NERC-NSF joint funding

Satellite image of North AmericaNERC and the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) have agreed to work together to make it easier for world-leading environmental scientists to collaborate on discovery science projects and to tackle global environmental challenges.

The goal of this opportunity is to reduce barriers to work internationally, based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) - external link - on research cooperation agreed between UK Research & Innovation (UKRI - formerly RCUK) and NSF. Proposals must be an integrated UK-US effort to address a research topic of interest to both NERC and a relevant NSF division that would benefit from a collaborative approach.

Agreements operate with the NSF Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) and the NSF Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) through NERC's discovery science schemes and NSF's equivalent schemes, using existing budgets and peer review mechanisms.

Lead Agency award details are shown in our live online grants browser - Grants on the Web (GOTW).

View details of projects awarded by the Lead Agency agreement - external link


Proposals will be accepted for collaborative research in the areas of intersection of NSF and NERC in the following programmes:

Proposals are expected to adhere to the remit, funding limits and grant durations of the NSF-BIO-DEB, NSF-GEO and NERC schemes from which funding is sought, and must represent an integrated collaborative effort. The usual guidance for proposals submitted to these schemes applies, in addition to the information presented in the guidance for applicants document below.

How to apply

The guidance for applicants document explains how to submit a discovery science proposal using the NERC-NSF-BIO-DEB or NERC-NSF-GEO agreement. Please refer to both the guidance document and the separate flowchart of the lead agency process, below, for information.

Guidance for applicants (PDF, 439KB)

Flowchart (PDF, 32KB)

Researchers should first contact the proposed funding agency to discuss the research focus of the project before submitting a mandatory letter of intent through the online letter of intent form. The letter of intent (outline proposal) must be submitted three months in advance to the standard / large grant full proposal closing date to which applicants plan to submit.

Please use the UK budget form below for NSF-led submissions.

UK budget form (Word, 23KB)