Bioimaging Technology Development Awards

This award will fund teams of technology developers and users to create novel bioimaging tools at the cell-tissue scale. Successful teams will develop technologies that answer ambitious research questions or that overcome barriers to bioimaging work in low-resource settings.

Scheme at a glance 

Lead applicant career stage:
Administering organisation location:
Funding amount:

Foundation phase: up to £500k; Scale-up phase: you should ask for the resources you need for your programme – see the 'What we offer' section on this page. You will need to justify this in your application.

Funding duration:

Up to 8 years, spanning two phases: a foundation phase for the first 18 months, followed by a scale-up phase up to a maximum of 6.5 additional years.


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Disabled applicants 

If you are disabled or have a long-term health condition, we can support you with the application process.

About this call 

The call supports ambitious technology development programmes led by proficient and diverse teams. Awarded teams will develop tools and technologies to overcome barriers to progress in bioimaging. Specifically, they will advance technologies to investigate biological phenomena at the cell-tissue scale. Potential areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Cell atlasing – how can novel bioimaging technologies and their combination with other omics help identify all cell types at the molecular level?
  • Connectomics – how can novel bioimaging technologies pave the way to a full map of the neuronal connections in the mammalian brain?
  • Dynamic biology – how can novel technologies improve temporal resolution in bioimaging to advance our understanding of how organisms function, adapt and respond to their surroundings?
  • Systems – how can novel bioimaging technologies allow the characterisation of dynamics and structure of complete biological systems?
  • Imaging data handling – novel data management strategies are needed to simplify image acquisition, analysis and data sharing. New tools are needed to support the integration of bioimaging data with other types of biological information.
  • Overcoming barriers to bioimaging in low-resource settings – how can novel or existing technologies be adapted to advance discovery research in low-resource settings?

Areas considered out of scope for this call include, but are not limited to: 

  • Projects aimed exclusively at building capacity by disseminating existing technology – projects must be centred around the development of novel bioimaging technology 
  • Projects focused on the development of imaging technology purely for medical screening and diagnostic purposes

We believe that the best way to achieve technological innovations to answer biological questions is to develop them in collaboration with the researchers who will use them. Therefore, a key criterion for selection will be for teams to include both technology developers and researchers using bioimaging technologies to answer important discovery research questions.

The teams must aim to make a major contribution to the field of bioimaging by developing novel tools that will either:

  • advance the current state-of-the-art standards in bioimaging, or
  • significantly lower barriers to bioimaging in low-resource settings

The teams and their technological innovations must be guided by a research question that aims to improve understanding of human life, health or wellbeing.

The Bioimaging Technology Development Awards will be run and assessed in two phases:

  • Foundation phase: initially, successful applications to this funding call will be funded for 1.5 years.
  • Scale-up phase: 12 months into the foundation phase, funded programmes will be invited to apply for the scale-up phase in a closed competitive funding call. Programmes that are successful for the scale-up phase will be able to request support for up to 6.5 additional years.

Eligibility and suitability 

About your proposal 

What we offer 

How to apply 

Key dates 

You must submit your application by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day. We don’t accept late applications.

  1. 30 April 2024

    Application deadline

  2. July 2024

    Foundation phase - Expert Advisory Committee

  3. October 2024

    Foundation phase - Start

  4. October 2025

    Scale-up phase - Application deadline

  5. January 2026

    Scale-up phase - Interviews

  6. April 2026

    Scale-up phase - Start

Last updated: February 2024

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