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Engineering 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

UK registered academic institutions, RTOs or Catapults can apply for a share of up to £9 million to fund innovation projects with businesses or not for profits.

Up to £2 million funding for UK-US collaborative research projects in the areas of biological informatics, systems understanding of host-microbe interaction, synthetic cells and cellular systems, synthetic microbial communities.

Research Fellowships available for early career researchers across any area of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) remit.

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable research and development (R&D) innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy.

This scheme is for outstanding scientists who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field. These long term fellowships provide the opportunity and freedom to build an independent research career in the UK or Republic of Ireland and pursue cutting-edge scientific research.

Two new Farming Innovation Competitions are opening for applications on 31 August 2022 : Feasibility Projects and Small R&D Partnership Projects - Round 2. They are for farmers, growers, foresters, businesses and research organisations who want to help increase productivity and environmental sustainability in the agricultural and horticultural sectors in England through collaborative research and development. 

£50,000 funding, business coaching, mentoring and training for women entrepreneurs.

Full details for this round of the scheme are not yet available as the call will open only on 14 September 2022. This communication is to bring the scheme to your attention to allow candidates sufficient time to prepare strong applications. The University’s internal...

Nucleate - Activator Program for next generation bioentrepreneurs. Our primary program begins with a “mutual-matching” team formation phase, followed by workshops and mentor office hours, culminating in a final pitch showcase before world-renowned judges.


UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 million for early-stage, people and planet centred design projects to influence their future R&D activity. Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will


The GCRF Agrifood Africa Innovation Awards Round 3 is a £1.3 million funding scheme for collaborative UK/Africa projects to address African AgriFood challenges. Successful applicants will receive a grant of either £20,000 or £30,000 to support their collaborative UK/Africa AgriFood research and...

Up to £20,000 funding for development of relationships with non-academic stakeholders, beneficiaries, and partners in topics related to social sciences.

Postdoctoral Fellowships available for early career researchers the opportunity to strengthen their experience of research and teaching in Humanities or Social Sciences.

The new EngBio Postdoc Fund supports postdocs within the University of Cambridge Synthetic and Engineering Biology community to develop their own interdisciplinary, cross-departmental and cross-school projects. Four awards of £1000 each will be available for projects led by University of Cambridge Early Career Researchers.

This £13,000 fund supports new small collaborative multi-disciplinary projects each of value up to £2k between 2 or more researchers working in different departments or schools on the theme of energy transitions to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.

Up to £25,000 funding for Cambridge University researchers pursuing innovative applications of AI, in research or real-world contexts.

Up to £20,000 funding for collaborative projects between researchers at the University of Cambridge and sub-Saharan African institutions.

Prizes up to £20,000 available for business plan ideas lead by University of Cambridge postdocs.

Young people (aged 18-30 by 27th July 2022) can apply for an award that will help turn their business idea into a reality – including a £5,000 grant, a two days a week living allowance, and tailored business support.

Fellowships available for early career researchers and innovators looking to establish or transition to independent research careers.

Funding available for 4-year PhD studentships from the Leverhulme Trust.

Fully funded PhD Studentships available for collaborative projects between the University of Cambridge and AstraZeneca in areas including Biologics Engineering, Oncology Machine Learning & AI, Data Sciences & AI, and Biopharmaceutical development.

A total of £4M is available through a new collaboration between the BBSRC and NC3Rs focused on supporting alternatives to in vivo models in bioscience research.

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

£20,000 prizes available to recognise individuals or teams who have made outstanding contributions in medical research in the areas of Open Science Impact, Outstanding Team Impact and Early Career Impact.

£2000 funding for early career researchers working on on cross-disciplinary data science or AI to provide a step towards an independent research career.

Up to £625k fellowship for outstanding early-career researchers to support them to become future research leaders in engineering.

Up to £27.5k funding for collaborative projects between Tsinghua University and the University of Cambridge that contribute to addressing challenges relating to the climate emergency and the transition to a zero-carbon future.