The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Flexible Talent Mobility Account (FTMA) supports the mobility and development of academic and industrialist early career researchers (ECRs) and technicians to new environments, with the intention of increasing porosity between sectors and institutions as well as providing a platform for training and skills development.

The aim of the FTMA is to pump-prime the establishment of new academia-industry interactions and further develop existing ones. The FTMA will support the exchange of personnel, perspectives and knowledge, skills and expertise between the academic and industrial sectors. Neither the staff nor activities undertaken need to have been funded by the BBSRC or based on BBSRC-funded research, but must be within BBSRC remit

Funding and activities

Imperial has been awarded £90,000 from BBSRC to fund a range of activities including, but not limited to: 

  • Outward secondments for ECRs and technical staff to industry or another institution where activities have links to an industrial partner (1-3 months) 
  • Inward secondments for ECRs and technical staff from industry to Imperial, or from another institution to Imperial where activities have links to an industrial partner (1-3 months) 
  • Short exchanges for technical staff to develop knowledge and skills that could be applied to industry-relevant research (less than 1 month). 
  • Training and development activities to help ECRs and technicians engage with industry partners.   

The earliest activities can start is 1 December 2021, and all activities and spend must be completed by 31 March 2022.  


The FTMA can only be used to support employed researchers or technicians. Academics that have attained lecturer or equivalent status, or PhD students who have recently submitted their thesis, are not eligible to apply. The FTMA can be used to support non-UK nationals to undertake short-term secondments and research collaborations at Imperial.

Neither the benefitting staff nor activities undertaken need to have been funded by BBSRC or based on BBSRC-funded research, but must be within BBSRC remit

Eligible costs: Funds can be used for Directly Incurred including salary (and associated superannuation and NI contributions) and reasonable travel, subsistence and consumables costs as necessary to support the activity. Staff must be eligible to work in the UK for the duration of the project.

Ineligible costs: Funds cannot be used for investigator time, estates, infrastructure technicians or indirect costs.

How to apply

Each application should have a nominal Principal Applicant, who must be an Imperial member of academic staff acting as a supervisor/host, and where the activity will benefit an individual, a named ECR/Technical Staff applicant. If there is potential for IP creation then please engage with your Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation team so they can provide any appropriate comments/reassurance to the selection panel.

Applicants should refer to the BBSRC FTMA Guidance (PDF) before applying. 

Applicants should complete an FTMA Coversheet (Word) and submit supporting documentation as detailed in the guidance document. Applications should be submitted to researchoffice.fundingstrategy@imperial.ac.uk.

Note: When costing in Worktribe, Departments should select "Internal Funding" as project type and "Research Council" as the funder category.


Applications will be considered on a monthly rolling basis from November 2021 until remaining funds have been allocated; applications received by 5pm on the first Monday of the month will be reviewed and applicants informed of the outcome within that month. Successful proposals will be those assessed as having the highest likelihood of amplifying bioscience engagement with industry and business.