Call for ideas - Strategic research priorities

16 April 2014

NERC research plays a critical role in meeting the 21st century's great challenge - to improve our quality of life and grow economies whilst living within the Earth's limits. We meet this challenge by addressing three broad societal needs: to benefit from natural resources and ecosystem services, build resilience to environmental hazards and manage environmental change.

During 2014 NERC is introducing new ways of identifying and prioritising strategic scientific research that is needed in the environmental sciences. As we work closely with the environmental science community, this new approach will support us in delivering our strategy and contribute to meeting the societal challenges it identifies.

The approach for identifying strategic research priorities relies on the bottom-up generation of ideas. An idea in this context should not be considered a proposal for research; it is a suggestion for an environmental issue specifically related to the societal challenges identified in our strategy that could be addressed through an advance in environmental science. The idea needs to describe the environmental issue, how it may address the societal challenges and why it should be considered a priority.

The new NERC Strategic Programme Advisory Group (SPAG) is being established to help NERC process and prioritise these ideas so that the best science can be developed in the most appropriate context. Encouraging, growing and harvesting ideas from the environmental science community, and from those who benefit from environmental science, and marrying these ideas to top-down strategic goals is at the heart of NERC's new approach.

NERC is inviting ideas that will address societal challenges, some of which might be difficult to solve, but whose scientific resolution might have far-reaching effects. Ideas can be sent to NERC at any time and can come from any individual or group.

This is a new and exciting opportunity for environmental researchers, research users and NERC's funding partners to play a crucial role in helping to develop NERC's strategic research agenda.

For more information please see our developing and submitting ideas for strategic research page or contact .