We held a webinar on 2 May 2023 outlining the aims and objectives of the funding opportunity.
Watch resilient UK coastal communities and seas webinar recording on Zoom
Webinar slides (PDF, 3.5MB)
Webinar frequently asked questions (PDF, 146KB)
The Resilient UK Coastal Communities and Seas programme is jointly funded by central funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and AHRC, ESRC, Defra and NERC. By working collectively, we are harnessing the full power of the UK’s research and innovation system to tackle large-scale and complex challenges.
This opportunity is supported through UKRI’s strategic theme ’creating opportunities, improving outcomes’, through which UKRI is seeking to improve outcomes for people and places across the UK by identifying solutions that promote economic and social prosperity.
This funding opportunity is relevant to priority one ‘net zero, environment, biodiversity and climate change’ of the ESRC 2022 to 2025 strategic delivery plan, which sets out our commitment to invest in new ambitious interdisciplinary programmes on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
It will contribute to NERC’s strategic delivery plan ambitions of place-based research (objective two), and embedding environmental science within UKRI’s strategic themes and building national resilience to climate change (objective five). The programme will predominantly address the AHRC vision by contributing to our understanding of contemporary challenges.
The programme will also link to the following priorities detailed in the AHRC strategic delivery plan:
- leading interdisciplinary responses to national priorities, working at the heart of thriving communities
- making connections between people, sectors and capabilities
- being open and supporting the arts and humanities to thrive
Defra investment is through its flagship three-year Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment (NCEA) programme. The marine arm of the NCEA programme is leading the way in supporting government ambition to integrate natural capital approaches into decision making.
This will provide policy with a robust natural capital evidence base, suite of tools, and a framework where environmental, economic and societal information are brought together to transform the way we make decisions to protect and enhance our marine and coastal environments.
The UK’s coastal communities and coastal environments are a diverse and heterogenous grouping, with a wide range of needs and challenges. Some of the challenges to these localities which also impact the potential opportunities for development include:
- historical context
- seasonal industries (fishing, tourism and more)
- peripherality (access to services)
- issues of deprivation
- ageing populations
- environmental change
- the impact of both climate change and resulting policies
Understanding needs and the capacity for adaptation, and how communities are represented in policymaking, is critical for the implementation of policies that will build resilient and sustainable UK coastal communities and seas.
UK coastal seas, stretching from the coastline out to the edges of the continental shelf, make up 78% of UK territorial waters and encompass the majority of UK marine natural capital assets, with an estimated value of £211 billion. These seas support a diverse and dynamic range of coastal communities and industries, and provide vital spaces for recreation, contribute to societal wellbeing through engagement with blue space, and are home to a wide range of maritime culture and heritage.
Managing this natural capital to ensure the UK governments’ vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive, and biologically diverse seas, while promoting equitable access and connection to these seas from across all areas of society and conserving associated culture and heritage is a pressing challenge. Ambitious targets are set to transform governance of UK seas and meet government commitments, while also meeting pressures from changing climate and its impacts on ocean health.
Coastal communities are geographically significant as areas which experience deprivation within the UK, both in terms of health (CMO report 2021) and development (Levelling Up, 2022). Addressing the natural and human dimensions of this complex socio-ecological challenge is a large knowledge gap that requires the integration of humanities, natural, and social sciences.
Solutions are required that include environmental, human, cultural and societal influences within a whole system understanding of coastal seas to enhance adaptive capacity to future climate impacts and shocks.
As directed by the UKRI policies and standards, responsible innovation aims to ensure that:
- unintended negative impacts are avoided
- barriers to dissemination, adoption and diffusion of research and innovation are reduced
- the positive societal and economic benefits of research and innovation are fully realised
Applicants for this opportunity will be required to practice responsible innovation following the UKRI guidance.
The Funding Service
The full proposal stage of this funding opportunity is likely to run on the Funding Service our new funding platform, rather than via the Joint Electronic Submission system. Set up an account on the Funding Service.
If successful at the outline stage, you will be invited to submit a full application, and will receive guidance at that point.
The Funding Service has a digital form-based format with sections addressing application questions which are the assessment criteria for the funding opportunity.
Please note that this opportunity is running concurrently with the ‘Place-based approaches to sustainable living opportunity’, and the ESRC Centre competitions on ‘Sustainable and equitable low-carbon living’ and ‘Climate change and health’. Please consider which opportunity would be the most suitable to apply for.
Each funding opportunity has different requirements and so we wish for applicants to determine the best fit for their work to improve their chance of success. Please note that you will not be able to submit the same proposal to the different funding opportunities.
Natural capital is the living and non-living parts of our natural environment that have value to people, providing us with environmental, economic, cultural and societal benefits. A natural capital approach is about incorporating the wider benefits of the environment into decision making.
Place-based approaches are defined for this programme as approaches whereby characteristics and meanings of a certain geography (the ‘place’) is fundamental to the project proposed. We would expect place-based approaches for this programme to focus at a local to regional level, but produce learnings that could be scalable and generally applicable across other locations.
Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity Constitution of the World Health Organisation.
Health inequalities: This programme uses the term health inequalities to include varying definitions and interpretations of inequality and inequity, including the unfair and avoidable differences in health across different population groups. Understanding the drivers of such inequalities and the role of community assets in reducing these differences is a core tenet of this programme.
Equality impact assessment (PDF, 203KB)
Guidance for applicants (PDF, 217KB)