Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Environmental sciences: Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund 2024

Apply for funding to create new and sustainable global partnerships within Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) remit.

You must be meet the individual eligibility requirements and be based at a UK research organisation.

Applications must:

  • include at least one new international partner
  • focus on activities that require international expertise
  • show long-term potential

The maximum full economic cost (FEC) is £100,000. We will fund 80% of the FEC for UK costs.

We will fund your project for up to two years.

Applications including partners in Brazil or Taiwan may be eligible for co-funding from São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) or National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), respectively.

Who can apply

Before applying for funding, check the following:

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service.

For full details, visit eligibility as an individual.

Who is eligible to apply

This funding opportunity is open to research groups and individuals. We:

  • encourage multidisciplinary research and collaborations with other UK organisations
  • welcome applications from individuals at any career stage, subject to NERC eligibility criteria

Who is not eligible to apply

You can only submit one application as either project lead or project co-lead.

You must not:

  • resubmit applications
  • apply as project leads and project co-leads (previously principal investigators and co-investigators) in two consecutive years
  • hold an active Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund grant either as project lead (principal investigator) or project co-lead (co-investigator) at the time of the closing date

New investigators

If you are a new investigator, you must be the project lead on the grant.

The NERC office may give priority to applications with ‘new investigator’ status following panel assessment between equally scored applications.

International applicants

We do not fund overseas organisations, except for specific costs for project co-leads (previously co-investigator) from Norway and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Read more about this in the NERC eligibility guidance for applicants.

You should include all other international collaborators (or UK partners not based at approved organisations) as project partners. This includes organisations from the business or financial sectors.

Project partners fund their own involvement. We will only fund travel and subsistence of a maximum of £15,000 for international project partners. This is funded at 100% full economic cost (FEC).

Project partners in Brazil or Taiwan eligible for funding from FAPESP or NSTC respectively can receive funding from these funding organisations. Further details are included in ‘What we are looking for’.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI and NERC’s diversity and inclusion action plan.

What we're looking for


The Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund (GPSF) enables UK researchers to develop new international partnerships and networks, which underpin the development of long-term sustainable collaborations.

Proposed collaborations may involve international research partners from any country and in any science area within NERC’s remit.

Although the majority of the application should lie within NERC remit, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations with international partners are welcomed.

The aim of the Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund (GPSF) is to support development of partnerships that are:

  • international (from any country)
  • new (partners you have not collaborated with previously)
  • long-term (that will be self-sustaining beyond the lifetime of the grant)

While some exploratory elements are expected, your application must include specific scientific objectives. Your vision and approach should be developed alongside your international partnership to advance areas of science that could not be achieved from working with UK partners.

You should ensure the balance between partnership building activities and direct research is appropriate, considering the key objectives of the funding opportunity.

Supported activities may include but are not limited to:

  • programmes of exchange visits or staff secondments
  • establishing networks on a common research area
  • scoping, feasibility or proof of concept studies
  • workshops

New collaborations may enable UK researchers and international partners to share:

  • unique or complementary data
  • skills
  • infrastructure
  • field sites

In all cases, activities must be undertaken with the clear and demonstrable intention of developing long-term sustainable collaborations.

New partnerships

We are often asked what constitutes a ‘new’ partnership for the purposes of this funding opportunity. We do not want to be prescriptive and couldn’t cover all scenarios so prefer our panel members to assess this based on their own judgement under the principles of peer review assessment.

However, following strong feedback on this issue we offer the following guidance:

  • neither the applicant nor primary project partner should be the first author on a peer reviewed paper where the other is a co-author (as first author we consider you will have worked directly with everyone on the paper)
  • you should not have co-authored in any capacity more than two papers together (we consider beyond this suggests you work in the same groups regularly and therefore can partner without the support of GPSF first)
  • you should not have received funding for any joint project together previously (self-explanatory)
  • you should not be partnering with someone who you worked in the same laboratory or department with previously (we would consider this to mean you have a close connection and do not need GPSF to collaborate)
  • you should not partner with your PhD supervisor or student (we would consider this to mean you have a close connection and do not need GPSF to collaborate)

This list is not exhaustive and may be refined in future funding opportunities as we consider other examples.

You will be asked as part of your application to explain how the partnership is new and should use this to address any pre-existing connections the panel may find.

Please note, the NERC office won’t consider specific exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Some partnerships will fall outside these boundaries and still not be considered new on final assessment. NERC’s decision is final and there is no appeal.

