Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is a British Research Council and Non-Departmental Public Body supporting several scientific research institutes and university research departments in the UK. Receiving its funding through the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), BBSRC's responsibility is to increase basic knowledge and understanding in biology and develop biological technology and applications.

BBSRC's head office is at Polaris House in Swindon; its annual budget is £336 million in financial year 2007/2008. BBSRC IT services are provided by Bioscience IT Services (BITS), located at the Rothamsted site in Harpenden. BBSRC was created in 1994, replacing the earlier Agricultural and Food Research Council (AFRC) and taking over the biological science activities of the former Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC). BBSRC also manages the joint Research Councils' Office in Brussels - the UK Research Office (UKRO).

Governance and management

BBSRC is managed by the BBSRC Council consisting of a chair (currently Dr Peter Ringrose), a chief executive (Mr Steve Visscher - interim) and from ten to eighteen representatives from British universities, government and industry. The Council approves policies, strategy, budgets and major funding.

A Strategy Board provides expert advice which BBSRC Council draws upon in making decisions. The purpose of the Strategy Board is to review and evaluate current research, future opportunities and needs, proposals, and funding issues. It provides expert opinion and judgement.

Boards, Panels and Committees

In addition to the Council and Strategy Board, the BBSRC has a series of other internal bodies for specific purposes.

* Appointments Board
* Audit Board
* Estates and Equipment Board
* Human Resources Strategy Board, including Human Resources Programme Panel
* Remuneration Board
* Strategy Panels - seven Panels advise and report to Strategy Board.
* Research Committees - seven Committees award research grants in specific science areas

BBSRC institutes

The Council sponsors seven research institutes in the UK.

* Babraham Institute (BI - Cambridge)
* Institute for Animal Health (IAH - Compton and Pirbright)
* Institute of Food Research (IFR - Norwich))
* Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER - Aberystwyth)
* John Innes Centre (JIC - Norwich)
* Roslin (RI - Edinburgh)
* Rothamsted Research (Harpenden)

Many other research centres have been closed down or sold as the BBSRC consolidated its efforts in fewer, larger science institutes. Those lost include the Letcombe Laboratory, Long Ashton Research Station (LARS - Bristol), the Plant Breeding Institute (PBI - Cambridge), and the Weed Research Organisation (WRO - Oxford). The latest to close was Silsoe Research Institute (SRI - Bedfordshire) in 2006.

External links

* [http://www.babraham.ac.uk/ Babraham Institute]
* [http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/ BBSRC] website
* [http://www.bits.bbsrc.ac.uk Bioscience IT Services]
* [http://www.iah.bbsrc.ac.uk/index.html Institute for Animal Health]
* [http://www.ifr.ac.uk/ Institute of Food Research]
* [http://www.iger.bbsrc.ac.uk Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research]
* [http://www.jic.ac.uk/ John Innes Centre]
* [http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/ Research Councils UK]
* [http://www.roslin.ac.uk Roslin]
* [http://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/ Rothamsted Research]
* [http://www.sri.bbsrc.ac.uk/ Silsoe Research Institute]
* [http://www.ukro.ac.uk/ UK Research Office (UKRO)]


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