • To enhance collaborative activities with CGIAR Centres and programmes (Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research Centres)
  • While this scheme will consider applications for partnership activities with any country not currently covered by individual schemes, BBSRC particularly welcomes applications which seek to partner with researchers in Argentina.


  • Funds can only be used for travel, subsistence and other activities, such as workshops or exchanges. They are not to fund salary costs, consumables, items of equipment or other research costs, nor to link ongoing single collaborative projects
  • Typically up to £30,000 over a four year period for partnerships with one or more life science laboratories in countries not currently eligible through our existing partnering award schemes
  • Applicants who wish to partner with researchers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, India, Japan, New Zealand, USA and Taiwan should apply to these specific Partnering Award schemes
  • Research groups should try and access other sources of funding in addition to the Partnering Award
  • Successful awards should aim to start from April 2021.

Highlight notices

International Partnering Award applications are particularly welcomed in the following highlight areas.

Global Highlight: International partnerships fostering a One Health approach to diseases of zoonotic origin

Zoonotic diseases are capable of passing from animals to humans. The US Centre for disease control estimates that six out of every 10 infectious diseases in people are zoonotic and 3 out of every 4 new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals. As well as threatening human and animal health, zoonoses affect livestock production, causing economic and social harm globally.

In response to the threat, this highlight will support international partnerships with any country that develop research projects and capability taking a One Health approach for improving our resilience to zoonotic diseases, which have the potential to cause significant social or economic impact. Applicants should explain the potential social or economic impact of their research in their case for support.

Applicants should also be aware of another related BBSRC funding opportunity.

Global Highlight: International Year of Plant Health – Partnerships which foster collaboration to protect and enhance plant health.

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The UN describes IYPH as “a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.”

Pests, diseases and weeds are major contributors to inefficiencies in agricultural production and pose serious and continuing threats to global food and nutrition security. Current control regimes face widespread resistance, environmental change is impacting on the spread of threats and some emerging and under researched pests and diseases lack effective control options. In response to this threat, this highlight supports international partnerships that develop research and capability to protect and enhance plant health.

This highlight is a global highlight and is open to partnerships with any country. BBSRC particularly encourages applications under this highlight with the following countries: Canada, China and Japan.

Applicants should also be aware of another related BBSRC funding opportunity.

Assessment criteria

  • The relevance of the award and benefit that this will bring to BBSRC
  • The benefits brought back to the UK; for example through access to new facilities or unique partnerships that would have been otherwise unavailable
  • The uniqueness of the opportunity to work with international partners in ways that would otherwise be unavailable
  • The level of contribution (either financial or in-kind) from the UK institution or the overseas partner
  • The opportunities for the exchange of scientists, with a balance of activities that are appropriate to the topic area
  • The opportunities for early career researchers that will benefit their future career.


  • Open to current BBSRC research grant holders, who are in receipt of BBSRC funding
  • UK consortia of academics may apply, with one person acting as the lead.

International travel considerations

Applicants must follow travel advice set out by their institutions and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Commonwealth Office before departure and should check travel guidance for countries of interest when preparing an application. BBSRC will not cover the cost of any time spent in quarantine as a result of travelling on an International Partnering Award grant. To manage risks associated with travelling, applicants should make optimal use of remote working solutions.

How to apply

  • Read the guidance and regulation notes
  • Complete an online application through the Je-S system.

Application downloads

International Partnering Awards: Guidance notes (PDF 140KB)

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International Partnering Awards Annex: Global (PDF 90KB)

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Related calls: collaboration early career international knowledge exchange partnerships people research facilities