BBSRC and AHDB Catalysing Partnerships in Farmed Animal Health

Type of funding: Grant funding

AHDB and BBSRC call for full proposals on Research and Knowledge Exchange

Call and Scope
Proposals should develop solutions to the challenge of endemic diseases in livestock, including approaches to monitoring, preventing and treating disease. Thematic areas of particular interest in this call are listed below. This list of themes is not comprehensive, nor are they siloed. Research and translation activities that cut across the themes are recommended and encouraged.

Digital agriculture: Technology development, data generation and data platforms, and the underpinning biology necessary to apply digital technology.

Breeding for disease resistance: Improve understanding of the genetics determining response to infection and co-infection; explore immunology and immune function; identify gene targets through whole genome sequencing and phenotyping; and adapting genome editing technology for new species for application in endemic disease management.

Farm management: Generating evidence for on-farm management practices for endemic disease prevention and treatment.

Vaccine platforms and technologies: DIVA technologies; alternative, efficient, reliable vaccine delivery mechanisms; development and adaption of universal vaccine platforms for livestock endemic disease.

Novel approaches to reducing application of traditional medicines and antibiotics: nutrition, precision and microbiome approaches.

Co-infection: Some of the most significant endemic diseases, such as mastitis and lameness, are now understood to be infections with multiple organisms. Research into co-infections can lead to more effective treatments for complex diseases and the reduction of antibiotic use.

It is important to note that AHDB’s involvement does not restrict proposals to specific (devolved) nations or to species from which levy is obtained (specifically proposals on goats and poultry are within scope).

Desirable research objectives and outputs
AHDB and BBSRC are keen to see proposals that:

Connect farmers to the research and translation activities proposed, to promote consideration of realistic on-farm application.

Are identified by the industry as a priority. For example, priorities that have been identified by Pig Health and Welfare Council, Ruminant Health and Welfare, and British Poultry Council or BVA specialist divisions (BCVA, SVS, PVS and BVPA) or APHA species expert groups are desirable.

Develop broad-spectrum solutions to endemic diseases in livestock that may be adapted for multiple disease and animal species.

Where AHDB involvement in the project is planned, proposals should demonstrate clear value for money for levy payers.

For access to industry priorities please refer to the work of for example APHA Avian Expert Group , Pig Health and Welfare Council and Ruminant Health and Welfare. These are not exhaustive, but clear indication of industry priority must be given.

Project duration and budget
The investment will support seven projects of approximately £50k and 3-4 months in duration. Projects must be completed by 31st March 2022.

The awards will fund direct costs only, including both directly incurred and directly allocated costs, at 100% fEC. This includes travel and salaries. Investigator and staff time can be charged to individual projects as required.

The awards may not be used to fund estates, overhead and indirect costs. This includes generic staff posts not directly related to the funded projects.

Award holders will be required to submit supporting documentation to AHDB to enable payments to be made. BBSRC will require a transaction listing that shows the name of the supplier, the amount and the date paid. Copies of invoices are not required, however BBSRC may request supporting documentation for any costs and this includes copies of any invoices.

Application Process
Researchers are invited to submit applications responding to the scope and priorities of the call, as explained in this document, and using the attached application form by 12:00 noon on 20 September 2021. Applicants may submit a joint proposal if complementary expertise has been identified which would enable the submission to more fully respond to the scope and priorities.

The proposals will be assessed by expert panel review against the criteria described in the attached application form.

Applicants will be informed of the assessment outcome by AHDB. Successful proposals will be monitored by AHDB which will undertake to disseminate the findings directly to the producer community.

Deadline: 20/09/2021

Eligibility criteria:

The financial contribution is made by BBSRC and therefore awards are only available to researchers eligible for UKRI Research Council funding, see guidance: https://www.ukri.org/funding/how-to-apply/eligibility/

Further guidance on eligibility and collaboration with industry and other users is available in the BBSRC grants guide: https://bbsrc.ukri.org/documents/grants-guide/ Applicants may also contact: research@ahdb.org.uk with any queries.

Further information can be found here.