A NERC scientific S&F is defined as a provider which delivers a unique and much in-demand capability available to the UK’s environmental science community.
This is typically over a minimum period of five years, of which measurement facilities and sample repositories are examples.
Through their centralised national provision S&F deliver a critical mass in operation, technical innovation and financial efficiency.
S&F are distinct from other types of NERC national capability investments, such as large-scale research infrastructure and strategic capital investments.
NERC is currently reviewing its S&F portfolio and considering what will form the next generation of NERC S&F.
NERC is looking to invite the environmental science community to submit statements of community need for S&F that are essential to the delivery of environmental science over the next five to 10 years.
Such a portfolio may include current S&F, an evolution of current S&F to provide new or enhanced capability, and new S&F.
NERC S&F are expected to be accessible across the entirety of the UK environmental science community and to support research across all UKRI funding streams.
Only those S&F ideas submitted to NERC via this call will be considered for inclusion in the future S&F portfolio.
The statements of community need must, as a minimum, be co-created by the relevant sector of the environmental science community.
They must be for unique, innovative and forward-looking national or international centres of excellence that:
- build capacity
- enable world-leading research (including interdisciplinary research)
- unlock any relevant opportunities for national or international collaborations.
Statements of community need are encouraged from across the breadth of environmental science.
Statements of community need are required to present convincing evidence of strong community engagement and support during the development of the proposed idea.
It must be clear how the proposed idea complements and adds value to the existing and future research landscape.
The statement will also need to describe how it aligns with NERC’s strategy and goals and how it is addressing sustainability and equality, diversity and inclusion.