NERC's new approach to strategic research

14 February 2014

During 2014, NERC will introduce new ways of identifying and prioritising strategic research needed in the environmental sciences, working with the UK environmental science community. This will support the delivery of our Strategy and in particular contribute to meeting the societal challenges identified within it. The new approach encourages the wider environmental science community to propose ideas for new strategic research. It will support faster decision-making on new strategic priorities as well as on where to direct such funding, and will allow NERC to work much more flexibly with its partners.

As part of this new approach NERC is setting up a Strategic Programme Advisory Group (SPAG) which will have a central role in advising NERC's Science & Innovation Strategy Board (SISB) and the NERC Executive. SPAG members are being recruited now. SPAG, with the assistance of NERC Executive staff, will engage with our communities to develop research relevant to our strategic direction

NERC will invite UK environmental scientists and environmental research users to submit strategic research ideas for SPAG's consideration. The submission can be quite short and to the point - the intention is not to seek research proposals, but ideas for questions that NERC's strategic research should address and that could lead to announcement of opportunities for funding. This is a new opportunity for a wider community to inform NERC's strategic direction and, ultimately, future funding opportunities.

NERC will be issuing more detailed instructions on how to input ideas in spring 2014 and SPAG will begin to prioritise new strategic research activities in summer 2014.


For more information about the new approach to strategic research please contact:

Nichola Badcock
01793 413172