Access keys

Skip to content Accessibility Home News, events and publications Site map Search Privacy policy Help Contact us Terms of use


Stage 1 – outline proposals
Stage 2 – full proposal

Stage 1 – outline proposals

Outline proposals are assessed by members of the Strategic Lola Committee (SLC). Outline proposals are not sent to reviewers.

The SLC will consider three sub-headed questions for each outline proposal:  

  1. Is this an important bioscience research area?
    • How will this research advance the field?
    • What is the anticipated potential impact(s) of this research?
    • How does it address our strategic priorities?
    • How does it address the strategic priorities of the applicants' institution(s)?
  2. Is this the best team to address the problem?
    • Is the PI's track record and expertise appropriate to lead the project?
    • Does the PI have the leadership abilities to successfully complete the strategic LoLa? E.g. does the PI have experience of leading and managing large research programmes?
    • Do the Co-Is (where included) have expertise appropriate to the project, have clearly defined roles, and have they committed sufficient time to the strategic LoLa project so that the objectives are successfully met?
    • Is the project management appropriate for the complexity of the project?
  3. Is a strategic LoLa necessary to address the proposed research problem?
    • Is there a clear added benefit from funding this work as a single project?

Due to the limited information available and a lack of external peer review, the SLC is not asked to undertake a full scientific appraisal of the project at the outline stage.

The SLC will also evaluate the proposals in terms of:

  • the strategic importance of the scientific question
  • the potential impact of the project
  • the training and career development potential offered by the project
  • BBSRC's existing portfolio of large grants and their distribution across BBSRC's scientific remit

Based on the questions above, the Strategic Lola Committee will decide which outline proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal.


Feedback will be provided to those applicants who are invited to make a full proposal. The feedback will be provided based on discussions at the SLC, and may include comments on:

  • any parts of the outline that should not be included in a full proposal
  • essential information which should be part of a full proposal
  • any concerns about management of the project
  • any suggested modifications to the scale or timescales of the project
  • any additional work or collaborations not outlined in the application, where they are deemed to be essential to the success of the project, or concerns as to the role of certain members of the project team
  • any concerns about the science case or methodologies outlined that the applicant should address in more detail especially when proof of concept, or preliminary data are essential
  • any other advice required.

Feedback will also be provided for unsuccessful applicants.

Stage 2 – full proposal

Full proposals are assessed in responsive mode by the most relevant Research Committee (A, B, C, or D). Details of responsive mode assessment criteria can be found in our Grants Guide.

All full proposals are then evaluated by the Strategic LoLa Committee (SLC), which meets approximately 1 month after the Research Committees. The SLC will take into account the referees' comments, the applicants' response, and the assessment of the proposal by the Research Committee.

The SLC will also consider:

  • The excellence of the scientific proposal
  • The strategic importance of the scientific questions to BBSRC and the applicants' institutions
  • The potential impact of the project
  • The skills and capabilities of the project team
  • The training and career development potential offered by the project
  • The suitability of the project management
  • Value for money
  • BBSRC's existing portfolio of large grants and their distribution across the BBSRC scientific remit

The SLC generates a rank-ordered list to identify the full proposals that are recommended for funding.