Eradication of bovine tuberculosis through basic research and discovery (ERADbTB)
Call status: Open
Full call application deadline (invite only): 25 February 2015
BBSRC, in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), announce a call to support fundamental bioscience that will address key gaps in the knowledge of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) biology.
Total funding available for the call is £6M (BBSRC: £5M and Defra: £1M).
This call is part of BBSRC's Integrated Programme of Research on bTB and will contribute to the:
- UK multi-partner programme in Global Food Security
- Defra strategy for achieving Officially Bovine Tuberculosis Free status for England
- Welsh Government strategic framework for bovine TB eradication
About the programme
BBSRC's Integrated Programme of Research on bTB aims to fund basic fundamental bioscience research that will provide the foundation for the development of effective bTB control and eradication strategies.
The aim will be achieved by encouraging collaboration between animal and human TB communities and supporting:
- Fundamental basic bioscience research which addresses key gaps in the knowledge of bTB biology and informs Defra's policies
- The development of novel cost effective non-animal models of bTB which will help to speed up discoveries
BBSRC envisage that this programme will facilitate the growth of the bTB basic bioscience research community and promote cross-disciplinary working.
The ERADbTB call is complemented by the NC3Rs strategic award call, 'Replacing animal models for studying bovine Tuberculosis, to generate new non-animal models for bTB research'.
About Defra evidence activities
Defra has a significant programme of applied research, including vaccination, epidemiology, wildlife and diagnostic research, as well as social and economic research. There is also a substantial surveillance programme. Both are aimed at combating the bTB epidemic in the UK. Defra recently published the 'Strategy for achieving officially bovine tuberculosis free status for England' (see external links) following a public consultation and extensive dialogue.
Bovine TB (bTB) is one of the most pressing animal health problems in the UK. It is one of the biggest challenges facing cattle farming in the UK with very serious economic consequences and poses a potential zoonotic risk. The number of new herd outbreaks has doubled every nine years. The disease which was once isolated to small pockets of the country is spreading northward and eastward from infected areas in the south west of England and Wales at a cost of £500M to the taxpayer over the last decade. The reasons for this spread are not understood.
In February 2013, BBSRC held a workshop with key researchers from the bTB and human TB research communities, and Defra to identify areas where BBSRC support could make a significant impact. It was recognised that fundamental basic bioscience research is needed to identify new approaches to control the current epidemic with focus on three themes described below. Furthermore, it was recognised that this research could considerably contribute to Defra research and surveillance activities.
The call for research focuses on three basic underpinning bioscience themes. We encourage proposals that adopt a One Health approach, utilising advances in human TB research to provide insights into bTB and vice versa. Research proposals should demonstrate relevance to the current knowledge gaps and explain how they will lead to significant advances in bTB control.
- Theme 1: Step change in bTB vaccinology
Basic studies defining the biology of the immune response in cattle to identify and validate correlates of protection.
- Theme 2: Understanding bTB Strain Diversity
Dissecting the biological significance of the different strains of M.bovis circulating in the UK, i.e. moving from genotype to phenotype.
- Theme 3: Host pathogen interactions:
Understanding disease pathogenesis, pathogen transmissibility, and interactions of pathogen with bovine, other livestock host(s) and other pathogens.
Types of proposals and funding request
BBSRC and Defra anticipate funding multidisciplinary collaborative proposals that take a holistic approach to address the above gaps in bTB research and form 'centres of excellence' around these themes. BBSRC and Defra envisage funding research in each of the identified theme areas. Applicants must clearly indicate which of the themes the proposal addresses.
Standard BBSRC funding limits apply i.e. applicants can apply for a maximum of £2M (fEC), which must also include any funds requested from Defra, for up to 5 years.
All applications must include at least one PI eligible to receive funding from BBSRC. Applications requesting support from Defra alone will not be accepted. Applicants requesting BBSRC funding must meet BBSRC's eligibility criteria, which is available in the grants guide, see link, and those wishing to be considered for funding from Defra should meet Defra's eligibility criteria Defra's eligibility criteria.
For the purposes of this call, subcontracts from AHVLA, AFBI and Moredun will not be accepted as it is expected that researchers from these institutes will be fully integrated within the proposed projects.
How to apply
All proposals must be submitted through the Research Councils' Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system (see external links). The closing date for proposals is 4pm on 25 February 2015. It will not be possible to submit proposals after this time.
In addition to the standard requirements, the following apply to this call:
Applications must be made on a single Je-S form. Joint proposals submitted on multiple Je-S forms will not be accepted
Please note that while BBSRC will pay 80% of the full economic costing (fEC) Defra will pay 100%
All applications must include a PI that is eligible to receive funding from BBSRC
Applicants must identify which of the three themes the proposed research addresses
All applicants should be listed on the Je-S proforma. However, an applicant that is not eligible to apply to BBSRC can only be entered on the Je-S form as a Co-I or Res-Co-I and no costs should be requested. Instead, the costs must be detailed in the Defra EVID2 form which is available from the Defra website (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/research-project-proposal-form). At this stage applicants need only provide the information requested on page 1, page 10 and page 11. The EVID2 form must be uploaded with the application as attachment type 'Other'. Guidance on filling out the EVID2 is available on the Defra website
Applicants should provide details about the contribution of the PI and each Co-I and Res Co-I to the project. This should be uploaded with the application as attachment type 'Other' (1 page A4)
Letters of support from all collaborating partners/organisations must be included. Applications which include the use of containment facilities must include a letter of support from the institution confirming that there is sufficient capability and capacity to perform the experiments if the project is recommended for funding
In the justification of resources, all project resources should be justified including any resources requested from Defra
Applicants must provide information about the relevance of their purposed work to Defra's policies. This should be uploaded with the application as attachment type 'Other' (1 page A4)
Applicants should include a covering letter detailing how they have addressed the feedback provided following the 'Letter of Intent' stage
The additional attachments required for this call are summarised below:
- Cover letter detailing how the feedback provided after the 'Letter of Intent' stage has been addressed - no page limit
- Contribution of the PI and each Co-I and Res Co-I - maiximum 1 page of A4
- Letters of support from all collaborating organisations - no page limit
- Statement about the relevance of the proposed research to Defra's policies - maximum 1 page of A4
- Defra EVID2 form - page limit not applicable
The timetable for the administration and assessment of applications submitted to the programme is expected to be as follows:
Full application stage
- Call launched on Je-S: mid-December 2014
- Application deadline for full call: 25 February 2015
- Panel meeting: June/July 2015