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Engineering Biology in Cambridge


Up to £40,000 funding to develop design-based solutions for specific net zero and climate crisis challenges facing UK coastal and island communities.

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  • Call Opens: 1st September
  • Deadline: 30th November
  • Funding: £40,000 plus a 5-10% for a non-academic partner (80% FEC)
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Location: UK-wide

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for AHRC funding.

We are particularly keen to receive applications from multidisciplinary design researchers, especially those in the early stages of their career.

Your project could focus on:

  • decarbonisation
  • environmental sustainability
  • climate mitigation
  • the circular economy
  • the reduction of waste.

The full economic cost of your project can be up to £40,000, plus a 5 to 10% non-academic partner organisation contribution. AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

Researchers and supervisors must be based at a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-eligible research organisation or independent research organisation.

Non-academic partners must be either a:

  • micro or small and medium-sized enterprise-sized, UK registered business, charity or not-for-profit
  • similarly sized department of a public sector organisation

This first full round will focus on the specific net zero+ and climate emergency challenges faced by the UK’s island and coastal communities.

A range of different types of design intervention can be supported, from product or service level innovation through to strategic, systems-level design thinking.

Individual project objectives might be:

  • the design of an everyday product from sustainable materials
  • devising a new form of service delivery that supports the business’s growth while reducing its overall carbon footprint
  • identifying user needs for low carbon products and services
  • the development of roadmaps towards circular business models.

The project should demonstrate human-centred design research processes. You can include activities to:

  • identify high-value innovation opportunities and define what makes a desirable, fit-for-purpose solution
  • create ideas for new or significantly improved products or services
  • test and improve ideas by using fast, low-cost visuals, prototypes or simulations
  • clearly communicate ideas ready for further investment and research and development activity.

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Originally published on the KTN website: