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Follow-on Funding call

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Call status: Closed
Previous call: 4 July 2016 – 11 October 2016

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.

This programme includes:

Pathfinder Follow-on Fund (apply at any time)

  • Projects up to 6 months in duration
  • Valued at under £20k (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 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.

2016-2017 timetables

Status Call 1
SuperFOF outline call
StandardFOF (open call)
SuperFOF full call (invite only)
Call 2
StandardFOF(open call)
SuperFOF full (open call)

Call opens

25 January 2016 4 July 2016

Application deadline

15 March 2016 11 October 2016

Panel meeting

13 June 2016 27 February 2017

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

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

Application forms and guidance

StandardFOF and SuperFOF case for support form (DOCX 26KB)

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StandardFOF and SuperFOF case for support form (ODT 9KB)

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StandardFOF and SuperFOF guidance notes (PDF 111KB)

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Eligibility and assessment criteria (PDF 80KB)

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Supporting letters (PDF 22KB)

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Committee membership

Professor Adrian Harwood (Chair) – Cardiff University
Dr Sam Gallagher (Deputy Chair) – University of Oxford
Associate Professor Helen Atkins – Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
Dr Paul Bello – Axol Bioscience
Professor David Dent – Azotic Technologies 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
Mr Paul Robert Mines – Biome Technologies plc
Professor Stephen Moss – University College London
Dr Christopher Ridout – John Innes Centre
Mr Oliver Sexton – Rainbow Seed Fund Oliver Sexton
Dr Andrew Spencer – Rothamsted Research
Caroline Woodside BSc (Hons) MSc – University of Glasgow
Observer: Dr Sophie Dale-Black – Innovate UK

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).

Related calls: commercialisation innovation skills and training