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National Engineering Biology Programme (NEBP) Funding Calls

Engineering Biology  

UKRI partners including BBSRC, EPSRC, Innovate UK, MRC, and NERC, have worked closely with MoD/Dstl to engage the UK community and establish a vision for UK engineering biology.

Building on this vision, UKRI continues to develop a proposal for an ambitious National Engineering Biology Programme (NEBP) to support and progress the world leading expertise of engineering biology in the UK both now and into the future.

More information >>

Engineering Biology Webinars

We have scheduled two community webinars at:

These webinars will provide further details on these two funding opportunities and provide an opportunity for you to ask questions. If you would like to participate, please note that the same content will be presented at both sessions and you need only register for one of the two meetings, via the links above.

Short term aims for UK Engineering Biology

As UKRI continues to work towards establishing a NEBP, we recognise the imminent pressures on engineering biology in the UK. Therefore we have defined the following short term aims and objectives: 

  • Building on the existing foundations. UKRI aims to provide the opportunity to retain and sustain the UK’s world leading capability in engineering biology.
  • Building momentum and bridging capability. UKRI aims to support the transition of the UK community towards the vision and model of the proposed NEBP, across disciplines and sectors.

Engineering Biology Funding Opportunities

To address these two aims, UKRI-BBSRC in collaboration with EPSRC, Innovate UK, MRC and NERC, are planning to launch two funding opportunities:

 Breakthrough awards – An open call for 15 awards, up to 12-months each, that aim to stimulate the development of novel ideas in the discovery-inspired themes of the NEBP, seeding potential future areas of research.


  • 4-page case for support
  • 1-page justification of resources
  • 1-page capability to deliver

Anticipated launch date: 01 July 2021

Anticipated call close: 16:00 on 28 July 2021

Latest possible start date: 01 November 2021

Principal Investigators and Co-Investigators must be at lecturer level (or equivalent) or above and meet the standard UKRI eligibility criteria. However, applications are encouraged from investigators that may not consider themselves to have a track record in engineering biology; this includes both early-career researchers who have yet to establish a track record as well as individuals from other disciplines who are looking to explore the potential impact of engineering biology across disciplines.

Further provisional information on this upcoming call can be found in the attached Breakthrough Awards Details; however full eligibility parameters, budgets and award sizes will be available upon call launch.

Transition awards – An open call for 10 awards, up to 24-months each, that will simultaneously provide investment to maintain and support existing capability while enabling the community to align scientific focus with the NEBP and provide opportunities for the growth of new clusters.

Anticipated launch date: Mid-late July 2021

Anticipated call close: September 2021

Further details of this opportunity will be provided in the coming weeks.

Both opportunities will be launched in due course, please monitor the UKRI Funding Finder for further information.



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