Research councils' Individual Merit Promotion (IMP)

The Individual Merit Promotion (IMP) scheme is the main route for senior scientific researchers, who have made, and who will continue to make, an outstanding personal contribution in their field, to gain promotion.

The research councils and other participating organisations are invited to make nominations annually for individual merit promotion. The scheme is currently administered by NERC.

Individual benefits to IMP members (PDF, 302KB)

IMP leaflet (PDF, 345KB)

IMP procedure (PDF, 79KB)

IMP process - Step by step (PDF, 79KB)


If you are an employee of a participating organisation, and fulfil the criteria for the scheme, your organisation will have information about the timetable and process for submitting nominations to the IMP Team in NERC.

Invitations for nominations are sent out in June and the closing date is usually the beginning of September.

IMP submission form (Word, 50KB)

IMP submission guidance notes (PDF, 31KB)

Equal opportunities monitoring form (Word, 49KB)

IMP candidate guidance notes (PDF, 28KB)

Periodic review of individual merit promotion holders

If you are successful, you will continue to hold individual merit promotion as long as you continue to meet the criteria for the scheme, and continue to maintain the standards for which it was awarded. To ensure that the overall and individual standards of the scheme are being maintained, your IMP will be reviewed, within a maximum of five years from the initial promotion and at similar intervals afterwards.

Copies of the scheme documents are available below.

IMP periodic review submission form (Word, 50KB)

IMP periodic review guidance notes (PDF, 30KB)

2017-2018 successes

  • Professor Alan MacDonald, British Geological Survey, NERC - promoted to IMP3
  • Professor Melody Clark, British Antarctic Survey, NERC - promoted to IMP3
  • Professor Juliet Brodie, Natural History Museum - promoted to IMP3
  • Professor David Emerson, Science & Technology Facilities Council - promoted to IMP2
  • Dr Adroja Devashibhai, Science & Technology Facilities Council - promoted to IMP3

Panel Membership 2017-2018

  • Professor David Fowler CBE FRS FRSE biogeochemistry
  • Professor Mary Fowler, master at Darwin College, Cambridge
  • Professor Matthew Griffin, Cardiff University
  • Professor Angela Hatton, National Oceanography Centre
  • Professor Josephine Pemberton, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Graham Underwood, Essex University
  • Sir Tejinder S Virdee, Imperial College London
  • Professor Eric Wolff, Cambridge University
  • Mrs Deborah Wright (secretary), NERC Swindon

Panel members' career profiles (PDF, 364KB)

Case studies and timelines

Case studies and timelines of a number of successful IMP candidates are available.

Mentoring scheme

The aim of the mentoring scheme is to enable current IMP scientists to encourage and support those who are considering going for IMP within the next few years as well as those who consider it to be within their future career path.


2018-2019 round

Closing date - Monday, 1 October 2018
Shortlisting - Thursday, 15 November 2018
Interviews - 27, 28 & 29 March 2019


Deborah Wright
01793 442550