Strategic programme areas

Strategic programme areas are major activities that address complex science questions in which the research is expected to be large-scale and complex, logistically challenging, and/or there are significant opportunities for partnership development. They will require a community effort to develop and deliver. The research programmes might typically range in size from £5 million to £20 million depending on their scope and partnership funding.

Idea generation begins in the community. NERC's Science Committee draws upon these ideas and other evidence such as our analysis of the current strategic research landscape to recommend how NERC should allocate the available strategic research funding to particular priority strategic programme areas. Science Committee then work closely with the NERC Executive and relevant experts through scoping groups, which develop the full cases for the potential programmes that will be presented to Science Committee and Council.

Once the specific strategic programme areas have been developed and agreed specific funding opportunities will be announced for the UK environmental science community to respond to with grant proposals that will be peer reviewed through the usual routes.