Announcement of Opportunity: Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources (SMMR) Champion

Notification of Intent closing date: midday on 14 October 2019
Full proposal closing date: 16:00 on 14 November 2019

UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) are inviting applications for the role of Champion for the Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources (SMMR) research programme. The £12.4m SMMR programme will be jointly delivered by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) on behalf of UKRI, and in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Marine Scotland.

The Champion will act as thought leader, flag bearer and strategy owner for the SMMR research programme. The successful candidate will work with the wider research communities to aid in the development of the SMMR funding call and activities to ensure that the programme delivers its objectives. They will be responsible for working with the academic community to drive integration of research across the programme and providing leadership on the interaction of the programme with the user community, as involvement with these stakeholders from the outset will be important to the successful delivery of the programme.

The Champion role will be to:

  • ensure there is strong programme-wide engagement with the stakeholder community throughout the lifetime of this programme;
  • ensure that there is a strong interdisciplinary community of researchers and stakeholders (policy, business, and more widely) versed in the aims and thinking of the programme; including identifying any barriers to interdisciplinary working and developing ways to support the programme participants in overcoming them;
  • ensure there is active management of funded research projects in support of a coherent programme and continued governmental relevance through linkages to emerging governmental policy requirements;
  • coordinate the programme’s monitoring and evaluation activities, including assessment by the Strategic Advisory Board (at least every 6-months) of projects progress against agreed milestones and deliverables, to ensure that the programme is on track to meet its objectives and any emerging risks are managed appropriately;
  • lead on the knowledge exchange strategy and implementation plan for the programme, oversee all knowledge exchange activities funded by the programme, and actively promote these activities within the programme and to all relevant communities;
  • lead on the delivery of science meetings and bespoke workshops, as required, over the lifetime of the programme, including a programme finale event, to address the above expectations and ensure the programme maximises its research and knowledge exchange impacts;
  • participate in the Strategic Advisory Board that will provide strategic advice to the Programme Executive Board, and also to the Champion, to ensure the successful delivery of the programme’s objectives;
  • report to , and provide advice directly to, as required, the Programme Executive Board;
  • lead on the communication and implementation strategy for the programme;
  • lead on the data management strategy and implementation plan for the programme;
  • support, as requested, other programme management activities e.g. assisting with the peer review selection process during the funding round.

In the first three months, the key priorities for the Champion will be to:

  • aid in the development of an interdisciplinary community of researchers and stakeholders versed in the aims of the programme. This will be delivered through an integration workshop, arranged in coordination with, and funded by, the funders, and other activities to stimulate the bringing together of researchers;
  • provide advice to the Programme Executive Board on the priorities of the research programme to ensure the call specification invites proposals that will achieve the programme’s objective. 

Funding of up to £850k (80% FEC) is available from UKRI for a period of 4.5 years. This grant must start no later than 1 February 2020.

 The funding can be used for the following:

  • Buying out teaching, if applicable
  • Administration support
  • Communication support
  • Research Associate (RA’s) support to help with workshops, etc
  • travel, networking, venues, etc

There may also be opportunities for limited additional funding to support the Champion’s activities throughout the programme. Additional funding for programme meetings and workshops will be available through the programme, subject to approval of the Programme Executive Board.

Applications are welcome from academics that job share, have a part time contract or those currently committed to other longer, large existing grants (centres, hubs, programme grants, CDT, etc.), which commitments enable the applicant to be able to fulfil the Champion role.

The successful applicant should have a start date no later than 1 February 2020.

Applicants must submit a Notification of Intent using the online registration form by midday on 14 October 2019 for their full bid to be considered.

Further information on the call and how to submit an application can be found in the Announcement of Opportunity document below.

SMMR Champion AO (PDF, 356KB)

The closing date for submission of full proposals is 16:00 on 14 November 2019.

Interviews will take place on 28 November 2019 (venue to be confirmed but potentially in Edinburgh).


NERC Secretariat

Jessica Surma

Mobile 07925 891431