FAPESP-BBSRC Pump-Priming Award (FAPPA)

Guidance Notes

FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation) and BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) are pleased to invite applications for the Pump-Priming Award (FAPPA) scheme. The aim of this award is to provide short term pump-priming to new collaborations between research groups in the State of São Paulo, Brazil and BBSRC funded research groups in the UK.

Successful UK applicants will be funded by BBSRC while their São Paulo based counterparts will be funded by FAPESP. Priority will be given to applications in the area of food security and/ or Bioenergy and Industrial Biotechnology. There is no specific deadline for applications to this scheme; however proposals must be received by BBSRC no less than 12 weeks before the proposed start date.

BBSRC FAPPA page: www.bbsrc.ac.uk/funding/internationalfunding/fapesp-pump-priming.aspx

Note that all applications must be made through the Research Councils Joint Electronic Submission System (JeS): https://je-s.rcuk.ac.uk/JeS2WebLoginSite

See the Application Process section below for more details.

Guidelines and Regulations


1. Applications must be made by a Principle Investigator (PI) currently in receipt of BBSRC research funding. This includes

a) BBSRC responsive mode grant holders.

a) BBSRC initiative grant holders; provided that they are currently eligible to apply for responsive mode grants.

b) Projects leaders at the BBSRC institutes (Rothamsted Research, The John Innes Centre, The Institute of Food Research, The Genome Analysis Centre, The Institute for Animal Health, The Babraham Institute, The Roslin Institute and IBERS - Aberystwyth University).

c) Applications may also be accepted from BBSRC Co-Investigators (Co-Is) on large research grants.

2. The associated BBSRC grant must have started before application submission and mustnot have expired before the start of the award.

3. BBSRC studentship awards or the presence of BBSRC funding elsewhere within an academic department does not confer eligibility for these awards.

4. The partnering PI in São Paulo (Brazil) must be currently in receipt of FAPESP research funding in one of the following forms:

a) Thematic Projects

b) Young Investigator Awards

c) Research, Innovation and Diffusion Centers (CEPIDs/RIDCs)

5. On behalf of both sides of the collaboration, the UK applicants must submit a single joint application to BBSRC, which will have a budget request to BBSRC for the UK partners and a budget request to FAPESP for the São Paulo based researchers.

6; BBSRC will send a copy of the application to FAPESP and a joint decision will be made on funding (see application process for further details).


These awards provide resources to leading BBSRC funded research groups to prime-pump interactions with top FAPESP scientists in the São Paulo State. The aim is to strengthen the scientific relationship between the UK - Brazilian research groups to the point where they can make highly competitive applications to BBSRC and FAPESP for full joint research grants under the RCUK - FAPESP lead agency agreement: www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Guidelines/rcuk-fapesp-operational-guidance.pdf.

The synergy between the strategic priorities of BBSRC (www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Publications/strategic-plan.pdf) and FAPESP have clear mutually beneficial complementarities in the areas of:

  • Food Security: defined as bioscience for a sustainable supply of sufficient, affordable, nutritious and safe food, adapting to a rapidly changing world. Includes the full range of research from basic studies through to application.

  • Bioenergy and Industrial Biotechnology: defined as energy and industrial materials from novel biological sources, especially second and third generation biofuels. Includes basic and underpinning studies through to application.

Priority will therefore be given to applications that address one or both of these priority areas; however applications in other areas will still be considered. It should be noted that these awards should not be used as a vehicle to support longer term collaborative interactions for existing projects as provision for these type of interactions is made through the Brazil Partnering Award (www.bbsrc.ac.uk/brazil). They are also not designed to be used a long term substitute for full research funding.

A full description of how these awards sit alongside other initiatives to promote collaboration with São Paulo can be found at: http://www.fapesp.br/en/5339


BBSRC will contribute up to £35,000 for the UK side of the collaboration, while FAPESP will match this with equivalent research effort. It is envisaged that applications will be for a balanced partnership, not specifically in monetary terms but with equivalent research commitment and efforts from both partners. We expect the collaborative activities funded under this award to last for around 2 years, although we will consider shorter or longer awards on a case by case basis. We also expect research groups to try and access other sources of funding to complement this award. This could be direct funding from other sources, or funding ‘in kind’ from host organisations or collaborators.

Funds in this scheme are provided for travel, subsistence and other collaborative activities, such as workshops or exchanges. They are not for the support of salary costs, overheads or items of equipment as these will already be covered by current national funding. However they may be used to support a modest level of direct research costs, including consumables and access to specialist equipment to support research to gather preliminary data to support new applications under the FAPESP-RCUK Agreement. These direct research costs may not account for more than 50% of the total value requested from BBSRC.

