CP 205: Horticulture crop protection efficacy studies 2022 – Call 3 NOW CLOSED

Purpose/Primary Objective

The overall aim of the trials and desk-based reviews planned for 2022 is to evaluate the efficacy and crop safety of plant protection products (PPPs) for management of high priority pest, disease and weed problems in fresh produce and ornamental crops.


In the AHDB SCEPTREplus programme (2017-2022), crop protection efficacy trials were commissioned based on priority areas identified by growers, gaps from previous research and crop protection risk registers. Outputs from this programme are being used to support applications for authorisation of PPPs and to optimise use of existing products within integrated pest management (IPM).

To continue this work in 2022, a number of new priority areas have been identified following AHDB consultation with growers and agronomists, grower associations, AHDB panels, and manufacturers.

As with SCEPTREplus, the primary objective is to evaluate new products and control strategies for efficacy and crop safety (where relevant) on a range of crops, against pests, weeds and diseases. There is also scope to test existing actives on non-label crops and (for certain work packages) the opportunity to optimise the use of existing plant protection products within IPM programmes. Desk studies may be included in future 2022 calls to synthesise existing information from previous programmes of work on a particular pest target.

To ensure relevance to the UK horticulture industry, crops selected for 2022 efficacy studies include both edible and non-edible crops, from across the AHDB horticulture sectors (Field Vegetables, Soft Fruit, Tree Fruit, Protected Edibles & Mushrooms, Hardy Nursery Stock and Protected Ornamentals, Bulbs & Outdoor Flowers). 


The following guidelines on scope are generic; more specific guidelines are provided for individual work packages.

  • Proposals should focus on the studies listed below under ‘Work packages and specifications’. Proposals for other crop / pest target combinations will not be considered under this call. This is the third call of 2022 and there may be further calls to address additional pest priorities via desk studies.
  • We will select the most suitable contractor to carry out work based on:

- quality and relevance of the proposed approach and deliverables,

- expertise and track-record,  

- value for money.

  • Proposals are welcomed from researchers / organisations who have not previously been involved in AHDB-funded research or efficacy trials.
  • We require a separate proposal for each of the listed work packages.
  • Applicants can apply for a single or multiple work packages.
  • It is recommended that previous relevant work (by AHDB and others) is considered and referenced in proposals.
  • Potential contractors should in particular show that they have considered trial design, location and suitability of sites, and ability to ensure sufficient pest, disease or weed pressure is present to gain meaningful results from the work package.
  • If inoculation / infestation with the relevant target pest / pathogen is considered to be the most appropriate approach to achieve successful outputs, proposed methods should be outlined with evidence that the contractor has relevant experience and resources available.
  • Potential contractors should outline whether trials are to be done at a research setting and/or commercial setting, with appropriate costings. If trials on grower holdings are planned, evidence of relevant industry liaison should be provided.
  • Where possible and relevant, efficacy trials should be conducted following ORETO/GEP and relevant EPPO efficacy trial guidelines. Justification or rationale for not doing a trial to ORETO/GEP should be provided within the proposal.
  • Residues trials to GLP standard are outside of the scope of this call. For certain trials, there may be a requirement for residue monitoring in addition to efficacy and crop safety evaluation, and where applicable this will be identified in the work package specification.
  • AHDB will liaise with chosen contractors, agronomists and agrochemical companies to finalise treatment options. Potential contractors may, however, suggest in their proposals possible candidate treatments (products / programmes) that they are aware of from previous research, trials or discussions with industry.
  • While a knowledge exchange activity is expected for each work package, this requirement is substantially reduced compared with the SCEPTREplus programme (see details below under Outputs).

Work packages and specifications

An overview of the work packages to be commissioned under this call is listed below.

Further details of individual work package specifications can be found in a document available to download with this call.

Documents to download:

Horticulture crop protection efficacy studies 2022 – Call 3 work package specifications

Call 3: proposal submission deadline – 8 June 2022


Short title

Pest target

Crop(s) in trial

Sector relevance*

Study type



None for this call








Fungal leaf spot control in HNS

Fungal leaf spots

Container hardy nursery stock



Pot product screen


Bacterial leaf spot in protected ornamentals


Bacterial leaf spots

Pot plants


Pot product screen


Prevention of storage rots in stone fruit


Cherry brown rot



Pre-storage product screen



None for this call






*Sector relevance

FV                   Field vegetables

PE                   Protected edibles

SF                   Soft fruit

TF                    Tree fruit

POBOF           Protected ornamentals, bulbs and outdoor flowers

HNS                Hardy nursery stock



Successful contractors will need to deliver:

  • Approved trial protocols, using a template provided by AHDB.
  • A final trial report within 8 weeks of completing experimental work, using a template provided by AHDB.
  • In addition to a final report, contractors will be required to provide an update in the form of a presentation (in person or on-line) at a relevant industry event. Potential contractors are encouraged to outline how this will be achieved in their proposals (including costs).
  • AHDB is now unable to fund more extensive knowledge exchange, but contractors are free to outline in their proposal additional ideas to inform industry of trial progress and outputs (at their own cost), in liaison with relevant industry organisations.

