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Synthetic Biology in Cambridge


Relevant funding opportunities for researchers in synthetic biology

Research Funding

BBSRC and EPSRC have both invested in synthetic biology. There are no specific active calls but they continue to fund through responsive mode grants. 


Translational Funding and Investment



UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (formerly the Rainbow Seed Fund) is a £27.1m early-stage venture capital fund building and growing technology companies stemming from the UK’s research base, with a specific programme for Synthetic Biology.

Latest Funding Opportunities

Up to £1500 funding for University of Cambridge researchers to undertake innovative public engagement with research activities.

3 Year bursary for students currently enrolled on a PhD programme. Subjects include: computational neuroscience, health research, machine learning and systems and networking.

Up to £500,000 funding for outstanding early-career researchers to support them to become future research leaders in engineering.

£5,000 plus living allowance for young people (18-30) to develop creative and ground-breaking business ideas.

Up to £125,000 for breakthrough ideas in engineering biology. Projects accepted in three key areas: bioinspired design, novel materials, bioengineered cells and systems.

5 months training programme, lab space and £10,000 cash prise for 5 life science start-ups.

Grants of £2 million plus for proposals focused on frontier bioscience. Applications are welcome for cutting edge, innovative and ambitious research across all biological scales.

Visiting fellowships of up to £125,000 for overseas researchers coming to the UK.

Up to £4 million for collaborative research projects promoting universal health coverage, ensure healthy lives, and wellbeing for all at all ages. Consortia must include institutions in low-to-middle income countries.

Up top £300,000 funding for early career researchers working at the interface of economic/social sciences and the wider sciences.

Up to £250,000 funding for feasibility projects in high-risk decarbonisation research to develop or model materials, devices, fuels and/or technologies.

Up to £3.25 million funding to bring together stakeholders, build a community, identify research priorities and opportunities, and kick-start collaborative research activities in the field of digital economies.

For Women in Science Awards now open for UK and Irish researchers. £15,000 award, training and networking for 5 female scientists.

Five year fellowships of up to £300,000 and visiting fellowships of up to £125,000 for overseas researchers coming to the UK.

Funding and stipend available for postdocs seeking to develop and prototype research projects through interactions with CRI Researchers. 3-6 month position.

Funding of up to 300,000€ for tenured scientists within the French academic system who are seeking a home to develop, expand their research focus or jump start a new research program at the CRI Université de Paris.

Funding of up to 300,000€  for research leaders who are seeking a home to develop, expand their research focus or jump start a new research program at the CRI, Université de Paris.

Funding of up to 500,000€  for research leaders who are seeking a home to develop, expand their research focus or jump start a new research program at the CRI, Université de Paris.

Up to 3 million euros funding to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they may still be consolidating their own independent research team or programme.

Up to £20,000 funding for early stage companies and academic entrepreneurs who want to commercialise their technologies to make a societal impact.

Up to £1 million for projects that address research issues that impact the development of exascale software and algorithms.

These awards provide up to £100,000 over two years and a personalised package of career support to help newly independent biomedical scientists to launch their research careers.

Up to €1.5 million for postdocs with 2-7 years experience to start their own reserach group.

Up to £10 million for UK universities to set up a Leverhulme Research Centre for outstanding original research aspiring to achieve a step-change in scholarship.

Internal call for University of Cambridge principal investigators who currently hold or have previously held BBSRC funding. Up to £40,000 for proof-of-concept studies, trials, protoypes, demonstrations and secondments.

Up to £12,000 funding for UK-based scientists who want to stimulate collaborations with leading scientists overseas through either a one-off visit or bilateral travel. 

10-week accelerator programme for early stage (0-3 years) start-ups in the agricultural technology sector.

Up to 40,000 funding for projects using plants as sensors for toxic chemicals.

Up to £800,000 funding for BBSRC-funded researchers interested in translation of research into practical application and commercialisation.