Assessment Criteria

Applications to this call will be assessed internally by FAPESP and BBSRC. This light-touch internal assessment allows applications to be process swiftly and can be applied as the applications are based on existing FAPESP- BBSRC grants that have already undergone robust peer review. Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

a) The value added to current FAPESP and BBSRC science.

b) The future joint research likely to accrue from the collaboration and particularly whether this work has the potential to lead to applications under the FAPESP- RCUK joint application procedure (www.bbsrc.ac.uk/funding/internationalfunding/fapesp-joint-funding-research.aspx)

c) The uniqueness of the opportunity and expertise of the partners.

d) The opportunities for early career scientist exchanges.

e) Whether the collaboration is a new linkage or an ongoing partnership (if collaboration is ongoing, what new aspects are brought to the partnership).

f) The level of the contribution made to this award from other sources including the UK and Brazilian host institutions.

g) The relevance of the partnership to Food Security and/ or Bioenergy and Industrial Biotechnology research

A final decision will be made jointly between FAPESP and BBSRC.


Applications should be made at current costs in accordance with subsistence, travel and research regulations at the applicant’s institution. For each main activity, indicative costs should be shown. BBSRC may index approved costs so that the award will include an allowance for inflation. Any award made will be cash limited, and whilst funds should be used for the activities requested, the use of funds to allow activities that were not originally envisaged will be allowed as long as they are in pursuance of the overall objectives of the FAPPA.

Intellectual Property

In case of approval, a Letter of Agreement between the Partner Host Institution and the Host Institution to which the PI from São Paulo is affiliated, establishing how Intellectual Property rights, confidentiality, and publications will be treated jointly, in observance of the policies of each funding Party. The Letter of Agreement is not mandatory for the submission of proposals, but no approved project will be contracted before the presentation of a copy of the signed Agreement.


Should the award holder transfer to another eligible Institution, the transfer of their FAPPA will be subject to FAPESP, BBSRC and host institution approval.


If a FAPPA is terminated early, FAPESP and BBSRC will only be responsible for funds already spent and will not be liable for the remaining instalments of the award.


As a condition of funding, successful UK applicants are required to submit a final report of the proceedings within one month of the end of the award through FAPESP PIs are also required to submit regular reports on dates stated on the grant contract and should contact FAPESP for further details.

The success of each FAPPA will be measured against the following criteria:

  • Completion of the objectives set out in the application.

  • The added value to science within BBSRC’s and FAPESP’s remit.

  • Whether the FAPPA has led to further funding opportunities and in particular whether it has lead to a successful application under the FAPESP- RCUK lead agency agreement.

  • The value to wider UK international Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) objectives and to the scientific and technological development of the State of São Paulo and Brazil.

  • The promotion of further Brazil-UK scientific collaboration.

FAPESP and BBSRC may also ask for further details of the project for publicity purposes.

Final expenditure

As regards BBSRC, expenditure should be in accordance with the Institution’s regulations and detailed in the appropriate section of the Final Report form and signed off by the Finance Office. The balance of funding due, normally 10% of the cash limit awarded, will be paid on receipt of the Final Expenditure Statement and the reconciliation of actual expenditure. FAPESP applicants should present an expenditure report by the dates stated in the grant contract.

Data protection regulations

FAPESP and BBSRC will use information provided in the application for processing the proposal, the award of any subsequent grant, and for the payment, maintenance and review of the grant. FAPESP may require additional information for the processing of the proposal and the award of any subsequent grant. To meet obligations for public accountability and the dissemination of information, details of awards may also be made available on the web sites of BBSRC and FAPESP and on other publicly available databases, and in reports, documents and mailing lists.


For further information on the FAPPA scheme, UK applicants should contact:

Mr Chris Woolford
International Relations Manager
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Email: chris.woolford@bbsrc.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1793 414686 

São Paulo applicants should contact:

Bruna A. Musa
Science Manager
São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
Email: chamada_bbsrc_fapesp@fapesp.br
Tel: +55 11 3838-4000

Application Process

Applications must be made through the JeS system by the UK PI. Applications sent directly to BBSRC or FAPESP will not be accepted. For further information about the application process visit the BBSRC website (www.bbsrc.ac.uk).

Applicants must include a joint UK - Brazil Case for Support. This will be reviewed by BBSRC and FAPESP and must contain the following sections:

a) The main scientific objectives.

b) Summary of previous contacts or links with proposed partners.

c) Action Plan of work to be carried out and plans for joint grant applications (applicants may wish to present diagrammatically or as a gantt chart).

d) Statement of added value. Indicate the benefit of the collaboration to:

d.1) The UK applicants BBSRC funding and UK science generally;

d.2) The São Paulo based collaborators FAPESP funding and Brazilian science generally.

The case for support should be a pdf or word file of no longer than four sides of single spaced 11pt Arial text.

Applicants must also include a FAPESP submission form available at www.fapesp.br/chamadas/bbsrc/form_BBSRC_pump_priming_award.doc.

CVs and publication lists are not required; however applicants may wish to include any particularly pertinent recent publications. A Letter of Support (maximum one page) from, for example, the proposed collaborators and a short Proposal Covering Letter may also be included, but are not mandatory.

(The FAPESP e-mail above is no longer valid)