BBSRC/EPSRC/MRC/NERC Joint Statement on handling bioinformatics applications

Support for bioinformatics is of strategic importance to BBSRC, EPSRC and MRC and we are committed to funding research projects and database infrastructures of the highest international quality. The Research Councils provide complementary support for bioinformatics and we work to provide a joined up approach to investment through implementation of the Cross-Council Funding Agreement. To assist researchers in submitting bioinformatics applications to the most appropriate Research Council we have provided the guidance below:

The BBSRC encourages and supports informatics projects that are biologically driven. This includes (a) research projects that involve the design and development of computational tools and technologies with application to biological challenges within BBSRC's remit; (b) research projects that involve the application of existing informatics tools and technologies to novel bioscience applications; and (c) databases that meet the needs of the bioscience user community. For further information please see the BBSRC Strategic Plan (PDF 3.76MB), the BBSRC Council-Wide Strategic Priority Data-Driven Bioscience, the BBSRC research committees and the Bioinformatics and Biological Resources Fund.

The EPSRC supports a broad base of bioinformatics-related research across a number of research areas including Biological informatics, Complexity science, Artificial intelligence technologies, Information systems and Statistics and applied probability. For EPSRC to accept a proposal in Biological informatics, projects should be driven by computer science and/or mathematics and statistics. This focus should form the core of the proposed research and no more than 50% of the intended work should be in the biological and/or biomedical application domain(s).

The MRC encourages and supports research to improve human health and well-being, including development of methodologies and application of Informatics techniques. Funding for Informatics lead projects can be accessed through all MRC responsive mode funding models, including research grants, programme grants, partnership grants, fellowships and methodology research programme support.

Following consultation between the Councils, applicants will be advised where best to submit their proposal; co-funding of projects across the Councils is possible via the cross-council funding agreement.

The NERC encourages and supports innovative, world-class research which address environmental science questions. For responsive research NERC supports bioinformatics projects that fall within the Council's remit as defined within our science topics. More information: