Pre-announcement: Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources research programme

6 September 2019

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) would like to announce the timetable for a new £12.4m research programme on the Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources (SMMR), delivered in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Marine Scotland.

The programme will deliver improvements in understanding of societal perspectives and behaviours concerning the marine environment and integrate this into systems-based approaches that support the development and analysis of interventions, and inform effective decision-making for marine management and policy. In addition, the programme will deliver an enduring step change in the capability of the marine transdisciplinary research community and its close working with stakeholders, including policy, regulatory and industry.


Individuals in approved UK Higher Education Institutions, Research Council Institutes, and Independent Research Organisations are eligible to apply for programme funds. Exceptionally, individuals from Public Sector Research Establishments (PSRE) with 10 or more researchers with PhDs (or equivalent) are also eligible to apply – more information on PSRE eligibility will be available in the programme’s two Announcements of Opportunity.


  • Mid-September 2019 – SMMR Announcement of Opportunity for a Programme Champion.
  • Early 2020 – Programme Champion in post (no later than 1st February 2020).
  • January 2020 – Registration opens for the SMMR Researcher-Stakeholder Workshop.
    In advance of the SMMR Announcement of Opportunity for transdisciplinary research project proposals, a one-day workshop will be held to bring together a wide community of researchers and stakeholders in order to facilitate the development of strong transdisciplinary project proposals delivered in partnership with stakeholders.
  • Late March/April 2020 – SMMR Researcher-Stakeholder Workshop.
  • April/May 2020 –  SMMR Announcement of Opportunity for transdisciplinary research project proposals that address the programme’s objectives.
  • July/August 2020 – Close date for research project proposals. The Call for Proposals will be open for an extended period (12-weeks) to allow extra time for the development of strong transdisciplinary research project proposals in partnership with stakeholders.

Researchers and stakeholders interested in being involved in a SMMR research project proposal are encouraged to attend the workshop as attendance may provide an opportunity to develop transdisciplinary collaborations with other scientists and stakeholders. However, attendance at the workshop is not a prerequisite for being involved in a research project proposal.

This information on the timetable is provided in good faith to help researchers and stakeholders prepare to respond to this funding opportunity. The timetable may however be subject to change.