Call for pilot projects on AI for molecular biology



Closing date


The Alan Turing Institute invites pilot projects from multidisciplinary teams of researchers working in partnership, to apply data science approaches to biology. As part of the Turing Institute’s Data Science for Science Programme, we are developing research around areas of key importance including molecular biology.

This research theme will develop the crucial role for data science and artificial intelligence (AI) in answering many fundamental questions in genomics and biology regarding the structure and function of genomes, the molecular interplay within cells and organs, the role, shape and functions of proteins as well as advancing imaging techniques.

The call has five focus areas, namely:

  • Imaging
  • Genomics
  • Single-cell biological data
  • Protein shape and function
  • Molecular systems biology

This call aims to catalyse new collaborations between biologists, statisticians and data scientists. It is designed to enable groups of researchers with complementary skills and expertise to explore opportunities at the nexus of biology and data science research.

Further details can be found in the call guidance.


Application process

In this first call, up to two 6 month projects are intended to be supported. An award of up to £50,000 will be offered to each selected proposal. We plan to fund further projects in subsequent years.

Applicants should provide a costing covering 100% of direct costs plus an overhead rate of £32,500 per 1 researcher FTE (pro-rated).

Applications should be completed and submitted by 17:00 GMT, 17 January 2020 to the Turing’s FlexiGrant portal with the following documents:

  • A copy of your proposed research case for support (two pages maximum, plus a maximum of one additional page for references)
    • This should include background and a description of the proposed research, aims and objectives, tools and methods, relevance and beneficiaries
  • A fully completed costing using your Institution’s costing tool
    • This should include a budget table (template provided) and narrative justification of resources.

Additional FlexiGrant sections should also be completed, details which can be found on the call guidance linked on this page.


Key dates

Opening date for applications: 15 November 2019 (via FlexiGrant system)

Closing date for applications: 17 January 2020 

Review panel meeting: 12 February 2020

Results communicated: 18 February 2020*

Project start date: No later than 1 April 2020 *


Further information

For questions regarding the application process or other elements of the call, please contact: [email protected]


This work is supported by The UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund under the EPSRC Grant EP/T001569/1

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Funders and collaborators