BBSRC Revises Responsive Mode Application Requirements

BBSRC has made a number of changes to the requirements for Responsive Mode grant applications to help simplify them for applicants and to help standardise application supporting documentation. The changes apply to all Responsive Mode grant applications. Special calls and initiatives may still have different requirements, but any differences will continue to be clearly identified in the call-specific text.

The revised Grants Guide and full list of changes can be found on the BBSRC website at: All applications submitted from today need to follow this revised guidance and should meet the requirements detailed in any specific call text.

Changes include:

  1. The case for support must be contained within a maximum 8 pages
  2. A new mandatory attachment type, called ‘Data Management Plan’, is to be used by applicants to provide information relating to data sharing
  3. A new mandatory attachment type, called ‘Workplan’, is to be used by applicants to provide a diagrammatic workplan for the proposed research
  4. Eligibility of Principal and Co-Investigators has been amended to allow researchers from overseas who are moving to the UK to apply ahead of their move
  5. Publication costs associated with peer reviewed journal articles and conference papers must not be included in grants as these costs are funded by RCUK APC publication funding
  6. Documents containing URLs will no longer be returned for amendment. However, peer reviewers are advised to not follow URL links in documents

These changes bring a number of benefits to both applicants and reviewers. Simplifying the requirements for the page restrictions within the case for support will assist applicants in preparing their proposals. The change also brings BBSRC more in line with the requirements of other Research Councils. Standardising application supporting documentation also provides a level playing field for peer review assessment. The incorporation of a workplan will ensure this key piece of information is available for all proposals. By making these changes, BBSRC will also be able to reduce the effort required to check proposals. This will, in turn, allow us to speed up the peer review process.

The changes that BBSRC made to the requirements for information relating to the use of animals in research at the end of last year will bring together all animal information within one section of the Je-S form. This will greatly assist the assessment of relevant proposals as this information was previously spread across the case for support, justification of resources and within the form itself. Applicants intending to include animals in their proposals should carefully read all the relevant information on the BBSRC website relating to the use of animals in research.

Finally, incorporating a slight change to our eligibility criteria will ensure that the very best international scientists who are moving to the UK to take up academic positions can hit the ground running by applying for research grants prior to their move. This will enable BBSRC to respond much more quickly when expertise arrives from overseas.

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