January 29, 2018, by Rob Ounsworth

BBSRC funding: University of Nottingham joins UK top three

Dr Richard Masterman, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research Strategy and Performance, celebrates the University’s outstanding success in securing funding from BBSRC.

The University of Nottingham has overtaken the universities of Edinburgh and Oxford to rank third in BBSRC funding behind Cambridge and Manchester. Our Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council portfolio now stands at £71m*.

Professor Melanie Welham, Chief Executive of BBSRC highlighted Nottingham’s outstanding performance in the past year during a visit the University.

Professor Welham said this was achieved while maintaining our 28% success rate in grant applications, above the national average. We also have a better gender balance in our portfolio than many universities.

Nottingham leads on 83 BBSRC grants

I am very aware of the hard work that has gone into building our BBSRC portfolio to its current level of £71m. There are many people in Nottingham who have contributed to this tremendous achievement, from those who lead, their collaborators and the teams who help develop and carry out projects, and all are to be congratulated.

Dr Richard Masterman

Dr Richard Masterman says the University’s BBSRC funding success is a tremendous achievement

Our portfolio consists of 83 individual grants where Nottingham leads, ranging from more than £14m for the Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) to just over £14,000 for an animal science grant. There are now 57 people across the University who are principal investigators on BBSRC grants and many more who are co-investigators.

£20m funding for PhD students

Within our portfolio, there is also nearly £20m which funds PhD students with Nottingham leading one of the most successful BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP) in the country. There will also be other grants led by other universities, not registered in the portfolio for Nottingham, where Nottingham is a key collaborator.

Professor Welham had an opportunity to speak with many of our BBSRC research leaders and some of our DTP PhD students who were able to present posters of their projects.

The Centre Biomolecular Sciences

The Centre for Biomolecular Sciences

During her visit, Melanie was also introduced to Nottingham’s two Beacons of Excellence which align with BBSRC priorities: Future Food and Green Chemicals. And she heard about many other significant areas including Nottingham’s substantial involvement in the BBSRC/Innovate UK National Biofilms Centre, based in the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences. She also saw up close Nottingham’s involvement in the Centre of Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL), which has led to the transformation of Nottingham’s dairy facilities for research.

Thanks to our ongoing investment in research facilities and capabilities and the dedication of our hard-working staff to compete effectively for grants of all sizes, we can grow our BBSRC portfolio even further.

With our continuing investment in facilities and capabilities and the dedication of our hard-working staff to compete effectively for grants of all sizes, we can continue to grow our BBSRC portfolio even further. If we can increase our portfolio by as much as the variation it has seen in the last year (£11m), then we could conceivably be ranked second in another year, further enhancing our reputation for world-leading research in biosciences.

*Awards data from RCUK Gateway to Research

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