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Follow-on Funding

SuperFOF full call 1 status (invite only): Closed
Call opens: 14 May 2015
Application deadline: 24 June 2015

SuperFOF outline call 2 status: Closed
Call opens: 14 May 2015
Application deadline: 24 June 2015

Follow-on funding


The Follow-on funding programme is designed to support the translation of fundamental research funded by us into practical application, including commercialisation. The aim of the programme is to help researchers maximise the societal and economic benefits of their research.

This programme is a proof-of-concept model where further work on an idea will take it through to the stage at which the route to application is clear, which may include a spin-out or licensing opportunity. The programme enables activities essential to preparing a robust business plan and secure, where appropriate, further funding and support to progress.

This programme includes:

Pathfinder Follow-on Fund

  • Projects up to 6 months in duration
  • Valued at under £20k (100% FEC)

Standard Follow-on Fund (FOF)

  • Projects up to 12-18 months in duration
  • Valued at under £250k (100% FEC).

Super Follow-on Fund (SuperFOF)

  • Projects between 12-24 months in duration
  • Valued at between £0.25M and £2.0M (100% FEC)
  • Applications are by invitation only, following an outline phase.

Pathfinder Grants help researchers undertake the preliminary work required to put them in a position to apply for a Follow-On Fund Grant. This work typically focuses on evaluating the market potential for their research and the comparative strength of their intellectual assets and, if the technical feasibility of the project depends on it, the achievement of technical milestone 1.

A Follow-On Grant enables researchers who have a sound understanding of the market opportunity for their intellectual assets to execute a defined programme of work of up to two years in length that has clearly defined and complementary technical and business plan development milestones.

BBSRC funding is at 80% of FEC.


Standard eligibility criteria apply, as described in section 3 of our grants guide (please see related links).

In addition to fulfilling the standard eligibility criteria, the Principal Investigator (PI) must currently or previously have held BBSRC funding with demonstrable relevance to the application.

Follow-On Fund projects must draw substantially on previous research funding by us and fall within our portfolio. Proposed applications are not anticipated to extend research grant funding or to be applied research for commercial partners.

2015-2016 timetable

Status SuperFOF outlines call 1 SuperFOF outlines call 2 Full call 1
(FOF open call)
(SuperFOF invite only)
Full call 2
(FOF open call)
(SuperFOF invite only)

Call opens

1 December 2014 14 May 2015 14 May 2015

14 September 2015

Application deadline

4 February 2015 24 June 2015 24 June 2015

11 November 2015

Panel meeting

21 April 2015 6 October 2015 6 October 2015 16 March 2015

How to apply

Please make your applications to 'BBSRC Follow-on Fund' through the JeS system (see external links).

Application forms and guidance

Outline super follow-on fund case for support (DOC 45KB)

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Case for support form (DOCX 26KB)

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General guidance notes (PDF 70KB)

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Super and standard Follow-on fund outline guidance notes (PDF 498KB)

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Supporting letters (PDF 21KB)

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Background (PDF 20KB)

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Eligibility and assessment criteria (PDF 38KB)

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Committee membership

Dr Paul Thomas (Chair) – Independent consultant
Professor Neil Bruce – University of York
Professor Olena Doran – University of the West of England
Dr Sam Gallagher – MPLS Division, University of Oxford
Dr Sarah Gaunt – Eminate Ltd
Professor Adrian Harwood – Cardiff University
Dr Dave Hughes – Syngenta
Dr Carole Llewellyn – Swansea University
Dr Fiona Marston – Absynth Biologics
Mr Paul Robert Mines – Biome Technologies plc
Dr Andy Muir – Rainbow Seed Fund
Dr Malcolm Rhodes – The University of Manchester/independent consultant
Dr Christopher Ridout – John Innes Centre
Professor Derek Stewart – The Hutton Institute
Caroline Woodside BSc (Hons) MSc – University of Glasgow

Case study

Dr Andrew Almond – C4X Discovery Limited (previously Conformetrix)

Dr Andrew Almond, © Conformetrix
Dr Andrew Almond

Dr Almond's unique technology, to determine the dynamic 3D shapes of drug molecules, is the culmination of a large body of work produced during a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship. Within the space of 3 years, Dr Almond's research has gone from laboratory concept to the edge of commercial reality, which promises to have a substantial contribution to drug discovery and, ultimately, patient health.

His research group's discovery of the flexible 3D molecular shape of hyaluronan quickly led to a UK patent and the all-important 'proof of concept' that their new methodology could be generalised to any small flexible molecules, such as antibiotics and hormones. With the support of two Follow on Fund awards and a BBSRC/RSE Enterprise Fellowship, Dr Almond has made rapid progress towards commercialisation and, with his colleague Dr Charles Blundell, formed the spin out company Conformetrix to exploit the technology. They went on to raise seed funding from Aquarius Equity Partners.

For more information about C4X Discovery Limited (previously Conformetrix) visit their website (see external links).