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International partnerships


We have a responsibility to ensure that the UK remains a world-leader in the biosciences, and that academic research, industrial R&D and the UK economy benefit from the increasing scientific activity across the globe. Balancing collaborations with competitiveness means we can increase our impact, bringing considerable benefit to the society and economy of the UK by working with overseas partners. While we do not provide direct funding for research in institutions outside the UK, we recognise and harness the mutual benefit that derives from international research collaboration.


Examples of how research applications to BBSRC can address this overarching priority include:

Encourage the movement of researchers, particularly at the start of their post-doctoral careers, between the UK and overseas

If justified within the delivery of the grant, funds can be sought in an application for visits or periods of collaborative work overseas by staff associated with the grant. Typical visits may be to access unique facilities, databases or training opportunities.

Provide the UK participation in joint research activity with partners outside the UK

BBSRC grants may cover the UK costs of joint research in larger projects involving more than one country. Please contact the relevant Committee contact before submission if there are parallel applications being submitted in another country, we can usually (with sufficient advance information) liaise with partner funding organisations to ensure complementarity in review mechanisms (e.g. shared referees) and timescales. We see benefit in how such research levers resource in other countries, reduces fragmentation of research effort and draws from a larger skills and resource base.

Access world-class infrastructure and information

Advances in bioscience depend increasingly on new research tools, technologies and datasets, using informatics and other computational resources. Many of the facilities required are complex and costly and may be provided on an international basis or in another country. We remain alert to the development of such facilities and monitor their potential benefit to UK bioscience. BBSRC grants can cover the costs of accessing facilities and technologies overseas or training overseas in the use of new technologies, where justified.

Contribute to strategies to realise Millennium Development Goals

UK bioscience contributes to strategies for tackling major global challenges such as the impacts of climate change, adequacy of food supply and the threat of pandemics from livestock-to-human diseases. Much of the research we support has considerable potential to reduce hardship and promote prosperity in the developing world. If relevant, please show in your grant application how the proposed activity, including any international aspects such as those described above might contribute to realising Millennium Development Goals (see external links).