NERC supports six research centres. Our research centres provide leadership to the UK environmental science community and play influential roles in international science collaborations.
Each year NERC invests around £38 million in the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to deliver and enable world-leading interdisciplinary research in the polar regions. The scale of polar science is immense; from insects and microbes studied under the microscope, to the continent-sized ice sheet best appreciated from satellite imagery.
BAS’s skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the polar regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through its extensive logistic capability and know-how, BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with excellent infrastructure, help sustain a world-leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs.
BAS employs over 400 staff. Facilities to support scientific and operational activities include:
- laboratories and offices in Cambridge
- two year-round Antarctic research stations (Rothera and Halley) and the summer-only Signy
- two subantarctic stations on South Georgia
- the NERC Arctic research facility at Ny-Ålesund.
Two research ships (RRS James Clark Ross and RRS Ernest Shackleton) and a fleet of five aircraft provide logistic support and access to the polar regions, as well as supporting research missions elsewhere.