Digital Organisms: BBSRC call for research consultation

The ultimate realisation of predictive biology lies in the development of ‘digital organisms’ – collections of integrated models underpinned by quantitative data, which together represent key biological systems and processes. The UK is well placed to take a leading role in this long term, international challenge.

BBSRC strategic plan – Exploiting new ways of working

BBSRC recently announced a community consultation on digital organisms, digital models of biological systems which permit effective bioengineering and biotechnology work. The consultation will be of potential interest to those working in the various life sciences, computing, bioinformatics and related disciplines, as well as physical sciences and engineering which have frequent interdisciplinary crossovers in this area.

Douglas Kell, BBSRC’s Chief Executive, commented in a blog post today that the consultation will “feed into an expert working group … set up in the area” and help shape BBSRC policy and future funding directions on this issue.

The deadline for responses is 3rd September.


Newton International Fellowships: 2012 Round Open

Are you an early-career researcher based outside of the UK? Is your research in the natural, physical, social sciences or humanities? Do you want funding to undertake research at a UK-based institution for two years?

The 2012 round of the Newton International Fellowships opened at the end of January and the deadline for applications is 16th April 2012.

The scheme is a collaboration between the British Academy and Royal Society and has been running since 2008. Fellowships provide a grant of £24,000 per annum for subsistence, plus £8,000/annum for research expenses and a one-off £2,000 relocation allowance. In addition successful fellows may be eligible to receive follow-up funding for up to 10 years after the award to support ongoing networking and collaboration with UK researchers. The awards are not funded on a FEC basis, but they do provide a fixed contribution to overheads for the host institution amounting to 50% of the total value of the award.

The scheme aims to ensure that the very best researchers internationally have an opportunity to carry out a research project hosted by a UK institution. In the longer term, the priority is to facilitate access to international networks of excellence for UK-based researchers in the relevant disciplines.

Full details on eligibility and how to apply are available in the guidance notes. Since the last round there have been two changes to the scheme which emphasise the importance of working with researchers outside the UK: all applicants must be working and based outside the UK when applying; and applicants who completed their PhD at a UK university will normally not be eligible to return to that same university.

Northumbria University staff can contact Research & Business Services at an early stage to discuss potential candidates and for advice and support with an application.