N8 Local Pump Priming Scheme - the final scheme is now closed

The final local pump priming application round has now closed.

Proposals were assessed by the steering committee which includes the 3 N8 chairs, academic theme leads and Knowledge Exchange Fellows at Leeds and representatives from key schools involved in the food theme.

Applications from academic staff can be for pump-priming of research (e.g. pilot data collection) or to support workshops aimed at bringing together researchers to develop applications for transformative bids targeting specific funding calls. These funds are expected to support University of Leeds activities in collaboration with other N8 partners, who should apply for funds from their own institution. The inclusion of industry partners is strongly encouraged. Ultimately these awards should lead to large grant applications with at least one other N8 partner in the area of agri-food.

In this 3rd and final round, we are keen to encourage strategic bids which will lead to impact from an N8 collaboration.

The applications should be challenge led and interdisciplinary. This does not mean that applicants must have already received N8 funding but requested funds should have a clear pathway to impact for an N8 collaboration which will create a legacy extending beyond the life of the N8 Agrifood programme (April 2020), preferably in the form of a larger, longer grant.

Links to application forms can be found below. Please submit applications to Elizabeth Liversedge: e.liversedge@leeds.ac.uk

To be eligible, proposals must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be collaborative with at least one or more of the N8 partner Universities.

  • Demonstrate that the inter-institution and interdisciplinary partnering will deliver significant and sustainable benefits / impact beyond what could be achieved by each of the partners alone.

  • Provide a defined route, with timescales, as to how the funding will lead on to one or more specific and significantly larger funding opportunities, alongside the N8 partner institutions. These may include H2020 Calls, Innovate-UK / Agri- Tech Catalyst Competitions, themed RC-UK Calls (e.g. Global Food Resilience), Newton Awards, direct Industry or Foundation funding.

  • Contribute to the N8 Agri-Food strategy by addressing one or more of the N8 Agri-Food themes.

Proposals which show novel usage of resources and assets within partner N8 institutions are particularly welcome, as are those that demonstrate how the N8 partners may exploit the recently launched national Agri-Tech Innovation Centres.

Examples of previously funded projects:

Project Title  N8 Partners   Funded Activities
Interactions between Foxtail millet and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: from molecules to field Leeds, York Millet expert from India came to Leeds as a visiting Fellow to carry out experiments to provide baseline data
Conceptus-derived proteins: potential predictors of early pregnancy success in cattle Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool Funding allowed research into increasing successful pregnancies in cattle.
Standardising the measurement of Household Food Insecurity in UK families Leeds. Liverpool, Sheffield Access to data to carry out quantitative work
Multi-Sensor Data Fusion and Analytics for Agri-Food and Food Processing  Leeds, York Participants to attend Workshop in Jiangsu University, China


It is expected that your proposal will address one of the following areas:

Events and Academic Outreach

Academic outreach aims to connect academic researchers with industry, agriculture, NGOs, the third sector, governments, other universities, producer groups, levy boards, etc., to explore and develop opportunities for further, funded collaboration. This may include organising or attending events, sharing access to facilities and expertise, writing policy and position papers and developing materials for the website. There may be opportunities for academic placements within industry and other stakeholders to ensure long-term transfer of skills and knowledge and a two-way exchange of ideas. Workshops may form part of the academic outreach strategy including policy papers and briefings, workshops, sandpits and other events to engage key influencers and provide two-way discussion forums between researchers and policymakers.

Please click on the link for the Events Funding Application Form

Project Resources & Seed Corn Funding

These funds will be to provide financial support to either develop high-quality, large, research proposals that will bring in future funding to assure the programme’s financial sustainability or to stimulate the development of new projects and collaborations to investigate an aspect of agri-food.

Please click on the link for the Project Resources & Seed Corn Funding Application Form


Applicants are encouraged to apply for funding according to the projects and activities involved. There is not a minimum/maximum budget for each project. Just as an example, the projects funded in previous calls have ranged from £2,000 to £32,000.


Contact us:

For questions on the University of Leeds funding process, as well as proposal submissions, please email: l.dye@leeds.ac.uk

For assistance in identifying and contacting expertise across the N8 partners please contact the Leeds N8 Knowledge Exchange Fellows: Dr Amy Taylor: a.e.taylor@leeds.ac.uk  or Dr Neil Boyle: n.b.boyle@leeds.ac.uk

For any other query regarding the N8 Agrifood programme, please submit a query on the N8 AgriFood Contact Page