Background

As part of the National Productivity Investment Fund/Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Imperial has been awarded a BBSRC Flexible Talent Mobility Account (FTMA) for the purpose of supporting the mobility of talented early career researchers and industrialists. The BBSRC FTMAs will support the exchange of personnel, perspectives and knowledge, skills and expertise between the academic and industrial sectors in a way that is in alignment with the Industrial Strategy.

As part of the College’s BBSRC FTMA, the College is inviting applications for Innovation Placements and Innovation Fellowships. Innovation placements will fund Imperial bioscience PhD students who have recently submitted their thesis (within 1 year of submission), who would like to spend time working with an industrial partner relevant to their PhD research. Innovation Fellowships will allow early career researchers based in other HEIs or industrial researchers to undertake a secondment at Imperial to tackle bioscience relevant industrial challenges in partnership between industry and academia. 

Prior BBSRC funding is NOT a requirement, but the PhD student or visiting researcher must be undertaking BBSRC-remit research.

An overview of the schemes is included below, but applicants should read the Call Guidance documents:

Applicants should complete an FTMA Coversheet (Word) and submit support documentation as outlined below and in the guidance documents. 

Innovation Placements

Purpose

As part of the College’s BBSRC FTMA, the College is inviting applications for Innovation Placements to foster strong ongoing links between academia and industry. Innovation Placements are targeted at bioscience PhD students who have recently submitted their thesis (within 1 year of submission), who would like to spend time working with an industrial partner relevant to their PhD research. Individuals on placements will have the opportunity to better understand the industry applications of their research, and upskill through exposure to new environments and new challenges, as well as building new networks for future collaborations. The College is keen for at least one of the placements to be awarded to an international/EU PhD student to support the retention of non-UK citizens.

Funding and eligible activities

Imperial has allocated a budget of £30K to Innovation Placements. Placements must be completed by 31 March 2020 and will be conducted by recently submitted PhD students (i.e. the student must have submitted their PhD thesis within one-year of the placement start). Imperial intends to fund two, 3-month placements to industry from the budget. The industrial partner can be existing or new to Imperial. The early career researcher(ECR) does not need to have been funded by BBSRC, but must have conducted BBSRC-remit research. The ECR does not necessarily have to have had their viva or been awarded the degree, but should have submitted their PhD before the commencement of the placement.

Successful proposals will be those assessed as having the highest likelihood of amplifying bioscience engagement with industry and business, rather than to any specific pre-selected challenge areas.

Awards will be distributed internally based on 100% direct costs excluding investigator time, estates, infrastructure technicians and indirect costs.

Eligible costs and activities:

The activities proposed for the placement should be relevant to the ECR’s BBSRC-remit research and demonstrate an opportunity for skills and career development of the ECR.

Funds in support of placements can be used for Direct Costs of the placement including salary (and associated superannuation and NI contributions) and reasonable travel, subsistence and consumables costs as necessary to support the ECR. Those undertaking the placement should be paid on an appropriate RA scale salary. Funding is available to support placements lasting up to 3 months. Placement start dates are negotiable, and should be appropriate to the requirements of a particular collaboration, but the placement must be completed by 31 March 2020. The ECR must be eligible to work in the UK for the duration of the placement.

Ineligible costs and activities:

Funds cannot be used for activities which do not involve the movement of a recently submitted PhD student from Imperial to industry for the duration of a placement. The PhD research of the ECR must have been within BBSRC remit. Funds cannot be used for investigator time, estates, infrastructure technicians or indirect costs.

How to apply

Each application should have a Principal Applicant, who must be an Imperial member of academic staff acting as a supervisor to the ECR undertaking the placement.

There is no standard application form to be completed; instead, applicants should submit the following documents:

  • BBSRC cover sheet
  • A written case for support of up to two pages to include:
  1. A description of the BBSRC remit research conducted by the ECR.
  2. A description of the industrial partner (e.g. new/existing partner with Imperial, relevance to the PhD research) and the activities to be supported during the placement, including clear objectives and milestones
  3. If relevant, which ISCF challenge is addressed by the ECR’s research and placement
  4. Description of how the ECR will benefit from this placement and what benefits the partner will get from hosting the ECR
  5. A consideration of opportunities for follow-on activities and maintaining the relationship with the industrial partner.
  • An InfoEd statement approved by the Department (price recovery screen)
  • CV of the ECR, stating clearly whether a permit is required to work in the UK
  • Letter of support from intended placement host

Proposals do not need to be reviewed by Research Services prior to submission. Applications should be submitted to researchoffice.fundingstrategy@imperial.ac.uk. Please note that applications submitted to email addresses of the named contacts will not be considered.

