Knowledge Exchange Fellowships

Note: With the advent of UK Research & Innovation and a significant funding opportunity (£900 million and six calls between 2018-19 and 2020-21) in the shape of the Future Leaders Fellowship fund (FLF), the context for NERC-funded fellowships has altered. This shifting landscape has led to a decision to undertake an internal review of NERC's fellowship offering in its broadest sense - this will include Knowledge Exchange Fellowships.

To this end, the annual call for KE Fellows in financial year 2019-20 is paused whilst we review the NERC fellowship offer in the round. Future call opportunities are listed on the NERC funding news and calls page and we will communicate decisions resulting from the internal review in due course.

Knowledge Exchange Fellowships focus on accelerating and amplifying economic impact and improvements in the quality of our lives. They do this through a number of different mechanisms, from NERC-funded research to working with business, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or government bodies. This could include:

  • strengthening existing partnerships
  • developing new relationships
  • researching new market opportunities
  • providing case studies of knowledge exchange from NERC-funded research
  • providing briefings and reports suitable for policymakers.

There are two types of Knowledge Exchange Fellowship - Open and Directed. Open KE Fellowships are for applicants wishing to work on their own proposal within their host higher education institution or research centre. Directed Knowledge Exchange Fellows work with a science programme, a business or a specific market sector to amplify and accelerate impact and they work across the NERC community.


Applicants must be from a NERC research centre or a HEI in receipt of NERC-funded research. Applicants can be at any career stage and can be from a user or academic background, as long as the academic host institution will be their employer for the duration of the fellowship.

How to apply

Applications must be made through Je-S, further information is available in the particulars of each opportunity.


Please send an email to .

Outcomes from past fellowships

Dr Ros Cornforth, AfClix director, University of Reading

Dr Cornforth's Knowledge Exchange Fellowship helps facilitate the flow of information between policymakers, climate scientists and farming communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is ensuring that the latest climate science is getting through to the people who need it most.

Weathering the drought in Africa - external link

Dr Julia McMorrow, University of Manchester

Dr McMorrow's Knowledge Exchange Fellowship facilitates the uptake of NERC research to improve the management of wildfire risk in the UK by acting as a knowledge broker between NERC researchers, practitioners and policymakers, joining up poorly-connected sectors. This work has altered government policy, changed firefighting practice and help conserve a national park.

Policy support for wildfire management & contingency planning in the United Kingdom - external link