BBSRC Launches Bilateral Calls with Japan and Canada under New International Partnering Award Plus (IPAP) Scheme

Funding will support UK-Japan collaborations relating to synthetic cells or synthetic genomes, and UK-Canada collaborations in projects related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has launched two calls providing funding for bilateral proposals with Canada or Japan via the new International Partnering Award Plus (IPAP) pilot scheme. The scheme provides an opportunity for UK researchers to establish new partnerships or to develop pre-existing collaborations with researchers in Japan or Canada.

Projects may be conducted with researchers in Japan in the themes of synthetic cells or synthetic genomes, and with researchers in Canada on the subject of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Further details of both calls are as follows:


The funding opportunity aims to develop novel approaches, technologies and applications that allow for the efficient and effective construction or utilisation of ‘de novo’ or modified existing cells and genomes. It is anticipated that applications may include:

  • Innovations in precision genome engineering technologies.
  • Challenges at different biological scales (for example synthetic organelles, functionally modified cells and compartments, and artificial cells).
  • Bottom-up engineering or top-down strategies towards artificial cells and synthetic genomes.

Applicants must partner with a researcher at a research organisation in Japan.


Proposals are welcome in both fundamental and applied bioscience that aim to combat AMR in collaboration with partners in Canada. Projects must be primarily relevant to combating AMR in both the UK and Canada.

Proposals should involve at least one or more of the following microbial reservoirs:

  • Farmed animals, including fish.
  • Companion animals.
  • Crops, including trees.
  • Managed agricultural environments, including farm soils and animal housing.

Applicants must partner with a researcher at a research organisation in Canada.

In both cases, applicants must be based at a UK institution eligible for funding in accordance with standard UKRI practice. Standard eligibility criteria as set out in the UKRI-BBSRC research grants guide applies.

A total of £1.5 million is available for each call. The full economic cost may be up to £187,500. BBSRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost, meaning the maximum award available is £150,000.

For UK participants, the grant will cover UK research costs, and facilities costs in the UK and Japan or Canada. The grant may be used to fund partnership building costs for participants in either country, such as:

  • Travel between the UK and Japan/Canada, including subsistence and accommodation costs.
  • Venue hire, workshops and networking costs.

Projects should start from January 2023 and last between 18 and 24 months.

Applications for either call should be submitted by the 6 September 2022 (16:00) deadline.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)