Follow-on Funding Pathfinder Call

Call status: Open
Application deadline: Apply at any time

Our new pathfinder scheme enables potential follow-on funding applicants to secure small amounts of funding to carry out preliminary commercial activities.

These activities will help to:

  • Develop a clearer understanding of the commercial potential of the outputs of a research grant
  • Assist with the development of a full follow-on funding application


To provide funding for commercial activities such as:

  • Commissioning expert advice from sector specialists on the best commercial development strategy for a business idea
  • Completing a market assessment to determine likely potential, competition and opportunities
  • IP searches – in particular freedom to operate (but not to support patent filing costs)
  • Development of contacts with potential licensees or other interested parties – this can help to develop an understanding of needs and requirements
  • Milestone 1 achievement – if the first milestone of the work is particularly risky and the success of the entire project depends upon this, funds can be sought to support this first milestone

These activities will strengthen a future application for full follow-on funding and be useful in targeting the commercialisation of the work.

Award size, duration and conditions

  • Applications will be in the region of £10-12k (FEC)
  • Maximum duration of 6 months
  • BBSRC funding is at 80% of FEC

You should discuss your application with your Technology Transfer Office (TTO) or equivalent. The purpose of the application should reflect a considered view of the essential first steps to establish whether the work has commercialisation potential prior to submitting a full follow-on funding application.

In exceptional cases up to £25k can be requested for activities such as Milestone 1 achievement. This would need to be strongly justified by the TTO (or equivalent) statement of support and it should explain why they are unable to fund this work.


Open to eligible researchers in UK universities and Research Council institutes. Applications for follow-on funding pathfinder support must build on the outputs of recent or previous BBSRC-funded research activity.

How to apply

Application is via the Je-S system (see external links) using the case for support and guidance notes below.

Application downloads

Visit funding web page