The ‘creative climate connections: COP26 environmental science public engagement’ funding aims to create positive change for the members of the public and other collaborators by engaging under-represented groups with NERC-funded climate change research (adaptation and mitigation) and related societal issues through the arts.
The projects should plan to meet the following objectives:
Create equitable partnerships
Create equitable partnerships to encourage critical thinking, dialogue and exchange of ideas about research between three collaborators all chosen based on clear, evidence-based justifications:
- an environmental science researcher
- a person representing community organisations, publics or public-facing groups
- an artist.
This could include setting up a researcher(s)-in-residence or artist(s)-in-residence within a community setting.
Produce creative output
Produce creative output(s) that aim to make a positive change to individuals, groups, organisations and society (details about ownership of creative outputs will be shared with grant holders) through engaging people with climate change research.
Arts practices and forms should encourage partnership and explore opportunities for diverse groups to debate and discuss these issues.
Distribute the work through an exhibition or event
Distribute the work through an exhibition or event designed in collaboration with representatives from the public group and then to make a legacy version of the work and related evidence-based content openly available for all. This could be the creative output itself.
Inspire and build knowledge, skills and confidence
Inspire and build knowledge, skills and confidence in:
- specified public groups to be curious about, contribute to, understand, or respond to climate change and climate (action) research, researchers and research process. The positive change for the public groups might include (but is not limited to):
- help to explore and address complex and sensitive issues associated with climate change
- engage marginalised communities and under-represented groups, for example, through choosing art forms which are meaningful to those people in a culturally relevant way
- promote social change
- build skills, knowledge or confidence
- build communities.
- researchers to improve engagement skills around complex and sensitive topics and research and engagement practice
- artists to develop research engagement and links to climate change research
- in all partners of the project to recognise and respect different perspectives, priorities and contributions.
Plan legacy for the project
Plan legacy for the project, which could include, but is not limited to:
- building longer-term partnerships to increase (longer term) participation in or engagement with climate (action) research, with potential to apply for future funding, such as through the UKRI grant ‘case for support’ section (Fast Track Impact)
- legacy for public groups
- plans for longevity of artworks.
Independently evaluate the project (an external person may need to be costed in), based on meeting and sharing learning with other grant recipients, through:
- capturing outcomes and impacts (including benefits of the project to different groups of people)
- providing evidence for the extent of the effectiveness of arts-based approaches in engaging research participants
- publishing learnings (including issues and challenges) based on the project and processes.
Applicants must ensure that principles and best practices of partnership working are followed, and build equitable, ethical partnerships, managing risks in-line with best practice, such as that highlighted in the Creating Living Knowledge report (Connected Communities).
Ethical considerations should include data governance of personal information, emotional support, and consent. See UKRI’s open research guidance.
Public groups must be included in developing the activity to ensure that it is relevant, accessible and resonates with that particular community, which could include co-producing aspects of the project, in order to be transparent, accountable and reflect and respect the lived experiences of these individuals.
Building on existing learnings
Projects should build on existing knowledge around approaches to arts-based engagement (see examples in the ‘Additional information’ section).
Governance and administration infrastructure
Provide clarity on:
- payment or other rewards for participants
- roles and responsibilities including accountability
- legacy and sustainability of the work.
Evaluation and reporting
NERC will require proportionate evaluation of projects and collection of data for reporting purposes. NERC will expect qualitative and quantitative evaluation to be provided by successful projects.
NERC is interested in sharing learnings from funded projects and the project evaluations will be one of the mechanisms used. NERC will also require participation in meetings with all funded projects.
Plans for any changes that might be made to rules around the pandemic.
Applications should consider the sustainability of the project: “sustainability for NERC is all about creating and nurturing an environment and culture in which social, economic and environmental responsibility is embedded, balancing the needs of the NERC community and our stakeholders, including immediate needs and those of future generations.”
The project must aim to make a positive change to individuals, groups, organisations and society in a way that is culturally relevant and accessible to those involved, in line with NERC’s responsible business statement.
Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)
As well as the key legal requirements, applicants should consider how they will address specific needs related to EDI and realise EDI impacts that arise at the result of the project.
Applicants can request up to £30,000 per partnership (between environmental science research collaborator, artist collaborator and public collaborator) and can request funding to set up more than one partnership.
Each partnership requesting up to £30,0000 must meet all of the objectives. This includes creating an equitable partnerships between unique collaborators. For example, it wouldn’t be eligible to repeat the partnership with a different community group, or work with the same community group and a different artist. Multiple partnerships may be used to share learning or repeat an approach, for example.
Applications can include fully justified direct costs incurred in delivering the project.
The budget and costings must be based on valid estimates. This may include, for example:
- staff resources, including:
- administration and coordination
- contributions to salaries (where a named individual will undertake work that would not be considered part of their normal duties)
- sub-contracting of services
- enabling public or community partners to take part
- if public engagement is not considered part of formal workload planning, time for their involvement can be included
- non-staff resources, including:
- cost of materials
- travel and subsistence
- meetings and events
- materials and equipment
- evaluation costs
- costs incurred through arts processes (such as art materials, art spaces and so on)
- the funding of expenses, an honorarium for time, childcare, access and other costs to allow for participation of those within and outside of academia
- capacity and capability building, for example:
- professional development for researchers in partnership building
- training to build the capacity of public groups to take a confident and active role in the partnership and research activities.
- networking (possibly facilitated) between partners
- time and resource to fully explore the relationship, build language and understanding
- administration support for the project
- independent evaluators.
This opportunity is funded outside of full economic costing rules. No VAT is chargeable, and the funding requested in applications should reflect this.
Full economic costing guidance (EPSRC)
Costs not covered
Funding will not be provided for:
- estates and indirect costs
- fees or honoraria to people already in paid employment to deliver activities where such activities would reasonably be undertaken as part of their normal duties
- retrospective funding, including those projects with a start date after the closing date but before the funding decisions are announced
- infrastructure or building costs
- expenses incurred submitting the application
- academic courses such as Master’s degrees or PhDs, and other tuition fees.
All work must be completed before invoicing NERC. Grant holders will need to agree project milestones with NERC at the start of the project.
All applications must align with the following cost breakdown:
- 60% of the budget requested to be delivered by 31 March 2022
- 40% of the budget requested to be delivered by 31 September 2022.
For example, if a successful grant is awarded the value of £50,000, NERC requires:
- £30,000 of this to be delivered and invoiced for in the financial year of 2021/22
- £20,000 to be delivered and invoiced for in the financial year of 2022/23.
Engagement must focus on the UK public. As a secondary audience, applications may plan to engage audiences internationally.