International partners

The inclusion of one or more international project partners is mandatory.

To maximise the quality of the activity and its potential to develop long-term sustainable partnerships, international project partners must have an integral role in the proposed work.

You can work with project partners from any country around the globe, based outside of the UK.

You should note the following when considering potential partners:

  • the international partner should bring expertise that is not available within the UK
  • the quality of partnerships should be the primary criteria rather than the number of international partners
  • while existing long-standing international partners are welcome to participate, the application must primarily involve developing a new international partnership

UKRI believes freedom to work without fear of reprisals is essential and international collaboration is vital in addressing the global challenges we all face.

However, you are strongly encouraged to consider the current geopolitical environment and corresponding institutional and funding guidance with respect to the conflict in Ukraine. The Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund team will be pleased to consult specifically on questions arising in this area. See ‘Contact details’ and get in touch.

Details of the project partners and their contributions to the project must be recorded in the appropriate sections of the application.

Applications with international partners in São Paulo, Brazil

This funding opportunity will accept joint applications with researchers in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, under the terms of the UKRI-São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) lead agency agreement (PDF, 260KB). Eligible Brazilian project partners can receive funding support from FAPESP.

You should refer to the FAPESP guidance (PDF, 88KB) and:

  • include ‘NERC-FAPESP’ as a prefix to your application title
  • include your Brazilian investigator as a project partner in the application question on project partners. The project partner contribution should be the budget requested from FAPESP
  • register under FAPESP’s SAGe system
  • attach the FAPESP submission (SAGe ‘Visualise’) in the question ‘FAPESP or NSTC joint funding’

Learn more about FAPESP.

Applications with international partners in Taiwan

This funding opportunity will accept joint applications with researchers from Taiwan under the NERC-National Science and Technology Council, Taiwan (NSTC) memorandum of understanding. Eligible Taiwanese project partners can receive funding support from NSTC.

You should refer to the NSTC guidance (PDF, 91KB) and:

  • include ‘NERC-NSTC’ as a prefix to your application title
  • include your Taiwanese investigator as a project partner in the application question on project partners. The project partner contribution should be the budget requested from NSTC
  • attach the completed NSTC budget form (DOCX, 211KB) as a PDF in the question ‘FAPESP or NSTC joint funding’

Learn more about NSTC.

For more information on the background of this funding opportunity, go to the ‘Additional information’ section.


The duration of this award is a maximum of 24 months.

Projects must start by 1 November 2024.

Funding available

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £100,000.

We will fund 80% of the FEC with the following exceptions:

  • eligible costs for international project co-lead (previously co-investigator) involvement would be funded at 100%
  • All travel and subsistence for international project partners will be payable at 100% of actual costs. For projects seeking support from FAPESP or NSTC, you may still use this allowance, or part of it. However, you should carefully consider and make clear which costs are supported by NERC and why

What we will not fund

  • PhD studentship costs
  • requests for equipment of £10,000 and over are not part of this funding opportunity. You should request smaller items of equipment (under £10,000 individually) under ‘Consumables (other directly incurred costs)’ in your application
  • conference attendance, including registration fees and associated travel and subsistence costs
  • standard office computing equipment
  • all international project partner costs, such as, salary and estates costs, except for travel and subsistence up to £15,000

Services and facilities

You can apply to use a NERC facility or resource in your funding application. See applying to use NERC services and facilities.

If you wish to use a NERC service or facility, you should discuss your application with the facility or service at least two months before the funding opportunity’s closing date to:

  • discuss the proposed work in detail
  • receive confirmation that they can provide the services required within the timeframe of the funding

The facility will provide a technical assessment that includes the calculated cost of providing the service. NERC services and facilities must be costed within the limits of the funding.

You should not submit the technical assessment with the application, but you must confirm you have received it.

For more information, see the NERC research grants and fellowships handbook.

Read the full list of NERC facilities that require a technical assessment.

High Performance Computing (HPC), and the large research facilities at Harwell have their own policies for access and costing.

Supporting skills and talent

We encourage you to follow the principles of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the Technician Commitment.

Data management

You must adhere to UKRI open research policy and NERC data policy. You are not required to submit a data management plan at the time of application but will be asked to complete one if you are successful.

For details of data centres, see the NERC Environmental Data Service.

We will pay the data centre directly on behalf of the programme for archival and curation services, but you should ensure that you request sufficient resource to cover preparation of data for archiving by the research team. Additional services from the data centres, such as database development or a specialist in project data management during your project, will need to be discussed with the relevant data centre prior to submission, costs for additional services will need to be funded from your grant.

