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Follow-on Funding call

Copyright: Thinkstock

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 25 January 2017 – 15 March 2017

N.B. SuperFOF outline applications are no longer required.

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.

Funds can be requested for IP searches – in particular freedom to operate (but not to support patent filing costs).

This programme includes:

Pathfinder Follow-on Fund (apply at any time)

  • Projects up to 6 months in duration
  • Valued at under £25k (FEC)

Standard Follow-on Fund (FOF)

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

Super Follow-on Fund (SuperFOF)

  • Projects between 12-24 months in duration
  • Valued at between £0.25M and £2.0M (FEC)

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 three of our grants guide.

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.

2016-2017 timetables

Status Call 2
StandardFOF(open call)
SuperFOF full (open call)

Call opens

4 July 2016

Application deadline

11 October 2016

Panel meeting

27 February 2017

2017-2018 timetables

Status Call 1 Call 2

Call opens

25 January 2017 4 July 2017

Application deadline

15 March 2017 11 October 2017

Panel meeting

29 June 2017 TBC

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

Application downloads (for reference only)

Guidance notes for Follow-on Pathfinder (PDF 43KB)

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Guidance notes for Standard FOF and SuperFOF applications (PDF 126KB)

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Supporting letters (PDF 22KB)

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Please make your applications to 'BBSRC Follow-on Fund' through the Je-S system.

Committee membership

Professor David Dent (Chair) – Azotic Technologies Ltd
Caroline Woodside BSc (Hons) MSc (Deputy Chair) – University of Glasgow
Associate Professor Helen Atkins – Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
Dr Paul Bello – Axol Bioscience Ltd
Professor Olena Doran – University of the West of England
Dr Sarah Gaunt – SPG Innovation Ltd
Dr Anna Hine – Aston University
Mrs Catherine Lavery – Queen Mary, University of London
Professor Stephen Moss – University College London
Mr Oliver Sexton – Rainbow Seed Fund
Dr Andrew Spencer – Rothamsted Research
Dr Andrew Almond – The University of Manchester
Professor Satya Parida – The Pirbright Institute
Dr Rose Sheridan – Freeline Therapeutics/ UCL
Dr Rattan Yadav – IBERS, Aberystwyth University

Case study: New Heritage Barley Ltd – reviving Victorian barley for modern brewing

Dr Sarah de Vos and Dr Chris Ridout at the John Innes Centre established start-up company New Heritage Barley Ltd to commercialise a heritage variety of barley called Chevallier, last grown in the UK in the 1930s, for beer production.

Copyright: John Innes Centre
Dr Chris Ridout with the Chevallier Barley. Copyright: The John Innes Centre.

BBSRC follow-on funding enabled the researchers to scale-up production of Chevallier, which the researches originally grew for a public engagement event from seeds held by the JIC Germplasm Resources Unit, to produce enough for global malt distributors Crisp Malting Group to conduct a trial malting. de Vos then established New Heritage Barley Ltd to commercialise and supply the heritage barley.

In 2015, UK Brewery The Cheshire Brewhouse produced the first commercial beer using Chevallier malt; a pale ale called Govinda ‘Chevallier Edition’.

Chevallier is also resistant to Fusarium, a costly fungal disease of barley. The JIC researchers are working with colleagues in the USA and Canada to develop Fusarium-resistant barley varieties that can be grown on the humid East Coast of America, where Fusarium is a major problem.

Read more: The craft of beer – reviving old barley for modern brewers.

Related calls: commercialisation innovation skills and training