Advanced research equipment and the development of capability in this area is a key component in maintaining the competitiveness of the UK research base. UKRI-BBSRC recognises that new technologies, tools and approaches, often spanning several disciplines, are revolutionising biology, providing unprecedented opportunities to advance understanding of the complex, dynamic processes that govern life and to apply that knowledge for the benefit of society and the economy.
To support this approach, the 2020 ALERT call, like previous calls of this nature, encourages you to apply for:
- equipment that is widely used and underpins capability across all scientific areas within UKRI-BBSRC remit. Relevance to the priority areas in UKRI-BBSRC’s Delivery Plan (PDF, 2.2MB) is particularly encouraged
- applications that pioneer the use of emerging advanced research technology or utilise equipment in new ways of working
- applications that promote collaboration and equipment access between users within industry, public sector and other institutes.
The indicative capital budget for the 2020 ALERT is approximately £10 million.
Applications may seek the following only:
- the cost of capital equipment over £200,000 including VAT, requested under the ‘Directly Incurred Equipment’ heading only. No other cost types are eligible under this call. Any applications submitted with costs in any other heading will be rejected without consultation
- only one piece of capital equipment, although this can include equipment that requires assembly or involves several components (not necessarily physically linked) provided they constitute a single technology platform. If you plan to request several components that could constitute a platform, it is important that you approach UKRI-BBSRC for permission before submission, providing a short 1-2 page document outlining how your proposal delivers value for money and enables novel research that would not otherwise be possible. Please refer to the FAQs document for an example
- costs such as initial installation or service maintenance contracts if they are one-off costs and part of the manufacturer’s offer. These costs should be included in the equipment quotation. Service maintenance contracts may extend a maximum of 24 months past the end date of the award (i.e. 36 months in total) but the contract cost must be paid within the lifetime of the grant (i.e. 12 months). Should the expected length of the contract exceed 36 months, then the cost included in the application should be reduced on a pro-rata basis so as to fit within the conditions as stated. UKRI-BBSRC expects that institutions will make longer term arrangements to ensure appropriate ongoing support over the lifetime of the equipment. Separately negotiated service contracts are not eligible for this call.
Applications looking to request over £750,000 need to contact UKRI-BBSRC before submitting an application. We reserve the right to reject any applications requesting costs over £750,000 that have not been discussed with us in advance of submission.
If you expect that a significant portion of the equipment user base will be undertaking research in areas outside UKRI-BBSRC remit, you must seek an appropriate level of additional upfront contributions and support from external sources and provide information on this external support in the application. Read more about the UKRI-BBSRC remit.
Applications in the following areas will not be accepted, and UKRI-BBSRC withholds the right to reject these applications without consultation:
- applications that request any other costs apart from capital funding. The 2020 ALERT call supports capital funding only
- equipment requested valued below the £200,000 (VAT included) threshold
- proposal that exceeds 12 months in duration
- applications for single-user or single-project instruments
- requests for funding for equipment that is scheduled for market release after the call close date
- principal beneficiaries are outside of the UK
- principal beneficiaries are outside of bioscience
- establishment of generic computing platforms (for example high performance computing clusters) when the intended use largely extends beyond research areas that are within the UKRI-BBSRC remit
- requests for contributions to very large facilities or to the purchase of equipment that constitute normal elements of a well-founded laboratory (centrifuges, fridges, incubators, etc.) or for buildings and other types of infrastructures
- while the use of new or emerging technologies is encouraged, proposals for the development of new technology are outside of the scope of 20ALERT and will be rejected
- proposals to develop software packages
- proposals that do not provide quotes for the requested equipment
- applications of the same nature that at the same time have also been submitted to other award schemes (including research council grant schemes)
- Unsolicited resubmissions of proposals that have previously been considered by UKRI-BBSRC or any other funder.