Two women stand in a laboratory. 

An upscaling and upskilling programme for German/ French and British research teams working together bilaterally.

The British Council in Germany and France are jointly launching the Springboard Programme call to either build new or strengthen existing scientific collaborations between German/ French and British labs involving early career researchers. This scheme is part of the British Council Going Global Partnerships Programme.

The Springboard Programme aim to facilitate mobility between groups of early career researchers who want to work together with a view to either submitting joint grant applications (e.g. with Horizon Europe) or working on joint publications.

At least six projects will be funded, including at least two grants for Germany-Northern Ireland/Scotland/Welsh collaborations and at least four grants for Germany-UK collaborations. Six other projects will be funded for UK-France collaborations.

What does the programme entail?

The Springboard Programme includes:

  • A springboard meeting between the German/ French and UK collaborating team members, designed to: 
  • Bring bilateral teams together to plan a joint project or publication
  • Be a springboard for joint applications to large national, European or international funding organisations
  • An online communication skills training for the early career researchers who are part of the team;
  • Research placements in the partner’s lab for PhDs and postdocs involved in the programme.

The partners will organise bilateral UK-German workshops and will take place in either Germany or the UK. 

What will be funded?

  • Grants of up to a maximum of 10,000 GBP can be used to cover the following costs:
  • Travel and subsistence during a two-day springboard meeting for all team members (up to 10 people)
  • Travel and accommodation for up to 2 German and 2 UK early career researchers (PhDs or postdocs) for specific lab placements (for up to one week).
  • Participation in communication skills training modules for early career researchers involved in the project
  • Advice and support from an EU funding consultant during the meeting and throughout the project

Please consult the Springboard Programme guidelines at the bottom of this page to get more information about the eligible expenses.

Applicants will be able to request a grant contribution for tackling barriers to diversity and inclusion. Examples of costs that can be covered include, but are not  limited to, additional childcare costs, measures to support the participation of researchers and team members with disabilities.

Who can apply?

Research team directors of established labs/ Principal Investigators with proven track-records in research in the UK and Germany who would like to or already work together on a research project can jointly apply. The UK partner is lead partner and will receive the funding on behalf of both partners. 

Each application can include up to 10 participants, including 6 early career researchers.

Lead applicants are asked to also consider encouraging participation from researchers from under-represented groups in the teams implementing their proposed activities.

Which fields will be considered?

Applications in the fields from the six following Horizon Europe thematic priorities will be taken into consideration: 

  • Health
  • Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society 
  • Civil security for Society
  • Digital, Industry and Space
  • Climate, Energy and Mobility
  • Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment

All disciplines are welcome (medicine, biology, social sciences, arts and humanities, physics, chemistry, environmental sciences etc.). Priority will be given to multidisciplinary proposals.

This call is especially intended for teams wishing to prepare applications for European and international funding (e.g. Horizon Europe, DFG or UKRI).

How do I apply?

You can apply until 1 December 2023 using this online form

The submitted proposals will usually include:

  • Names and affiliations of the researchers involved in the project (researchers from the same institution/laboratory must have complementary skills);
  • Description of the research project and skills of the various institutions/laboratories involved (with an emphasis on existing synergies and previous collaboration);
  • Brief description of existing links between the researchers involved (joint papers; joint PhD between labs; evidence of national funding);
  • A specification of the types/sources of funding (e.g. UKRI, DFG, Horizon Europe…) you intend to apply for as a follow up from this meeting.

All submitted proposals are evaluated for their scientific quality and relevance.

You will get feedback whether your application has been successful before the end of the year.