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BBSRC National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) - Industrial Challenges Skills Schools

Copyright: Alex Raths/iStock

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 19 July 2017 - 30 August 2017

Please ensure applications are submitted to your institution’s submitter/approval pool a minimum of five working days in advance of the application deadline.


Our National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) is an invitation only call for BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP) and Collaborative Training Partnerships (CTP) only.

The call is aimed at supporting postgraduate and post-doctoral training by way of skills schools. Training must be developed in close collaboration with industry, and evidence of industrial demand is a key requirement for funding.

Ideally, training should be developed on an ‘Inter-Partnership’ basis with each activity involving students from more than one Training Partnership and ideally be a DTP/CTP collaboration. However, single partnership applications will be eligible, although a compelling case as to why the proposed training is only suitable for one partnership will be required. The skills schools should be delivered through a co-creation of activities and be focused on identifiable industry challenges.

Applications must emphasise the specific sectors of relevance to the Industrial Strategy that they will be working in along with the specific challenges it will address. We welcome applications for support of any research capability within its remit and in particular challenges in the following sectors:

  • Bioscience/biotechnology
  • Leading edge healthcare
  • Accelerating therapeutics
  • Advanced materials.

The following delivery mechanisms are excluded from the NPIF programme:

  • Full or partial PhD studentships
  • Full or partial MSc/MRes studentships: in line with other research councils, BBSRC does not provide funding for stand-alone masters training grants
  • Conference attendance/travel bursaries: these are included within PhD studentships and research grants
  • E-learning programmes.


A total of up to £210,000 is available in 2017-18 and a total of £50,000 in 2018-19 to support the training activities through this programme. Funding will be awarded to successful current DTP2 organisations only by way of additional funding.

Costs and eligibility

Applications may seek funding for up to £30,000 (at 100% fEC). Directly allocated staff time, estate and indirect costs will not be covered. We contribute towards the costs of external speakers, room bookings, time spent organising the skills school and other reasonable costs providing justification of resources has been received.

This call is open by invitation only to BBSRC-funded DTP and CTP organisations (see related links).

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

Applications must be made through the Je-S system by 30 August 2017, 16:00.

  • Please note that the application must be submitted by the lead applicant in academia based at a Doctoral Training Partnership
  • Applicants should refer to the detailed Je-S help text for each section of the application form, and the detailed case for support guidance notes available in the Information Pack
  • Important: applicants should ensure applications are submitted to their institution’s submitter/approval pool a minimum of five working days in advance of the published deadline. This enables institution checks to be carried out before final submissions
  • Applications must be submitted using the document templates available below. Failure to use the templates will result in the application being withdrawn
  • Applications must be received by 16:00 on the application deadline specified. Late applications will not be accepted.

Je-S system queries

For queries using Je-S, the helpdesk can be contacted Monday to Thursday 08:30-17:00 and Fridays 08:30-16:30 UK time (excluding bank holidays and other holidays) by email: or tel: 01793 444164 (out of hours please leave a voicemail message).

Please provide:

  • Your name, organisation and user ID
  • Date and time
  • Which part of the form or system you were working on
  • The nature of the problem.


Successful applicants will be required to submit a report on completion of the skills school.

Related calls: collaboration industry innovation knowledge exchange multidisciplinary national capabilities partnerships people research technologies skills and training