What if I have an idea for project and am looking for partners to join me?

These are early days for the Network and we know that everyone won’t come in with established partners. A  primary role of the Network is to broker new partnerships and engage members who typically have not been involved in food safety research in the past. If you have a need or interest to recruit a new partner into your project proposal or expression of interest, indicate this in the application.

How much information is needed to receive funding and initiate a project?

We understand that a barrier to innovation can be a complex and lengthy application process. At the outset we have streamlined the amount of information needed to review projects and to broker partnerships, and for those applications that are successful, we will provide ongoing and tailored support to project teams within the first (and subsequent) funding cohort(s).

Can we get assistance to establish collaborative agreements between project partners?

To facilitate the establishment of any required collaborative agreements, our Business Development team can provide model agreements to help universities and businesses (especially small and medium-sized enterprises) to collaborate more effectively. The agreements set out a range of approaches to ownership and exploitation of IP. They are easy to modify so that the wording can be customised to reflect the deal negotiated.

If these agreements are important to facilitate the project, the partners will agree a start date and are expected to have a signed agreement in place prior to the project commencing. We reserve the right to request copies of these documents from all award holders.

As a minimum, an agreement should cover:

  • arrangements for the management and coordination of the project
  • responsibilities (including funding) and liabilities of the partners
  • IP arrangements
  • reporting and publication arrangements, access to results and confidentiality provisions
  • consequences of termination or default and ways of handling disputes.

When can projects start?

After a rapid review process following the deadline for applications (3 October) we plan to announce successful projects by 17 October. This may be delayed if we undertake an additional shortlisting and interview step.

Applications will be made via a webform using the application form available here.

Successful applications will be notified in writing as soon as possible following our assessment meeting. Shortly after notification written award letters and grant agreements confirming the details of the award will be shared with the lead applicant for agreement with QIB.

What if I have a big idea that needs more time develop?

Perfect. We know that the most impactful projects take time and interaction to develop. This is particularly true for complex areas such as food safety. Instead of a more developed project application at this stage (Stream A), please submit an Expression of Interest (Stream B).  For these, we expect at this point there will be a lot of ‘I don’t know yet’ answers on the application form – we have also reduced the number of questions you must respond to for Stream B compared to Stream A.

We will be hosting a series of workshops in October which will be facilitated by innovation professionals who will support the exploration and building of ideas, collaborations and then proposals to be delivered within the lifetime of the Network.  We will focus these workshops on areas identified as ‘hotspots’ through the expression of interest process and through our stakeholder interview process (completed). So, even if you have a very early- stage idea – be that either a problem worth solving or an opportunity worth grasping, please do tell us about it using the application form and ticking the ‘Expression of Interest’ Stream B box.

We have reserved funding for the second call for projects which will run after these workshops.

Can I attend one of these workshops even if I did not submit an application or expression of interest in this first round?

Yes. Please still register your interests with the FSRN team so that we can contact you regarding our future events.

How can I feedback to define future priorities?

Our future priorities are going be defined by our membership just as our initial priorities were defined by our stakeholders, so please get in contact for membership in the Network.

How long can projects last for?

At present, the Network is funded till April 2024 and projects can have any duration but all awards must conclude within this first funded period of the network.

For all projects, if the team are having successes and the possibilities of impacting food safety are expanding, we will have mechanisms to support and provide additional resources into the project. It is our goal that successful projects might see a continued lifespan if our own Network extends beyond April 2024 or if other funding opportunities such as BBSRC sLoLa’s (strategic Longer and Larger grants) become appropriate based on the concepts proved in the Network projects.

What will be the reporting requirements?

To support the above provisions for additional resources to successful projects and to identify other opportunities to support projects and the overall Network (e.g. where development of impact case studies might be valuable), we will develop a very light-touch project reporting system. We will also expect that all award holders participate in activities throughout the lifetime of the Network, including but not limited to Network community meetings. These events will be funded centrally by the Network and costs for attending should not be included in your application.

What are you going to do with my information?

All data collected during the course of application will be protected in line with the BBSRC Data Protection Policy.

In addition to these data being processed to enable the assessment, award and ongoing award management process of any application to this opportunity, the BBSRC, the FSA, and QIB may use information for research related activities, including but not limited to, transfer of PoC funds, evaluation of the Network, and policy and strategy studies.

To meet UKRI obligations for public accountability and the dissemination of information, details of grants (including successful PoC awards) may also be made available on the UKRI website and other publicly available databases, and in reports, documents and mailing lists.

How can I contact the Network team?

Please contact us at foodsafetynetwork@quadram.ac.uk  for more information.