Funding Resources



NEXT FUNDING ROUND: Launching on 8th November 2021



The Integrated Biological Imaging Network is funding three kinds of applications:

– Pump-Prime: 1-3 months, £11k max

This is for 1-3 month-long projects that are exploring a novel biological imaging problem. The Network will fund a post-doc position for up to three months as well as consumables to develop a project to a point where further funding applications can be made.

Download form here.

– Pump-Prime: 3-6 months, £25k max

A small number of more in-depth projects will be funded up to £25k if they are closely aligned with the challenges outlined below.

Download form here.

– Sabbaticals (COVID-dependant): 1-4 weeks, £5k max 

To encourage collaboration and enabling IBIN members to develop their skills, these sabbaticals are for travel to another lab for up to one month to enable the development of a project. This could be to gain access to a piece of equipment that you require or to teach another lab a skill that you have.

Download form here.

– Short Trip (COVID-dependant): 1-2 days

This funding is for one or two-day trips that will aid networking and project development.

Download form here.

If you have any questions please get in touch with


Funding Allocation Stipulations:

– Please have a quick read of this document before applying.

– We are governed by MRC funding guidelines and you can read about those here.

– Check out the bioimaging challenges described below to determine if your project falls within one or more of the areas identified.


Funding Criteria Checklist: 

Please compare your application to this scoring sheet. Your application will be processed based on these scoring criteria.


Public Engagement Fund: up to £500

We can fund bioimaging public engagement projects worth up to £500. Get in touch with for more information.






At the January 2019 meeting, a number of bioimaging challenges were identified. These challenges can be viewed on this page and have led to five areas that we would like research proposals to focus on:


1. Image cells in a population in 3D culture/in vivo (~300um thick) at highest possible spatial and temporal resolution. Monitor cell shape, movement and division for ≥24h with minimal phototoxicity. Develop new software to define/reduce background noise, compensate for/track movement from 3D time-lapse datasets and define relationships between cells.


2. Track multiple (≥4) probes/colours in cells in 3D cultures (in vitro/in vivo) using spectral unmixing/detection over long time periods with minimal phototoxicity.


3. Develop methods to precisely photo-activate/trigger optogenetic probes in 3D cultures and follow a longer-term readout on cell behaviour/phenotypic changes.


4. Super-resolution analysis of cells in 3D environments; trial different approaches for live and fixed samples and provide benchmarking of resolution, probe and speed limitations.


5. Image mechanical changes in/between cells and nuclear morphology in 3D cultures/tissues. Extract mechanical and morphological changes and computationally correlate.



When applying for IBIN funding, please take into consideration these five challenge areas.








Can I apply for multiple projects?

The named researcher can only apply for one round of Sabbatical and one Pump-Prime funding per academic year. A researcher may be named as a co-researcher on multiple applications, but only if those projects contain different groups of researchers and the projects are significantly different.


Does the funding cover PI costs such as estates and indirect costs?

The funding can be used to cover estates and indirect costs.


How flexible is the funding?

The maximum available funding for Pump-Priming is £25k split between consumables and salary. There is flexibility with how you use these funds i.e. using some consumables to cover salary but must not exceed £25k.


When should projects start?

Projects should commence within two months of funding allocation.


What’s the difference between Directly Allocated and Directly Incurred?

‘Directly Allocated’ covers the costs researchers working on a project where the costs are an estimate. Where costs are actual, auditable and verifiable, they should be included under the Directly Incurred heading.


Who should be listed as an investigator or researcher?

The person carrying out the bulk of the hands-on work should be named as the ‘researcher’. Anyone who provides expertise or guidance to the researcher should be listed as an investigator.


If I apply for £25k, would I only receive £20k from IBIN at 80%fEC?

The maximum amount that IBIN will fund is £25k. Applications can be higher to reflect the 80% fEC i.e. to receive £25k you could apply for £31.25k and your institution is expected to cover the 20%.