Instruct – Integrating European Infrastructure for Structural Biology

Instruct is the dynamic hub of structural biology; integrating the infrastructure of expertise, technology platforms 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.

Background and vision

Instruct was founded under the European Strategy for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) programme. It functions as a distributed infrastructure whose goal is to promote integrated structural biology research and make cutting edge technologies accessible for all European scientists.

Instruct has 15 Centres in eight European countries that have opened up state-of-the-art facilities for high priority projects. The 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 is supported through national membership fees from governmental and institutional funding bodies. Membership opens up access to all national resident researchers to Instruct activities, namely access to Instruct 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 is built on a well-established European consortium of world leading scientists who have defined a scientific, organisational and financial plan to deliver Instruct’s objectives. Tied together by International Agreements signed by nine countries, and managed administratively from Oxford, Instruct formally came into being at a Signing Ceremony in Brussels on 23 February 2012.

More countries need to join Instruct and contribute to the central organisation which is key to the efficient coordination of this multi-centre, multi-facility consortium. Strong representation is being made to the European Union to secure central funding as part of the Horizon 2020 work programme.

Opportunities for UK researchers

Instruct is now inviting applications from researchers wishing to access one or more of the technology facilities available through the Instruct Centres.

UK scientists whose research would benefit from access to any of the Instruct platforms are eligible to apply.

Call for applications for small Instruct pilot study R&D grants. These grants are designed to help researchers develop external funding for projects. Potential applicants should register on the Instruct website where information, proposal submission and guideline documents are all available.

For further information, please contact the unit: