Science Committee



The Science Committee brings broad strategic perspective and expertise to support the development and delivery of NERC strategic priorities, investments and policies. It advises the Executive and Council on NERC’s research, innovation, training and national capability portfolio, and will recommend NERC strategic research and innovation investments.

The Science Committee provides advice on:

  1. How to support an excellent and sustainable UK environmental science community that seizes opportunities, in UKRI and international contexts, to achieve the following goals:
      • to advance the frontiers of knowledge
      • to address government, UKRI and NERC strategic priorities
      • to deliver beneficial economic and social impacts
  2. Priority areas for future rounds of NERC strategic research and innovation investment.
  3. Environmental science priorities for the UKRI Infrastructures Roadmap, and for NERC capital investment.
  4. Commissioning, effectiveness and performance of NERC investments, including:
      • discovery science
      • strategic research and innovation
      • postgraduate training and fellowships
      • national capability
      • scientific infrastructure and capital
      • international partnership and subscriptions
      • public engagement
  5. NERC funding policy for all of the above funding streams.

The Science Committee provides recommendations for new NERC investment:

  • strategic research and innovation programmes: assessing submitted proposals against published criteria and recommending which proposals should be funded by NERC
  • strategic research and innovation highlight topics: assessing submitted ideas for highlight topic against published criteria and recommending which should go forward to a funding opportunity, and at what level of expenditure


  • Professor David Hannah, University of Birmingham (Chair)
  • Professor Nicola Beaumont, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • Professor Mike Bentley, Durham University
  • Professor Jane Hill, University of York
  • Dr Anna Jones, British Antarctic Survey
  • Professor Christine Maggs, Joint Nature Conservation Committee
  • Professor Dan Parsons, Loughborough University
  • Professor David Topping, Professor of the Digital Environment, The University of Manchester
  • Professor David Viner, CGG
  • Professor Simon Vosper, Met Office
  • Dr Glenn Watts, Deputy Director Research at the Environment Agency
  • Professor Helen Williams, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Doug Wilson, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

New members that will commence on 2 January 2024 (to replace those members whose terms end at the end of 2023) are:

  • Professor Anna Hogg, Professor of Earth Observation, University of Leeds
  • Professor Ian Main, Professor of Seismology and Rock Physics, The University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Andrew Manning, Professor in Atmospheric and Ocean Science, University of East Anglia
  • Professor Daniela Schmidt, Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol
  • Professor Marian Scott, Professor of Environmental Statistics, University of Glasgow

Conflict of interest register for the Science Committee.


NERC Science Committee meeting agendas and summaries.

Meetings in 2024

  • 16 to 17 October 2024
  • 3 to 4 July 2024
  • 24 to 25 April 2024
  • 24 to 25 January 2024

Meetings in 2023

  • 18 to 19 October 2023
  • 5 to 6 July 2023
  • 26 to 27 April 2023
  • 26 to 27 January 2023

Minutes and agendas from previous meetings on the UK Government Web Archive.

Last updated: 21 November 2023

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