The British Society for Immunology is proud to offer this grant scheme to provide an extra level of career support to our members. We have invested significant funds in this scheme which was developed in response to feedback from our membership.
Immunology is a growing and dynamic discipline. As such, those working in the field require a huge range of skills and knowledge to effectively adapt to the ever-changing landscape. With our Career Enhancing Grants, we aim to provide flexible financial support to help immunologists grasp opportunities and tackle challenges in their path.
There are many different routes into a highly-rewarding career in immunology, each with unique benefits and barriers. To provide valuable support to BSI members at all career stages, across different areas and in sectors beyond academia, we have developed this grant scheme that allows for tailored support for individuals in our community.
This grant initiative complements our wider career development offering.
The end goal? To boost your career and help you achieve your full potential.
How does it work?
We are able to provide funding for any type of career-related activity that will help you go a step further in building your skill set and advancing your professional development. The amount you can apply for is variable – we accept applications for any amount from £100 up to £5,000. You can download an application form at the bottom of this page.
Grants are made by competition and assessed by our dedicated grant panel, chaired by BSI Education & Careers Secretary, Dr Donald Palmer. Please read the applicant guidance notes for more information about the criteria.
When should I apply?
Applications for the next grant round will close on Monday 25 March 2024 at 23:59 GMT. We are currently accepting applications.
There are two application deadlines per year, one in September and one in March.
What can I use it for?
What do you need to make your ambitions possible? There are endless possibilities for this funding and you’re in the driver’s seat.
Here you will find some case studies and reports from selected awardees of the BSI Career Enhancing Grants.
Based on some of the challenges we know our members face, we have put together potential scenarios to help provide ideas of what we aim to fund with this scheme:
I’m finding it difficult to secure funding for a pilot project to get the proof-of-concept data I need to make a larger grant application for my research.
Training opportunities are often seen as an optional ‘extra’, but I would benefit from attending a course on leadership/grant writing/financial management/data analysis.
I want to broaden my horizons beyond academia. I’d love to learn more about science communication/public engagement/higher education teaching with a workshop/internship/secondment and see how I could make the most of the transferable skills I’ve learnt studying immunology.
The pandemic has prevented me from honing some important practical lab skills/new techniques that I need to progress in my career – it would be very helpful to go on a lab placement/visit a different institute/take part in a training course to build my skill set.
I need new equipment to carry out my research, but my current funding doesn’t allow for it.
Meeting the right people, building collaborations and getting more career guidance will have a positive impact in my career but going to relevant networking events/professional development sessions isn’t something I can afford.
You could use the grant to fund any of these activities! This is not a comprehensive list. We encourage you to think about how our financial support can help advance your career and share your ideas with the rest of the immunology community.
In summer 2021, we launched this initiative to provide an extra level of careers support to members at different career stages and from different sectors. Since then we have awarded 47 grants to BSI members.
To give you some inspiration and ideas for your application, you can also see the winners of the latest round in November 2023 here.
Who is it for?
With this grant, we aim to support BSI members in all sectors of immunology, including those individuals looking for a career beyond academia.
This grant scheme is only open to UK-based BSI members from paying categories of our membership. You must either be an academic member who does not have a faculty position or personal fellowship (or comparable appointment) or a non-academic applicant who is equal to or less than 15 years post-BSc (or equivalent qualification). Further information is available in the applicant guidance notes.
We are committed to diversity and inclusion within the Society and the wider immunology community. We actively encourage applications from eligible BSI members from all backgrounds, particularly individuals from diverse communities and underrepresented groups.
The grant can be from £100 up to £5,000 with a strong justification required for the level of funding being requested.
How can I apply?
Please read the applicant guidance notes in full before submitting your application. This includes further information on eligibility criteria, how to complete the application form and other terms and conditions.
Download and complete the application form at the bottom of this page and submit this along with your CV (max. 2 sides) to firstname.lastname@example.org by the grant deadline. Applications for over £1,000 must also submit a letter(s) of support from a suitable referee(s). Applications requesting funding to visit a lab or institute elsewhere in the UK or abroad for training should provide a letter of support from that lab/institute and from your current place of work even if the funding request is under £1,000.
The next round of this grant scheme closes on Monday 25 March 2024 at 23:59 GMT.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
Diversity data collection
As one of the commitments in our Diversity and Inclusion Framework, the BSI is collecting diversity data on our membership, with a particular focus on how we are faring on diversity in key activities such as this grant. As part of this work, we are asking all Career Enhancing Grant applicants to fill out the “Equality and Diversity” section of their membership record on the online BSI membership database. Providing this information is not a compulsory part of the grant application process, but it will help us to improve our activities.
How we will use and protect the data
The BSI is collecting this data from our grant applicants to help us better understand diversity across our community and who is currently participating in/benefitting from the Society and our products, services, and opportunities – and who is under-represented. A summary of the data collected will be reported collectively in the BSI’s annual Diversity and Inclusion report as part of our promise to you, our membership, on being open and honest about our progress on diversity.
All information provided via the membership portal will be treated as strictly confidential in accordance the BSI’s Privacy & Security Policy in line with The Data Protection Act 2018. The information gathered will be stored separately to other personal details and will be held in a way that means it is not identifiable to any individual at any stage. The data will be used for statistical purposes only with access to this restricted to staff involved in processing and monitoring the data. It will not be seen by anyone involved in any selection processes. No information will be published or used in any way that allows individuals to be identified.
You do not have to provide this data as part of your Career Enhancing Grant application, but it will help us improve our activities if you can complete as much as possible. If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to fill out the “Equality and Diversity” section of your membership profile
1. Go to the BSI homepage and click the “Login” button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
2. Enter your email and password and click “Log in” – you should have an online account to give you access to the membership section. If you think you don’t have an account, please contact email@example.com.
3. Click on the option “Equality and Diversity” in the right-hand menu bar and complete the questions.