UK Biochar Research Centre
Charchive Standard Biochars

NEWS India-UK network

Key Staff:
Dr. Saran P. Sohi



UK Research Councils led by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BSSRC) invested in a set of centres - "virtual joint centres" or VJCs - between the UK and India, China or Brazil. They all aim towards a common goal - to better understand and manage agricultural nitrogen.

The "Newton-Bhabha Virtual Centre on Nitrogen Efficiency of Whole-cropping Systems for improved performance and resilience in agriculture" - NEWS India-UK - is one of four established with India. The University of Edinburgh was a partner in the successful proposal, that was led in the UK by Prof Mark Sutton (at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, CEH).

Progress meetings and workshops

The Joint Centre held its second annual meeting in Delhi in October 2016. The 2017 meeting will be a joint meeting with the other VJCs established between India and the UK as part of the same initiative - INEW, IUNFC and CINTRIN. The meeting is titled "Challenges and opportunities for agricultural nitrogen in India". The page for registration page is here.


NEWS India-UK includes funds for 1- and 3-month Fellowships, which will facilitate mobility for scientists between India and UK. Although specific titles for Fellowships can be chosen by applicants, a list has been put forward. This currently includes several that involve biochar for its interactions with nitrogen and which would be hosted by UKBRC:

These are: 1) Biomass pyrolysis in N management; 2) Biochar designed for fertiliser function; 3) Dynamics of N in the rhizosphere around biochar composites; 4) Biochar application in the management of manures and/or composts.

The call for the second round closed on 30th June 2017. The process of selection recently concluded. A Senior Fellowship was awarded on "Systematic evaluation of alternate biomass conversion technologies for sustaining the productivity of cereals". This will be undertaken at the University of Edinburgh in April/May 2018 - full announcement shortly.

Relevant Research Areas: