Belmont Forum

The Belmont Forum is a high level group of the world's major and emerging funders of global environmental change research and international science councils. It was co-founded by NERC and the National Science Foundation (US) in 2009.


The Belmont Forum aims to:

  • meet 21st century needs for knowledge to support action on environmental change, building on 20th century understanding
  • accelerate 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 and encapsulated as the 'Belmont Challenge':

to deliver knowledge needed for action to avoid and adapt to detrimental environmental change including extreme hazardous events.

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

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

A list of CRAs run by the Belmont Forum - external link is available. Those in which the UK is participating will be advertised individually on the NERC Belmont Forum webpages.

For those CRAs in which the UK is not participating, UK researchers can still join international consortiums if they can bring their own funding (ie 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.


Matthew Dobson
Senior Programme Manager
07712 233840