Open Call: CNIE Inspiration Grants 2018-2019

12 November 2018

We are delighted to announce the Open Call for the CNIE Inspiration-Grants 2018-19, following the success of the first three rounds, launched in 2015 and continued in 2016 and 2017. The aim of the Centre’s “Inspiration Grants” is to encourage collaboration and engagement between CNIE’s researchers, leading researchers across the UK, and industry.

The 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. 

More details are included in the Call (attached pdf). The applications should be submitted in PDF format, by email, to

A selected list of previously awarded projects are available below:

  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
     Bioactive Aerogels - Preclinical Development of a Novel Bone Grafting Material
  3. Modelling hierarchical transport network of rocks using multiscale modelling and X-­ray tomography 
  4. The Self-Organising Built Environment 
  5. Robust self-healing fabrics for soft robotic applications 
  6. Nature-inspired confined jet-mixers for ionic liquid-liquid extraction applications
    Nature-Inspired water management in PEM Fuel Cell
  7. An applied, engineered oscillation inspired by the natural oscillatory behaviour of HIV
  8. Nature Inspired 4D printing for biomedical applications 
  9. Novel microfluidic chemotaxis screening platform for high-throughput bacterial viability quantification

Quotes from previous Inspiration Grant awardees:

Dr Brenda Parker – Lecturer in BioChemical Engineering, UCL

“The grant enabled us to initiate a new collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey. As a new staff member it was one of the first bits of seed funding that I received, and this helped enormously to get a little bit of momentum as I established my research group.”

Stephen Marshall - Professor of Urban Morphology and Urban Design, Bartlett School of Planning

"We were delighted to receive the CNIE Inspiration Grant on the ‘Self-Organising Built Environment: Calibrating Relationships Across Scales;. This grant gave us the excuse and the means to probe more deeply what the actual biological processes are, that underpin the urban theories, and to bring a new degree of authority to analogical thinking. The grant encouraged a new team to get together to explore it in a concentrated burst. It is one thing for an urban researcher to be 'interested' in nature, or to cite scientific literature in a second hand way, quite another to have zoologists and geneticists in your team. Bouncing ideas off colleagues from other universities in the UK and USA, and opening up seminars to everyone from artists to technologists and philosophers of science, is like a fulfilment of what a vibrant academic life should be about  The very existence of the CNIE was an inspiration: signalling that it could be worth investing in harnessing ideas from nature in a practical and scientific way. And being involved in this grant opened our eyes to new possibilities for further collaboration and exploitation of our research."  

Open Call: CNIE Inspiration Grants 2018-2019