Belmont Forum

Sea ice in Antarctica

The Belmont Forum is a high-level group of the world's major and emerging funders of global environmental change research. It was co-founded by NERC and the National Science Foundation (US) in 2009. Since its foundation, the Belmont Forum has grown to include 28 funding agencies spread across six continents, supporting over 1,000 scientists and stakeholders in more than 35 countries.

The Belmont Forum aims to:

  • meet 21st-century needs for knowledge to support action on environmental change, building on 20th-century understanding
  • accelerate the provision of knowledge for sustainability through increasing international collaboration in research.

The Belmont Forum has developed a funders' vision for the priority knowledge and capabilities derived from environmental research that society needs, and the underpinning research challenges over the next decade to deliver them. These are described in a White Paper (PDF) - external link and encapsulated as the 'Belmont Challenge':

International transdisciplinary research providing knowledge for understanding, mitigating and adapting to global environmental change.

In September 2018, NERC hosted an evening affair in London to celebrate the impactful, international environmental research funded by the Belmont Forum. For further information, see the news item and event poster (PDF, 3MB).

As of April 2019, the following programmes have been launched by the Belmont Forum in partnership with NERC:

Further information on all current Belmont Forum funding opportunities - external link is available.

Collaborative research actions

In order to make progress against the Belmont Challenge and help deliver international collaboration, the Belmont Forum develops collaborative research actions (CRAs). The principles of the CRAs are that they:

  • address the Belmont Challenge priorities (that is societally-relevant global environmental change challenges)
  • leverage Belmont Forum members' existing investments through international added value
  • bring together new partnerships of natural scientists, social scientists and users.

As of April 2019, CRAs have funded 92 different research projects - external link. A list of CRAs run by the Belmont Forum - external link is also available.

For those CRAs in which the UK is not participating, UK researchers can still join international consortiums if they can bring their own funding (meaning no budget will be available from NERC). Although, this involvement would not contribute towards the minimum number of Belmont Forum countries necessary per consortium under the particular CRA.