NERC funds Independent Research Fellowships

A small group of scientists run tests in a state of the art laboratory; they are all wearing surgical gloves and lab coats

Outstanding early career researchers from the UK have been awarded fellowships to deliver ambitious, innovative and productive environmental research.

Twelve early career researchers have been awarded a total of £7.9 million through the prestigious Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Independent Research Fellowships (IRF).

The NERC IRF scheme is designed to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early career environmental scientists.

Fellows receive five years of support, allowing them to focus on advancing their area of research, establishing international recognition, and championing equality, diversity, and inclusion within their research environment.

Areas of research

The Independent Research Fellows will explore scientific disciplines within the remit of NERC, which include:

  • atmospheric physics and chemistry
  • climate and climate change
  • ecology, biodiversity and systematics
  • geosciences
  • marine environments
  • polar sciences
  • science-based archaeology
  • terrestrial and freshwater environments

Delivering cutting-edge environmental science

Professor Peter Liss, Interim Executive Chair of NERC, said:

NERC Independent Research Fellowships support talented early career researchers to work independently and deliver cutting-edge environmental science.

I’d like to offer my congratulations to all those who have been awarded a fellowship this year.

Environmental research advances our understanding of the planet and is the key to tackling and adapting to critical challenges such as climate change.

By investing in these fellowships, NERC is supporting innovation and sustainability in environmental science and developing leading researchers of the future.

Supporting exceptional researchers

The 12 funded fellows are:

Dr Elizabeth Dingle, Durham University

Boulder 3D: sediment mobility in bedrock landscapes.

Dr Fiona Simpson, Imperial College London

Electromagnetic Array Research over a Tectonic Hotspot (EARTH).

Dr Michael Ward Broadley, The University of Manchester

Determining the origin and evolutionary history of volatiles on Earth.

Dr Neil Hindley, University of Bath

Searching for Upper Atmospheric Waves at the Edge of Space (SURGE).

Dr Cornelia Klein, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

COntinental COnvective OrganisatioN and rainfall intensification in a warming world: improving storm predictions from hours to decades (COCOON).

Dr Catherine Moody, University of Leeds

Quantifying the impact of restoration on peatland aquatic organic matter, microbial communities and greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Arthur Broadbent, University of Stirling

Synergistic global change impacts on belowground biodiversity and carbon stocks in mountain ecosystems.

Dr Andrea Dittus, University of Reading

Towards climate stabilisation: understanding changes in climate, climate variability, and impacts.

Dr Sariqa Wagley, University of Exeter

Now you see them, now you don’t: tracking hidden dormant bacteria in the environment.

Dr Brian Steidinger, The University of Edinburgh

Catastrophic shifts in tree-microbial symbioses: the causes, consequences, and warning signs of environmental collapse in the global forest system.

Dr Thomas Guillerme, The University of Sheffield

Phenotypic innovation through time and space.

Top image:  Credit: SolStock, E+ via Getty Images

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