Related information

SCEPTREplus final reports

AHDB research reports | AHDB

If you are unable to access relevant research reports from links provided, please email research@ahdb.org.uk

Budget, duration and collaboration

AHDB reserves the right to consider budget limits and constraints when assessing submissions and may choose not to make an award if submissions prove unaffordable at this time within the context of the wider programme of AHDB work.

Value for money to levy payers is one of the submission evaluation criteria and therefore we expect contractors to cost work with this in mind as well as considering technical content.  Single contractor and joint proposals are acceptable. If deemed productive, applicants may be requested to form a consortium and work together. 

All proposals submitted should contain a breakdown of the costs required to complete the work, including a justification for items listed under ‘other costs’.

Organisations are invited to put forward proposals for the work packages in this call to commence in 2022 and to be completed at latest by 31 January 2023. Call timing is described under ‘deadlines’. Where relevant, individual work packages should be designed to fit with commercial crop production timings.

Deadlines for the application procedure and project delivery – Call 3

Call 3 published


Full Proposal deadline

12:00 on 08/06/2022

There is no ‘concept note’ or ‘expressions of interest’ phase. Please make an electronic submission in line with the instructions below.

Receipt will be the time of receiving email.

Applications reviewed

Submissions will be evaluated internally by AHDB crop protection scientists

Applicants informed of outcome

By 17/06/2022

Project commences

Earliest by 01/07/2022

Project completion

Latest by 31/01/2023 (or earlier depending on start date and trial timing)


Completion and submission of the application form

  • The attached word document should be used for applications. This is a simplifed version of the AHDB standard full proposal document, with amended evaluation criteria. (Crop protection efficacy trials – application form)
  • Refer to our guidance notes to aid completion
  • Applications should be submitted by email to research@ahdb.org.uk
  • The email subject line should include “CP 205: Horticulture crop protection efficacy studies 2022 – Call 3” and the relevant work package number).




If you have a specific question related to this call, please email research@ahdb.org.uk. As part of the open tender process, AHDB cannot discuss specific project details with you before submitting your proposal. Answers to specific questions will be posted below to assist applicants in the process of completing the application forms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. For WP 15 (bacterial leaf spot in protected ornamentals), the specification says to use pot plants. Is there potential to use HNS species that are susceptible to bacterial leaf spot (e.g. Prunus) for this trial?

A. We confirm that a HNS crop could potentially be used as the choice for this trial.


Evaluation of submissions

To avoid bias in assessing the other evaluation criteria, the technical merit of applications will be judged before consulting the project costs.

A number of criteria will used to judge the quality of the submissions. These can be found at the end of the application form for this call along with the relevant scoring guidelines, as well as below (value in brackets indicates weight in assessment process).



Project Title:




Appropriateness and clarity of engagement with industry in work package approach, delivery and outputs. Deliverables clearly identified. Clarification over additional activities/resource required to deliver impact. 0-10 score; weighting of 2



Score:        x2=


Clarity and suitability of aims, objectives, consideration of previous work, approach and milestone schedule. Effective collaboration with commercial companies where relevant. Details of feasibility, risk management and accreditation . 0-10 score; weighting of 4



Score:        x4 =


Knowledge and expertise. Quality of past contributions to, and impact on, the topic. Potential to bring added value through current and/or past contributions. Complementarities of expertise of the team. 0-10 score; weighting of 3



Score:        x3=


Are costs reasonable and necessary? Will the total budget be adequate to carry out the proposed activities? Added value of co-funding? 0-10 score; weighting of 1



Score:        x1 =

Total Score            out of 100   (Threshold = 50)

Recommend for Funding           Yes / No


Weightings are set to reflect the importance of specific criteria, any proposal failing to achieve a specified threshold may be rejected. They have been set to ensure appropriate standards are met.
AHDB R&KE Scoring Guidelines




Exceptional quality; highly likely to produce benefits/impact of great importance to the industry within the required time-frame; excellent for technical approach, consideration of previous relevant work and risk management; appropriate KE activities proposed; applicant is widely recognised in the field with an outstanding record of accomplishment; consortium is strong across all technical areas needed to accomplish the proposed outcomes. Strongly recommend support


Very good          


High quality; very good potential to make an important contribution within the required time-frame; very good for technical approach, consideration of previous relevant work and risk management; appropriate KE activities proposed; applicant has a very good reputation in the field; consortium has very good expertise across all technical areas required to deliver the proposed outcomes. Strongly recommend support



Good quality; likely to produce good benefits/impact; good for technical approach, consideration of previous relevant work and risk management; appropriate KE activities proposed; applicant has a good reputation in the field; consortium has good expertise across all technical areas required to deliver the proposed outcomes. Should be supported



Moderate quality; likelihood of making significant impact is moderate but additional investment required to deliver benefits; Gaps in technical approach, consideration of previous relevant work and risk management; appropriate KE activities proposed; applicant/team lacks experience, has not established leadership in the field or demonstrated the potential to make impactful contributions. Support may be considered if strong in other areas



Poor quality; not well planned; lacking expertise; not feasible; unlikely to produce benefits/impact; lacking convincing evidence that the proposing team has sufficient and appropriate expertise to accomplish all of the tasks as outlined in the proposal. Should not be supported


Very poor           

Very poor quality; fails to address the issues; technical approach not appropriate; no evidence of relevant expertise; cannot be judged against the criterion due to missing or incomplete information. Should not be supported