NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility

2014–15 NBAF Pilot Project Grants Competition

The provision of NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility includes access to high-level genomics and bioinformatics for the UK research community ( To help scientists working within the NERC remit to take advantage of these opportunities, NERC is again providing funding for small pilot/development projects using the very latest, class-leading technologies for next-generation sequencing (Pacific BioSciences, Illumina and Ion Torrent), including approaches involving genomics, sequencing-based genotyping, transcriptomics and expression profiling. Applicants should consult the web pages of the NBAF–Edinburgh ( and –Liverpool ( nodes for a fuller description of the technologies and capacities available. Pilot/development projects should be directed at generating preliminary data or demonstrations in advance of full research grant proposals, particularly when it is necessary to demonstrate the applicability or the technical feasibility of new techniques or approaches to NERC-relevant research problems. Examples could include proposals wishing to demonstrate, within a NERC context, the use of DNA capture technology for subsequent de-novo sequencing of reduced genomes, ‘digital’ transcriptomics using next-generation sequencing, deep metagenomics of environmental samples, or the use of next-generation sequencing as a genetic tool in natural populations, and could involve limited support with bioinformatic analysis or development. Applicants should note the following: • This scheme is particularly aimed at assisting new users to exploit these technologies and at developing new uses of the technology. • Samples for analysis must be available and delivered to the relevant Facility node by the end of April 2015 (although we will accept later delivery in the case of unavoidable delay, or seasonal sampling justified in advance in the proposal). • The PI must be eligible to receive a NERC grant. For more information, consult <>. • The services offered by the other nodes (metabolomics and genotyping) are outside the scope of this competition but are available by application throughout the year, and potential users are encouraged to consult those facilities in the first instance. In writing their proposal, applicants should make clear the relevance of the work to NERC’s strategic remit, and the way in which the project will lead to further work and/or proposals for full funding. Proposals for projects associated with PhD students (who do not themselves have to be NERC-funded) will be considered. In such cases, the application should show how the proposed work integrates within the timeframe of the doctoral project. All proposals should include a clear plan for the bioinformatic analysis of the resulting data, noting that the NBAF–Edinburgh and NBAF–Liverpool nodes can offer bioinformatic and statistical support in-house. Applications will be graded by the NBAF Steering Committee, following the usual NERC procedures, but with special reference to: • scientific excellence • the likely importance of the pilot data to a full grant proposal • the technical novelty of the proposed methodology • whether the applicants have received NBAF pilot grant funding in the last 3 years. Each successful project will include access to staff and equipment at the relevant NBAF node, and consumables costs, to a total value of up to £6,000. Potential applicants must contact NBAF () to discuss their specific requirements from Monday 1 September until at the latest Friday 3 October 2014. In line with our standard application guidelines, only applications where consultation with the nodes of the Facility has taken place and a formal quotation has been obtained will be considered. Applications should be made on the current Application Form that can be downloaded from Instructions for submission are included in this form and on the website. The closing date for this call is 4.00 p.m. on Friday 17 October