Deadlines

The Innovation Placement call is currently open to applications. Applications will be considered at two points initially, based on when remaining funds have been allocated; applications received by 5pm on the day of the deadline will be reviewed and applicants informed of the outcome within that month.

BBSRC FTMA Deadline Schedule

Month

Closing Date

December

3 December 2018

April

1 April 2019

Innovation Fellowships

Purpose

As part of the College’s BBSRC FTMA, the College is inviting applications for Innovation Fellowships to allow early career researchers based in other HEIs or for industrial researchers to undertake a secondment at Imperial to tackle bioscience relevant industrial challenges in partnership between industry and academia. Innovation Fellowships are targeted at early career researchers from academia or industry who have the potential to be the next generation of leaders within UK academic and industrial research. At least one of the secondments must be awarded to a non-UK-based researcher to fulfil an obligation to meet BBSRC’s ring-fence for the Rutherford Fund. Imperial is also keen that at least one secondment is awarded to a visiting researcher from industry/business.

Funding and eligible activities

Imperial has allocated a budget of £60K to the Innovation Fellowships, which will take the form of an inward secondment to Imperial. Secondments must be completed by 31 March 2021 and will be conducted by early career researchers from academia or industry (postdoctoral researcher or equivalent industry experience – individuals who have held or had an offer of an academic position at lecturer level are not eligible). Imperial intends to fund up to three, max 6-month inward secondments from the budget. Successful proposals will be those assessed as having the highest likelihood of amplifying bioscience engagement with industry and business, rather than to any specific pre-selected challenge areas.

A stipend of £2,200 per month will be awarded, plus up to £3k for travel and up to £5K for research, support and/or training costs.

 Eligible costs and activities:

The activities proposed for the secondment should be relevant to BBSRC-remit research and align with the Government’s Industrial Strategy. If the secondee is not from industry, the activity to be undertaken must align to a bioscience relevant industrial challenge (https://www.ukri.org/innovation/industrial-strategy-challenge-fund/). Secondees from industry automatically align with the Strategy through the Foundations of ‘ideas’ and ‘people’.

A set monthly stipend of £2.2k pcm will be awarded to the secondee, along with reasonable travel and consumables/training costs up to £3k and £5k respectively. These funds can also be used for visa costs associated with re-location for the duration of the Fellowship. Funding is available to support secondments lasting up to 6 months. Secondment start dates are negotiable, and should be appropriate to the requirements of a particular collaboration, but the secondment must be completed by 31 March 2021.

Ineligible costs and activities:

Funds cannot be used for activities which do not involve the movement of an early career researcher from another HEI or industrial partner to Imperial. Funds cannot be used for investigator time, estates, infrastructure technicians or indirect costs.

How to apply

Each application should have a Principal Investigator, who must be an Imperial member of academic staff acting as a supervisor to the early career researcher undertaking the secondment.

There is no standard application form to be completed; instead, applicants should submit the following documents:

  • BBSRC FTMA cover sheet
  • A written case for support of up to two pages to include:
  1. A description of the BBSRC remit research underpinning the secondment activities.
  2. A description of the HEI/industrial partner (e.g. new/existing partner with Imperial, relevance to the PI’s BBSRC-remit research) and the activities to be supported during the secondment, including clear objectives and milestones
  3. If relevant, which ISCF challenge is addressed by the secondment activities
  4. Description of how the secondee will benefit from this placement and what benefits Imperial will get from hosting
  5. A consideration of opportunities for follow-on activities and maintaining the relationship between the secondee and Imperial.
  • An InfoEd statement approved by the Department (price recovery screen)
  • CV of the ECR, stating clearly whether a permit is required to work in the UK
  • Letter of support from the ECR’s home institution/company

Proposals do not need to be reviewed by Research Services prior to submission. Applications should be submitted to researchoffice.fundingstrategy@imperial.ac.uk. Please note that applications submitted to email addresses of the named contacts will not be considered.

Deadlines

The Innovation Placement call is currently open to applications. Applications will be considered at three points initially, based on when remaining funds have been allocated; applications received by 5pm on the day of the deadline will be reviewed and applicants informed of the outcome within that month.

BBSRC FTMA Deadline Schedule

Month

Closing Date

December

3 December 2018

April

1 April 2019

July

1 July 2019