Public Release: 

£14 million funding for major long-term science studies

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Three high-value, long-term research projects totalling £13.9M have been awarded funding by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

They have the potential to produce cheap and effective vaccines for poultry, develop plants that can make their own fertiliser and create new ways to breed elite lines of wheat.

The three grants, funded through BBSRC's Strategic Longer and Larger grants (sLoLas) scheme, give world-leading research teams five years of funding and resources to address major challenges.

The projects were chosen based on their scientific excellence; because they required long timescales, extensive resources; and because they involve internationally leading research teams.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: "From better vaccines for livestock to growing higher-yield crops, Government is investing in these long-term projects to help the UK's world-leading scientists find innovative and sustainable solutions that will boost food production across the country."

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "The BBSRC sLoLa scheme gives extra time and resources to world-leading UK scientists so they can address major scientific challenges.

"The funded studies include work to breed new varieties of wheat, improve the supply of biological nitrogen to plants and to create safe and cheap vaccines for poultry.

"As well helping the UK and the world to meet these challenges and offer economic and social benefit, the projects will develop the world-leading research capacity of the UK."

The projects are:

Professor Martin Buck, Imperial College London, Managing the Nitrogen economy of bacteria £4,579,656

Professor Keith Edwards, University of Bristol, Releasing natural variation in bread wheat by modulating meiotic crossovers £3,680,716

Professor Brendan Wren, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Glycoengineering of Veterinary Vaccines £5,724,037



Chris Melvin, BBSRC Media Officer, 01793 414694,


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, BBSRC invested over £509M in world-class bioscience in 2014-15. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

For more information about BBSRC, our science and our impact see:

For more information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes see:

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