Pump priming funding

New N8 AgriFood funding opportunities

 research1What are we trying to achieve? – We want to create a distinct programme of fundamental, translational and multidisciplinary research on agri-food resilience and sustainability, with greater scientific, social, environmental, economic and political impact than the component research programmes at the eight member universities.

The research activity will specifically develop new relationships with external stakeholders (both business and other academic/non-academic partners) and use innovative and collaborative ways of working together to deliver impact.

What are we looking for?We are looking for research studies that either investigate new approaches (and/or generate preliminary data) or studies that extend the scope of existing research for wider application. This may include creating effective pathways to impact for the application of research.

We will fund early stage work to define research questions and/or develop embryonic partnerships to produce new multidisciplinary research collaborations where translational approaches can be explored.

What will be funded? – We anticipate that projects will be of no longer than a 9 month duration and 100% of directly incurred and directly allocated costs will be funded (no indirect or estates costs). Requests for modest capital equipment funding will be considered and funding is not available for PhD or Master’s studentships.

Proposals can be up to £30k and awards are expected to vary in scale as appropriate to the specific proposal. There are routes through which you can apply for funding (Strategic and Local); the scale of the collaboration and the strategic importance of the project will determine the most appropriate pump priming scheme for you.

If you are unsure which fund to apply to please contact the Academic Lead at your institution or the N8 AgriFood Academic Director for some guidance on your initial idea.

Strategic Pump Priming Scheme – for flagship, strategically important, multidisciplinary projects which involve a number of N8 institutions with a clear route to develop into high profile collaborations and outputs.  Projects are likely to span two or more of the N8 AgriFood themes (sustainable food production, resilient supply chains and improved consumption and health). The subject matter and scope must be of interest to significant potential funders with a clear pathway and timeline to a funding application.

Local Pump Priming Scheme – for projects involving two or more N8 institutions that enable researchers to develop innovative ideas. These could include building collaborations with external partners, accessing facilities not available at their own institution, generating preliminary data and developing links across disciplines.  

Please note it is not possible to apply concurrently for the local and strategic schemes.

Please observe any internal approval processes at your institution and send a copy of your application to your N8 AgriFood Academic Lead.

Strategic Pump Priming Scheme

The lead N8 partner will apply for funding on behalf of the collaboration and will be responsible for reporting back.

How will the proposals be assessed?

The proposals will be administered by the N8 AgriFood Secretariat and assessed by the Strategic Pump Priming Panel which includes representatives from each of the N8 institutions and two external panel members. The application must address the following criteria:

  • Alignment to N8 AgriFood strategy and objectives
  • Potential to develop into flagship N8 AgriFood project with significant impact
  • Clear pathway and timeline to significant potential funding application
  • Addressing issues in two or more of the three N8 AgriFood themes
  • Develop new, and/or build on existing, relationships with external stakeholders and maximise the strengths of these partners
  • Demonstrate academic excellence and utilise the academic strengths of the N8 institutions
  • Demonstrate value for money

What is the timeline for applications?

The application round will be open Monday 20th February  and proposals must be submitted by 4pm Friday 5th May. Decisions are expected to be made at a panel meeting on 6th June, and you will be notified of Awards by 14th June. Projects are expected to start 3rd July 2017.

Where can I find the form and details of how to apply?

Download the N8 AgriFood strategic pump priming form here.

Please submit by email to strategicpumppriming@n8agrifood.ac.uk

Re Sheffield colleagues – Owing to Sheffield’s success in round 1 there are limited funds available. Please could colleagues from Sheffield contact Duncan Cameron in the early stages of proposal development (either as lead or co-applicant) to inform him of the aims and impact of the pump priming idea.

We have a cohort of Knowledge Exchange Fellows (KEFs) whose role is to develop links to industry and external stakeholders and they may be able to help you with your proposal. To find a list of KEFs and their specialisms please click here 

Local Pump Priming Scheme

How will the proposals be assessed?

Each N8 institution will have their own method of assessing proposals and making awards. Please refer to the guidance provided by your institution.

What is the timeline for applications?

Each N8 institution will have their own funding timetable, please refer to the guidance provided by your institution.

Where can I find details of how to apply?

Please follow the link to your institution’s local process or contact below:



Leeds – http://foodhub.leeds.ac.uk/

Liverpool contact Martin Mortimer

Manchester – http://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/fse/faculty-operations/business-engagement-and-innovation/news-events-calls/n8-agrifood-funding/

Newcastle – https://internal.ncl.ac.uk/afrd/staff/n8agrifood/index.htm

Sheffield – http://p3.sheffield.ac.uk/new-funding-kick-starts-agri-food-research/

York – https://www.york.ac.uk/research/in-focus/agrifood/