NEOF Pilot Project Grants – Mandatory Enquiry Process Now Open

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Environmental Omics Facility (NEOF) replaces the previous NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (NBAF). NEOF is a centre of excellence that enables environmental researchers in the UK to access the full range of omics supporting technology. It is a partnership between laboratories at the Universities of Liverpool and Sheffield, and is funded by NERC.

NEOF’s Pilot Project Grants provide funding for small pilot/development projects requiring access to the latest genome sequencing technologies (Pacific BioSciences, Illumina and 10X Genomics). The initiative is specifically aimed at early career researchers working within NERC’s remit.

Pilot/development projects should be directed at generating preliminary data or proof of concept in advance of full research grant or fellowship proposals, particularly when it is necessary to demonstrate the applicability or the technical feasibility of new techniques or approaches to NERC-relevant research problems.

Examples of eligible projects are:

‘Digital’ transcriptomics using next-generation sequencing.

Deep metagenomics of environmental samples.

De-novo genome assembly from long-read data.

The use of high-throughput sequencing as a genetic tool in natural populations.

Support with bioinformatic analysis.

Applicants are required to make clear the relevance of the work to NERC’s strategic remit and how the proposal would promote their transition towards being an independent researcher, develop their career or provide pilot data that will lead to further work and/or proposals for full funding.

The scheme is open to early career researchers working within NERC’s remit. For this call, NEOF defines an early career researcher as a non-independent postdoctoral researcher (eg a PDRA), an independent postdoctoral researcher (eg a research fellow) or an individual with a technician background (eg research or instrument technicians currently employed in a research capacity within the UK in an environmental science discipline relevant to NERC’s remit).

Access to staff, equipment and consumables costs with a maximum value of £9,000 is available.

Potential applicants must send NEOF an enquiry form to discuss their specific requirements and obtain a formal quotation. This form must be submitted between 18 January and 11 February 2021. Only applications where initial contact has taken place during this timeframe will be considered.

Applications should then be made via the NEOF Access Portal and include the required information as instructed in the guidelines. Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 2 March 2021.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.