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Pre-call announcement: BBSRC-FAPESP Joint Pump-Priming Awards for Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and Insect Pest Resistance in Agriculture (non-mandatory workshop deadline: 29th August 2017; call opens early December 2017)

BBSRC in the UK and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) in Brazil have pre-announced a joint Newton Fund call for collaborative research proposals focussing understanding and managing resistance, including novel methods, for pathogen and pest control. Applications for a preparatory workshop are open.



The primary focus should be on microbiological pathogens and/or insect pests of relevance to Brazilian arable crops, farmed animals and reservoirs in agricultural soils, and agents designed to target them; including bactericides, fungicides, broad spectrum antimicrobials and insecticides. This includes pathogens with zoonotic potential where the focus is on farmed animal health. This excludes research with a human health focus; and animal research on a human only disease where the animal is a vector for the human disease or is being used as a model species. Proposed projects should investigate one or more of the following priority areas:

  • Host pathogen/pest interactions
    • Understanding the role of host-pathogen host-pest interactions in the development and transmission of resistance including the role of farmed animal, crop and soil microbiomes in acting as a reservoir, drug target or alternative control strategy
    • Understanding the implications of reducing the inappropriate use of antimicrobials and insecticides, for example as growth promoters, prophylactic use, excess use on GM resistant crops.
  • Underpinning mechanisms
    • Understanding the underpinning mechanisms associated with the emergence, persistence, transmission, evolution, co-selection of relevant resistant pathogens/insect pests or resistance genes
    • Understanding mechanisms of action of antimicrobials/insecticides
    • Identification/validation of novel targets for novel antimicrobials and insecticides .
  • Epidemiology
    • Identification of key agriculturally relevant drivers and reservoirs
    • Understanding of prevalence, pathogenicity and transmission dynamics (genetic, organism and host level), including the biological effects of agricultural management practice on disease epidemiology
    • Mathematical modelling in an AMR and/or insecticide resistance context.
  • Disease management and control
    • Diagnostics for pathogens and/or insect pests, especially rapid on farm diagnostics; and other biological tools and technologies that can support decision making
    • Novel alternatives for pathogen control, including immune stimulation and biocontrol
    • Novel agents for pathogen and/or insect control, including antimicrobials and insecticides, therapeutics and vaccines.

BBSRC has up to £2.5 million to commit to this call with a matched research contribution funded by FAPESP.

Work with relevant industry partners, where applicable, including farming, breeding and the agricultural supply industry is encouraged. Researchers who have demonstrated the capacity to transfer existing expertise in human health-related AMR research to new applications in the agricultural sector would be encouraged to apply. Although this call is being managed by BBSRC, any UK eligible researchers who are eligible for RCUK funding are welcome to consider how they might address the aims of the call.

An opportunity is now available to express interest in attending a partnering workshop to be held at FAPESP in São Paulo, Brazil, on 4-6 October 2017 (deadline: 29th August 2017). The call for proposals and FAPESP specific guidelines for SP researchers will be launched in early September (before the workshop takes place) and will close in early December to allow time for both workshop and non-workshop participants to develop pump-priming proposals in collaboration with Brazilian partners. Attendance at the workshop is not mandatory to apply to the call.

The call will be managed as a two stage process with the first stage being a pump-priming proposal.

  1. The pump-priming grants will be short-term projects of no more than 12 months awarded to a maximum of £80,000 in the UK (with matched contribution from FAPESP – it is not necessary to request an equal amount of money from both sides but it is envisaged a balanced partnership in terms of research efforts) to establish new or build on existing collaborations. The purpose of the pump-priming award is to enable UK and Brazilian researchers to work together to develop competitive, integrated, collaborative research proposals for submission to the full stage BBSRC-FAPESP Joint AMR and Insect Pest Resistance in Agriculture. BBSRC and FAPESP are looking to support around 10 pump-priming projects.
  2. Following on from successful pump-priming awards, the call for full stage collaborative research projects Call closes in autumn 2018 and starts in April 2019, lasting up to two years, and will be of larger scale than the pump priming projects. BBSRC and FAPESP are looking to support around five full stage projects, dependent upon the success of projects at the pump-priming stage.

Only applicants that hold a successful pump-priming award will be eligible to submit proposals to the full stage call, and these proposals will receive additional peer review.

Please read further information about the workshop and the application process here




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