NERC's advisory role

An important part of NERC's role is to disseminate knowledge and provide advice. We work closely with government and Parliament to make sure policymakers have the latest environmental science and expertise available to inform their decisions.

We do this at a 'working level' through designing and delivering research in partnership with government departments; and through our more formal advisory function which involves contributing information and advice to government and parliamentary processes.

Head Office coordinates NERC's input to government and parliamentary questions and inquiries that call for environment science evidence and expertise. In some cases NERC is called on to contribute; in others we become aware of an opportunity to input to a consultation or parliamentary inquiry and decide whether a response from NERC would be beneficial.

In this advisory capacity NERC provides:

  • input to government consultations
  • responses to parliamentary questions, written submissions and oral evidence to select committee inquiries, and information for ministerial briefings (for example for international visits, meetings with industry, meetings with foreign stakeholders)
  • briefings for high-level bilateral meetings - strategic discussions with government departments and agencies regarding areas of common interest - these usually involve NERC's Executive Chair and Director of Research & Innovation, and the bilateral partner's chief scientific advisor.

NERC is part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI). UKRI brings together nine councils into a single organisation that aims to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. On relevant issues, UKRI leads on coordinating advice from across the councils and NERC contributes as appropriate.


Toby Shergold
Head of External Affairs
01793 411573