Molecules to Landscapes – Building Interdisciplinary Capabilities

Closing Date: 24/03/2022

Support for researchers from the agricultural and environmental sciences to work collaboratively on novel agroecological projects to support a productive but sustainable agricultural system.

The new Molecules to Landscapes – Building Interdisciplinary Capabilities call is jointly funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to improve capability across agricultural and environmental sciences.

BBSRC and NERC recognise that there is a need to produce substantially more food over the next few decades to meet increasing demand, but agriculture has a significant impact upon the environment (eg emissions, synthetic chemicals entering watercourses, antibiotic use etc). Novel agroecological practices are needed to make the best use of available land resources and ecological resources (eg biodiversity and nutrients). The intention is to progress towards an agricultural system which is a net provider of both agricultural and ecological services.

Funding is available to develop collaborative and interdisciplinary projects within the BBSRC and NERC remits, including environmental/biological engineering, ecology and biodiversity, agri-systems, molecular biology, and data science (eg biosystems sensors, flow measurement, software, tools and algorithms, data integration, and modelling.). As a minimum requirement, all proposals are expected to have at least two Principal Investigators from different and relevant disciplines.

BBSRC and NERC are keen to encourage:

  • Research groups that blend the required talent and expertise.
  • A cultural diversity of stakeholders and researchers with novel, non-traditional perspectives.
  • Applications that tackle research challenges with real world implications.

Projects will be supported that achieve the following objectives:

  • Build upon and be informed by previous investment.
  • Identify ambitious ‘real world’ challenges.
  • Realise and define new research and innovative solutions for agriculture.
  • Build capability, increase capacity and create communities.
  • Develop the foundations of a research base.
  • Initiate the development of new interdisciplinary expertise.

The outputs of the project must contribute to developing an integrated system-wide approach and identifying innovative solutions that will inform and develop future agroecological practices. These agroecological practices must reduce the impact of agriculture on the terrestrial, freshwater, atmospheric or marine environments and their diverse flora and fauna.

Projects should aim to be creative and address a specific challenge with real-world implications. The proposal can include: activities to build capability (including workshops that bring together different disciplinary and user perspectives); small scale exploratory or scoping projects; evidence syntheses; plans to integrate and share datasets from different disciplines; and knowledge exchange activities.

Funding body Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Maximum value £200,000
Reference ID S23242
Category Biotechnology and Biology
Science and Technology
Natural Environment
Fund or call Fund