2nd CNIE Call for "Inspiration" Grants - 31st March 2016

15 February 2016

We are delighted to announce the 2nd-Call-CNIE Inspiration-Grants March 2016 launch of 2nd CNIE Call for “Inspiration” grants following the success of the first round of CNIE Call for “Inspiration” Grants launched in August 2015 as a result of the workshop organised by the EPSRC "Frontier Engineering" Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering (CNIE) on 28 July 2015, to stimulate discussions between researchers of other Centres from across the UK, industrial partners, and CNIE researchers.

The 2nd CNIE Call for "Inspiration" Grants is open to all academic researchers in the UK. The aim of these short postdoctoral projects is to explore opportunities, in collaboration with CNIE researchers at UCL, to apply nature-inspired engineering within other projects and/or to obtain preliminary results prior to applying for a longer-term grant.

Projects should fully align to the vision of the Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering, as well as to one or more of four research areas, which were identified during our workshop in July 2015:

  • Extraction/collection: examples include diesel particulate removal, CO2 capture, water purification, removing/transforming highly diluted substances from water or air, membrane encapsulation, where lessons could be drawn from the workings of fish gills (oxygen), salps (as filters; self-organising), hyacinths and mangrove trees (adapted for salt water), leaves (photocatalysis and CO2 sequestration), etc.; this could be, but does not have to use techniques from synthetic biology or advanced materials
  • Communication across scales: examples include control of materials assembly processes, multi-scale models of communication in biological systems, linguistic strategies for self-organisation, where lessons could be drawn from protein assemblies, biofilms, crystal growth, bacterial communities, etc.
  • Catalysis: examples include fuel cell and photo-catalysis, how catalytic processes in nature can be accelerated for industrial applications, passive clean-up applications where time does not matter for practical applications, etc.
  • Self-healing materials: examples include self-healing concrete and the exploration of other materials systems, the use of synthetic bacteria, delivery systems within materials to supply nutrients, energy, and carry away waste, implants with symbiosis with the body’s own healing systems, self-healing electronics, etc.

More details are included in the Call (attached pdf). Deadline for submissions: 4pm on Thursday 31 March 2016.

The list of the awarded projects in the first round of CNIE Call for “Inspiration” Grants:

1. 3D Printing underwater: the regenerative fishing nets of salps

2. Pulsating flow inspired by blood circulation to improve fluid dynamics in flow reactors and crystallizers

3. Bioactive Aerogels - Preclinical Development of a Novel Bone Grafting Material

4. Modelling hierarchical transport network of rocks using multiscale modelling and X-­ray tomography

For further information about the call, please contact us at cnie.admin@ucl.ac.uk.

Further information about the Centre can be found here:


2nd CNIE Call for "Inspiration" Grants - 31st March 2016