Knowledge Hub

Knowledge Hub

UK Research Base


  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)One of 7 Research Councils that work together as Research Councils UK (RCUK), BBSRC are funded by the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Their budget for 2012-13 is around £500M, and they support around 1600 scientists and 2000 research students in universities and institutes across the UK.


  • Agriculture and Horticulture Development BoardA statutory levy board funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain,  the AHDB was established in 2008, and covers roughly 75 per cent of total agricultural output in the UK.
  • British Beet Research OrganisationThe BBRO is a non-profit making organisation which commissions and implements research and technology transfer designed to increase the competitiveness and profitability of the UK beet sugar industry in a susatinable and environmentally acceptable manner.
  • Centre for Ecology & HydrologyPart of the Natural Environment Research Council, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology has sites across the UK, and is the UK’s Centre of Excellence for integrated research in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and their interaction with the atmosphere.
  • Institute of Food ResearchLocated on the Norwich Research Park and with strategic partnerships with the University of East Anglia and Imperial College, London, IFR science aims to meet the challenges of supplying safe, nutritious food that promotes healthy ageing now and in the future.
  • Overseas Development InstituteThe Overseas Development Institute is the UK’s leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues.
  • Rothamsted ResearchRothamsted is the longest running agricultural research station in the world, providing cutting-edge science and innovation for nearly 170 years.
  • Royal Agricultural CollegeThe Royal Agricultural College is the oldest agricultural college in the English speaking world, having been at the forefront of agricultural education since 1845.
  • Scotland’s Rural CollegeScotland’s Rural College formed when Baronly, Elmwood and Oatridge Colleges merged with the Scottish Agricultural College. The ground draws on more than a century of success in supporting landbased communities and industries.
  • The Genome Analysis CentreEstablished by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in partnership with the East of England Development Agency in 2009, The Genome Analysis Centre has a team of over 60 staff, including genomics scientists, technologists and bioinformaticians.
  • The James Hutton InstituteA world leading research institute for land, crops, water and the environment with two main sites at Aberdeen and Dundee, the JHI employs more than 600 scientists and support staff, making it one of the biggest research centres in the UK and the first of its type in Europe.
  • The John Innes Centre (JIC)The JIC is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology founded in 1910.
  • The Sainsbury LaboratoryThis plant science laboratory is located at the JIC (see above) and investigates plant interactions with microbes and viruses, using state-of-the-art genetics and molecular biology techniques.


  • Aberystwyth UniversityThe Aberystwyth University Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) has around 300 research, teaching and support staff conducting basic, strategic and applied  research in biology from the level of genes and other molecules to the impact of climate change and bio-energy on sustainable agriculture and land use.
  • Lancaster UniversityThe Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University was opened in 2004 and features a strand dedicated to food security.
  • Newcastle UniversityNewcastle University’s Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences has 300 staff and students and a strong reputation for its research.
  • Oxford Brookes UniversityOxford Brookes University has a strong research base in its Department of Biological and Medical Sciences.
  • Plymouth Marine LaboratoryPlymouth Marine Laboratory is an independent, impartial provider of scientific research and contract services relating to the marine environment.
  • The University of SheffieldThe University of Sheffield’s Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology has over 110 research student and 30 postdoctoral researchers.
  • University College LondonThe UCL Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment has over 40 research groups, and over 200 Post-Docs, PhD Students and support staff.
  • University of AberdeenThe University of Aberdeen Institute of Biological & Environmental Sciences has 55 research staff, and 80 post doctoral research staff focusing on addressing the fundamental biological consequences of environmental change.
  • University of BathThe University of Bath was granted university status in 1966, although traces its roots back to 1856.
  • University of BristolThe University of Bristol is a research-intensive university which is over a century old.
  • University of CambridgeThe University of Cambridge runs a Global Food Security Initiative, which was established in 2011.
  • University of DundeeThe University of Dundee College of Life Sciences has contributed to the development of a regional biotechnology cluster, and currently includes more than 1000 staff and research students.
  • University of East AngliaThe University of East Anglia is a leading member of the Norwich Research Park, which is one of Europe’s biggest concentrations of researchers in the fields of environment and plant science.
  • University of EssexThe University of Essex’s Essex Sustainability Centre sits within the Department of Biological Sciences, and focuses its research in three main strands: nature and health, resilience of social-ecological systems and the natural capital.
  • University of ExeterThe University of Exeter’s Biosciences department is rapidly expanding, and is currently involved in ongoing research with more than £40 million of funding.
  • University of GlasgowThe University of Glasgow’s Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology was founded in 2010.
  • University of LeedsThe University of Leeds’ Faculty of Biological Sciences includes 110 academic staff and 150 postdoctoral researchers.
  • University of LeicesterThe University of Leicester has a Centre for Core Biotechnology Service, which sits within its College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology.
  • University of LiverpoolThe University of Liverpool School of Biological Sciences includes more than 200 experts on a broad range of themes.
  • University of NottinghamThe University of Nottingham’s School of Biosciences is one of a number of schools to benefit from BBSRC funding.
  • University of OxfordThe University of Oxford’s Interdisciplinary Bioscience Programme focuses on three main areas of bioscience research, including food security.
  • University of ReadingThe University of Reading is home to the National Centre for Biotechnology Education, the first school biotechnology centre in the world.
  • University of SouthamptonThe University of Southampton’s Centre for Biological Sciences applies its expertise to solving environmental issues that are concerns for our society.
  • University of StrathclydeThe University of Strathclyde operates a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership programme.
  • University of SurreyThe University of Surrey was established in 1966, although its roots go back to the late 19th century.
  • University of WarwickWarwick forms part of the Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnerships, which is delivering innovative research across the Life Sciences sector, with a focus on food security.
  • University of YorkWith over 60 academic staff, York is one of the leading university biological science departments in the UK.