Highlight topics - Fifth round

14 January 2019

NERC invites proposals for the fifth round of highlight topics, a route for funding strategic research. Highlight topics focus strategic research on defined subject areas, and will be delivered through independent projects.

The highlight topics in this call are:

  1. Marine noise pollution: Understanding chronic effects
  2. Understanding the likelihood and impact of UK wildfires
  3. Impact of experimental deep-sea mining in the Central Pacific: A new inter-disciplinary challenge for UK environmental science
  4. Assessing large scale ecological responses to environmental change
  5. The impact of legacy waste in the coastal zone
  6. Advancing capabilities to predict UK and European weather conditions one season ahead
  7. The mineral systems approach to exploration and discovery of new sediment-hosted copper (Co[1], V[2]) deposits

NERC has allocated £16 million to this call. Please refer to the individual highlight topic scope outlined in the Announcement of Opportunity for the maximum duration and budget limits per project. There are more highlight topics than funding is available for, so that all highlight topics will not, necessarily, result in funded grants. This is to ensure that only the very best research is funded.

If you intend to submit a proposal, please complete the online notification of intent form, which must be received by 16:00 on 21 February 2019.

Proposals must be submitted via the research councils' Je-S system by 16:00 on 21 March 2019.

Please see the Announcement of Opportunity for full details.

Please note that the Announcement of Opportunity was updated and republished on 23 January to include instructions on submission of Antarctic logistics support forms in sections 4·5 and 7.

Announcement of Opportunity (PDF, 250KB)

Further information for Topic C - UK Seabed Resources information summary (PDF, 1021KB)


For eligibility, application process and peer review queries, please contact .

For scientific and remit queries, please contact .

  1. Cobalt
  2. Vanadium