NERC names impact finalists

11 November 2014

NERC is excited to announce the finalists of its inaugural Impact Awards.

The awards intend to recognise and reward the contribution of NERC science to the UK's economy, society, wellbeing and international reputation. The winners will be announced at a prize-giving ceremony in London on 27 January 2015, kicking-off our 50th anniversary.

The environmental science community's response to the awards has been outstanding, with 82 applications of an exceptional standard submitted across four categories of impact: economic, social, early-career and international.

The applications show the excellence of UK science and its impact, as well as demonstrating the breadth of the contribution environmental science - and scientists - make to the UK's prosperity.

A shortlisting panel, made up of experts from academia, business and the third sector, met on 31 October to whittle them down to two finalists in each category, each of which will now be reviewed by a panel of judges.

Dr Peter Costigan, chair of both panels, said:

"We were delighted with the large number of applications received and by their diversity and high quality. This gave us some difficult decisions to make. Our eight finalists reflect the breadth and significance of the contribution of UK environmental science to life both at home and around the world. I look forward to hearing more about them at the judging panel in January."

The winner in each category will receive a prize of £10,000 to further the impact of their research, with the runners-up receiving £5,000. A further £30,000 will be awarded to one overall winner.

The awards are the first in a series of activities and events that will mark NERC's 50th anniversary. The programme of events will demonstrate how NERC science has contributed to the UK over the past 50 years - and how we're helping tackle some of the big questions for us and the Earth for the next 50 years.

In particular, it will demonstrate the vital role NERC science plays in meeting the major 21st century challenge of growing our economy in an environmentally responsible way.

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1. NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. We coordinate some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is a non-departmental public body. We receive around £370 million of annual funding from the Department for Business, Innovation &Skills (BIS).