Flexible Talent Mobility Accounts will enable cross-sector and interdisciplinary knowledge exchange within the biosciences by facilitating mobility between academic, business, public sector and third sector organisations. The ambition of these awards is to enhance sector porosity and allow movement between fields as well as providing professional development opportunities for bioscience research staff, and supporting staff, at all career stages.
We are inviting partnerships or consortia of eligible research organisations to deliver awards of up to £412,500 full economic cost (FEC) each, to deliver short-term mobility activities for bioscience research staff and supporting staff across different career stages.
The awards will provide flexibility to meet skills needs, but activities undertaken must support the mobility and development of a full range of research professionals and innovators including, for example:
- postdoctoral research staff
- research technical professionals
- venture capitalists, technology transfer office, or other knowledge exchange and commercialisation professionals.
The awards cannot be used to support students (including PhD students). You should consider how the award will support individuals in their career development, in line with the principles of the Researcher Development Concordat and the Technician Commitment where applicable.
What we will fund
Short-term placements and exchanges of up to six months duration are permitted. Funds can be used to support outgoing or incoming research professionals to undertake an exchange. The activities should aim to establish or further develop partnerships between academic, business, public sector and third sector organisations. Activities could include (but not be limited to):
- exchanges between academic institutions and businesses, public sector and third sector organisations
- interdisciplinary academia to academia exchanges
- international placements and exchanges
- placements and exchanges with policymakers
- shorter placements, for example, day releases
- longer placements, up to six months maximum
- Secondments, up to six months maximum
- technology transfer and knowledge exchange development opportunities
Flexible Talent Mobility Accounts can be used to support existing investments or partnerships or establish new collaborations. The funds should be used to build and further develop those collaborations to enable knowledge exchange between sectors and institutions. Eligible investments are encouraged to include a broad range and diversity of partners or suggested partners within their bid.
Funds can be used to cover the direct costs of mobility activities, for example, travel, accommodation, reasonable subsistence, training, consumables, salary. Funding can also be used to support secondary activities which are associated with the primary mobility activities, (for example, hosting conferences for those involved in the placements and exchanges to share your knowledge with your wider network.
Funds can be used to support non-UK nationals to undertake short-term placements and research collaborations that are hosted within a UK research organisation, subject to UK visa requirements.
Funds can be used for training courses and producing training materials.
Funds may be used to support costs associated with the administration of the short-term mobility activities. Administrative costs must be included within the overall award value, noting the maximum permitted (£15,000 FEC, of which we will fund 80%). Justification of these costs must be included in the justification of resources and will be considered as part of the assessment.
Costs for small grant specific consumables, for example, laboratory consumables or costs for transcription services, are also eligible. We expect these costs to be around 15% of the award but larger costs will be taken into consideration if duly justified.
What we will not fund
Capital (equipment) costs are not eligible under this funding opportunity.
Activities (placements and exchanges and training) for students, including PhD students, are not eligible under this funding opportunity.
Disability-related costs may be included in the grant in the following circumstances:
- if a person benefitting from an FTMA is already employed at the organisation before working on the grant:
- the employer should absorb the costs for disability related costs if these do not increase as a result of the person working on the grant
- if the individual has disability related support for their day-to-day activities, but this increases as a direct result of them working on the award, for example, having an assistant travel with them for fieldwork, then these additional costs can be charged to the project
- if the individual does not normally require disability related support in their day-to-day activities but will require this support as a direct result of their work on the project, for example, having an assistant travel with them for fieldwork, then this would become an eligible cost
- if the person is employed by the organisation specifically to work on the award:
- disability related costs can be charged to the grant; however, these costs should be attributed at the FTE % they are working on the award for.
To ensure the effective allocation of available funding and address the strategic training requirements of the bioscience’s workforce, we have identified six key priority areas.
The identified priority areas are a combination of cross-remit topics focused on the development of skills and research areas related to global objectives aligned with the UKRI strategic themes. The identified priority areas are given as follows, alongside guidance and examples of what they might include.
Please note that research areas aligned with the strategic themes but different from the examples presented shall also be considered, as long as they fall within our remit.
While applications covering multiple priority areas are welcomed, you must select a single priority area for your submission out of the following:
Cross-remit: data-intensive bioscience
Proposals focused on providing training in how to develop and use computational technologies and analytical approaches for large-scale bioscience data, for example, application of AI to bioimaging, -omics and multimodal data, complex systems modelling, training in emerging methods, software engineering or data stewardship including the FAIR data principles.
Cross-remit: engineering biology
Proposals focused on providing training for designing and fabricating biological components and systems that may be applied to a range of areas, including food systems, biomedicine, clean growth, and environmental solutions.
UKRI strategic theme: securing better health, ageing, and wellbeing
Proposals focused on providing training to staff working on biosciences research areas related to ageing and health across the life course, health inequalities, and food and nutrition for health.
UKRI strategic theme: tackling infections
Proposals focused on providing training to staff working on biosciences research areas related to infectious animal diseases and welfare, plant health, zoonosis and antimicrobial resistance including anthelmintic and fungal resistance.
UKRI strategic theme: building a green future
Proposals focused on providing training to staff working on biosciences research areas necessary for meeting our net zero targets, including bioscience underpinning nature-based carbon sequestration and advanced manufacturing and net zero agri-food systems.
UKRI strategic theme: building a secure and resilient world
Proposals focused on providing training to staff working on biosciences research areas necessary for increasing the resilience of supply chains that are dependent on bio-based materials and reducing vulnerabilities. This includes increasing resilience of the food system, from production to consumption, with a focus on the bioscience underpinning resilient food production, food safety and food and nutrition security.
A minimum of 70% FEC of the award must support activities within the chosen priority area. This could be through:
- enabling mobility of individuals to pursue work within the priority area remit, whether the individuals themselves already work within that remit or not
- training individuals who work within the remit of the priority area (and can include transferrable skills training, for example, leadership or project management)
- training individuals who do not work within the remit of the priority area in skills directly relevant to the priority area
The remaining 30% of the award can be used to support any activities outside of the scope of the priority area, provided they are within the broader spirit of the award.
All proposals shall highlight the importance of technology development (tools, resources, and wider technical skills).
- We expect at least 25% FEC of the award to be spent in the development of early career researchers
- We expect at least 25% FEC of the award to be spent in the development of research technical professionals, including lab-based staff and infrastructure investment workforce
The duration of this award is three years.
The FEC of your project can be up to £412,500.
We will fund 80% of the FEC.
Funding will be delivered quarterly and in arrears, with all spending to be completed prior to April 2027. You will be expected to submit annual reports and undergo light-touch annual monitoring to receive successive funding instalments, which could include a funding uplift or reduction.
Supporting skills and talent
We encourage you to follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the Technician Commitment.
If your application includes international applicants, project partners or collaborators, visit UKRI’s trusted research and innovation for more information on effective international collaboration.
Find out about getting funding for international collaboration.