NERC scopes new areas for strategic research

16 February 2018

NERC will scope three new areas for potential large-scale strategic research investments over spring 2018:

  • Earth system plastics
  • Transforming fractures - exploration of the deep-ocean highways
  • Reducing uncertainty in climate sensitivity due to clouds

We will shortly publish open calls for community members to join small scoping groups for these strategic programme areas (SPAs), which will each develop a case for assessment and funding decisions in autumn 2018. These potential SPAs have emerged from the ideas process for strategic research, where NERC captures and builds on ideas for excellent strategic science coming directly from the environmental science community.

The fourth cut-off for ideas for strategic programme areas was in 2017, with 23 ideas received. NERC's Strategic Programme Advisory Group (SPAG) reviewed the ideas and used a number of them to generate the proposals for SPAs that were considered by NERC's Science Board.

Any potential SPA must meet NERC's criteria for a strategic programme and be prioritised against NERC's other strategic research investments, so it is possible that none of these potential SPAs will result in funded programmes.

Open announcements of opportunity for research proposals will follow, for any strategic programme that is approved.

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