Instruct – Integrating European Infrastructure for Structural Biology
Instruct-ERIC is a hub for structural biology, linking European technology platforms with expertise, and education to further the frontiers of science. It provides structural and cell biologists from industry and academia with the opportunity to further their research. Opportunities for UK researchers are described below.
Background and vision
Instruct-ERIC was founded under the European Strategy for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) programme. The main experimental technologies of structural biology are complementary, and increasingly link detailed atomic structure with cellular context. Instruct-ERIC functions as a pan-European distributed infrastructure with the goal of promoting integrated structural biology research by making these complementary cutting-edge technologies accessible for all European scientists.
Instruct-ERIC has 12 Centres in 10 countries that have opened up state-of-the-art facilities for high priority projects. The wide-range of facilities include synchrotron X-ray beamlines for crystallography and small-angle scattering, solid and liquid-state NMR, electron microscopy and tomography, computational biology and image analysis, specialised protein and virus production platforms and native mass spectroscopy.
Instruct-ERIC is supported through national membership fees from governmental funding bodies. Membership opens up access to all national resident researchers to Instruct-ERIC activities, namely access to Instruct-ERIC Centres and the infrastructure provided therein, training courses and workshops, some seed-corn funding for pilot projects and an active and growing cohesive networked community of structural scientists around Europe.
Partnership model and funding
Instruct-ERIC is built on a well-established European consortium of world leading scientists who have defined a scientific, organisational and financial plan to deliver the objectives of Instruct-ERIC. Tied together by international agreements signed by 10 member countries, and managed administratively from Oxford (UK), Instruct formally came into being in 2012. In July 2017, the partnership was formally ratified by the European Commission as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) – a specific legal form to facilitate operation of research infrastructures with European interest.
More countries, including outside Europe, are able to join Instruct-ERIC and contribute to the central organisation which is key to the efficient coordination of this multi-centre, multi-facility consortium.
Opportunities for UK researchers
Instruct-ERIC invites applications from researchers wishing to access one or more of the technology facilities available through the Instruct-ERIC Centres, or for small pilot study R&D grants. UK scientists are encouraged to apply and benefit from these facilities.
Applicants will need to register on the Instruct website where information, proposal submission and guideline documents are all available.
For further information, please contact the Instruct-ERIC Hub: