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Identification of Pilot UK Community Access Nodes for Euro-BioImaging

This call invites applicants for a shared “Node” of bioimaging infrastructure for community access within the UK, with successful Nodes dedicating a fair proportion of capacity for the wider Euro-BioImaging community. Lead applicants should be eligible to receive UKRI funding and be associated with a UK Imaging facility.

Summary
Timeline
Who can apply
What we're looking for
How to apply
How we will assess your application
Contact
Additional information

Summary

We encourage applications from UK-based imaging facilities that can:

  • Demonstrate technical and scientific excellence.
  • Describe in detail how the facility will add value to the users’ research.
  • Demonstrate sufficient capacity to allow additional access through EuBI collaboration.
  • Show that named facilities and associated staff are sustainable and supported for at least the next 5 years.

Applicants can either apply on behalf of a single facility, or a group of facilities offering a network that offers added user value compared to the sites alone.

This call is run independently of Je-S (email submission only).

Important

Please note no funding is associated with this call.

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Timeline

Full stage opening date 14 June 2021
Full stage closing date 26 July 2021 16:00
Webinar 21 June 2021 14:00-15:00
Panel review 2 August 2021
Decision to be decided

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Who can apply

The UKRI/BioImagingUK call for pilot UK Nodes of Euro-BioImaging is open to all UK-based imaging facilities who are able to offer sufficient capacity for use by Euro-BioImaging members.

Lead applicants should be eligible to receive UKRI funding and be associated with a UK Imaging facility (please see the BBSRC grants guide (PDF, 557KB) for eligibility guidance). Applicants can either apply on behalf of a single facility, or a group of facilities offering a network that offers added value to the user over access to a single site.

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What we're looking for

Lead applicants should stipulate the following in their Expression of Interest (PDF, 948KB):

  • Demonstrable technical and scientific excellence of the facility, or the group of facilities submitted.
  • Tangible evidence of the ability of the facility (or facilities) to accept and manage external users, considering longer-term sustainability challenges over 5 years.
  • Significant added value that the facility (or facilities) will provide to the users’ research.
  • Specific efforts detailing how staff roles will support the use of equipment and how they will be supported in their careers, aligning with UKRI’s Technician Commitment.
  • Consideration of how the proposed “Node” complements the wider Euro-BioImaging technology landscape

Further information can be found in “How we will assess your application”.

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How to apply

Completed Expression of Interest forms (PDF, 948KB) must be submitted by email to eubi@bbsrc.ac.uk by 26 July 2021, 16:00. Should you have issues completing the Expression of Interest form, or require the form in an alternative format, please contact eubi@bbsrc.ac.uk for assistance.

For full details, please read through the Expression of Interest form and the included guidance notes carefully. A checklist is provided within the Expression of Interest form to help you to confirm that all the correct supporting documentation has been completed prior to submission.

Supporting documents

Attachment ID. Attachment description
AT1 Letters of Support from Node users for whom new or expanded capacity is planned 1,2
AT2 Letters of Support from Existing Users1,2
AT3 Letter(s) from host institution(s) confirming capacity, open access capability, and sustainability at least until 2026 (Letter of Commitment)1,3,4
AT4 List of Publications, outputs, activities in support of excellence statements excellence and added value)5
  1. Multiple Letters of Intent (AT1, AT2, AT3) should be included as a single PDF wherever possible.
  2. AT1 and AT2 combined can total no more than 10 letters
  3. Please ensure AT3 is signed by the legal representative of the applying institution and stamped accordingly
  4. In the case of multi-sited Nodes, AT3 should be provided by all hosting institutions.
  5. Please ensure research publications and outputs directly reference host institutions wherever possible

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How we will assess your application

Assessment

Applications will be assessed by a multidisciplinary panel of experts covering scientific, technical, managerial and user aspects of equipment provision and management. External reviews will not be sought.

Facilities will be assessed based on scientific and technical excellence, ability to offer access and support to external users, and added value offered to user research. In the event that a number of similar applications are received, selection of candidate Nodes will involve a strategic element to ensure a balanced portfolio is offered that aligns with UK national requirements and those of Euro-BioImaging. (EuBI) We advise candidate Nodes to evaluate EuBI’s technology portfolio (EuBI’s new technologies) and the wider capabilities of EuBI when considering the technology, skills, expertise, and resources of the proposed Node.

While no contributions from host institutions are required, statements of support are essential, in particular those that provide assurances of the continuity of support for the facility.

The following assessment criteria (not listed in order of priority) will also apply:

  • Demonstrable technical and scientific excellence of the facility, or the group of facilities submitted.

    Applications will be assessed on the stated scientific technical excellence of the facility, and their ability to offer access to outstanding imaging facilities. Applicants will be asked to provide evidence to confirm their statements, which can be in the form of user statements, publications or other evidence (including, for example evidence of technology development or collaborations).
     
  • The ability of the facility (or facilities) to accept and manage external users and longer-term sustainability

    Applicants will be asked to describe the capacity of the facility that can be offered to external users, the sustainability of their facility and how the user access process will be managed.
     
  • The added value that the facility will provide to the users’ research.

    Applicants should explain how accessing and using their facility will significantly add value to users’ research. This will likely be through usage of advanced technology, but may also be achieved through access to unique training, user support, access to advanced sample preparation or innovative methodologies, or support for data analysis, data management or software.

The final Node structure is intended to be a portfolio of facilities that present a range of distinct capabilities that significantly advance the users’ research. Applicants should be mindful of what their outstanding or unique offering will be, taking into account the current UK and European bioimaging landscapes.

Research technical professionals

As the first funder to sign the Technician Commitment, UKRI recognises the value of technical expertise to the UK research workforce and is committed to ensuring ‘visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research, across all disciplines.’

Applicants should detail how staff roles will support the use of the equipment and how they will be supported in their careers. Please refer to the UK Research and Innovation statement of expectations for technology/skills specialists and UKRI-BBSRC's website.

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Contact

Please provide as much information as possible in your email to ensure a rapid response.

For call-specific queries please email: eubi@bbsrc.ac.uk

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Additional information

Additional context regarding Euro-BioImaging:

Euro-BioImaging (EuBI) is the European landmark research infrastructure for biological and biomedical imaging as recognised by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), operating through a hub and spoke model across partner countries and institutions. Through EuBI, life scientists can access imaging instruments, expertise, training opportunities and data management services that they might not find at their home institutions or among their collaboration partners. EuBI was granted the legal status of an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) on 29 Oct 2019, and EuBI became fully operational in December 2019, having operated in a limited interim capacity since May 2016.

The mission of EuBI encompasses two main aims:

  • To provide access, services and training to state-of-the-art imaging technologies for all life scientists in Europe and beyond
  • To foster the liaison and cooperation of all its stakeholders (including scientists, industry, national and European authorities)

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