Responsible research

Through our funding processes, we seek to make a positive contribution to society and the environment. This is not just through research outputs and outcomes but through the way in which research is conducted and facilities managed.

All NERC grant holders are to adopt responsible research practices as set out in the NERC responsible business statement.

Responsible research is defined as reducing harm or enhancing benefit on the environment and society through effective management of research activities and facilities. Specifically, this covers:

  • the natural environment
  • the local community
  • equality, diversity and inclusion

You should consider the responsible research context of your project, not the host institution as a whole. You should take action to enhance your responsible research approach where practical and reasonable.

Research disruption due to COVID-19

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities. We are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career, such as:

  • breaks and delays
  • disruptive working patterns and conditions
  • the loss of ongoing work
  • role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic

Reviewers and panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the capability to deliver and career development of those individuals included in the application. They will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant, and their wider team, to deliver the research they are proposing.

Where disruptions have occurred, you can highlight this within your application if you wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

How to apply

We are running this funding opportunity on the new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service. You cannot apply on the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system.

The project lead is responsible for completing the application process on the Funding Service, but we expect all team members and project partners to contribute to the application.

Only the lead research organisation can submit an application to UKRI.

Watch our recording on how to apply for an opportunity in the Funding Service.

To apply:

Select ‘Start application’ near the beginning of this Funding finder page.

  1. Confirm you are the project lead.
  2. Sign in or create a Funding Service account. To create an account, select your organisation, verify your email address, and set a password. If your organisation is not listed, email
    Allow at least 10 working days for your organisation to be added to the Funding Service.
  3. Answer questions directly in the text boxes. You can save your answers and come back to complete them or work offline and return to copy and paste your answers. If we need you to upload a document, follow the upload instructions in the Funding Service. All questions and assessment criteria are listed in the ‘How to apply’ section on this Funding finder page.
  4. Allow enough time to check your application in ‘read-only’ view before sending to your research office.
  5. Send the completed application to your research office for checking. They will return it to you if it needs editing.
  6. Your research office will submit the completed and checked application to UKRI.

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. You should:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into words
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • ensure that files are smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.

For more guidance on the Funding Service, see:


We must receive your application by 25 April 2024 at 4.00pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time. Make sure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines.

Following the submission of your application to the funding opportunity, your application cannot be changed, and applications will not be returned for amendment. If your application does not follow the guidance, it may be rejected.

Personal data

NERC, as part of UKRI, will need to collect some personal information to manage your Funding Service account and the registration of your funding applications.

We will handle personal data in line with UK data protection legislation and manage it securely. For more information, including how to exercise your rights, read our privacy notice.

Publication of outcomes

NERC, as part of UKRI, will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity on What NERC has funded.

If your application is successful, we will publish some personal information on the UKRI Gateway to Research.


Word count: 550

In plain English, provide a summary we can use to identify the most suitable experts to assess your application.

We may make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, so make it suitable for a variety of readers, for example:

  • opinion-formers
  • policymakers
  • the public
  • the wider research community

Guidance for writing a summary

Clearly describe your proposed work in terms of:

  • context
  • the challenge the project addresses
  • aims and objectives
  • how you will develop your new partnership with your international partner(s)
  • potential applications and benefits

Core team

List the key members of your team and assign them roles from the following:

  • project lead (PL)
  • project co-lead (UK) (PcL)
  • project co-lead (international) (PcL (I))
  • researcher co-lead (RcL)
  • research and innovation associate
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • specialist
  • technician
  • visiting researcher

Only list one individual as project lead.

The project lead is responsible for setting up and completing the application process on the Funding Service.

The project co-lead international may only be used for collaborators based at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and in Norway, where NERC has collaboration agreements in place. We do not otherwise accept project co-lead (international) applicants.

Find out more about UKRI’s core team roles in funding applications.

Your international project partner or partners should not be listed in your core team as a project co-lead (international), but should be named in the project partner section and their role included in all other relevant sections (vision, approach, applicant and team capability to deliver, international partnerships)

Application questions


Word limit: 1,000

What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how your proposed work:

  • has the potential to advance current understanding, or generate new knowledge, thinking or discovery within or beyond the field or area
  • is timely given current trends, context, and needs

Within the Vision section we also expect you to:

  • describe the aim of your new international partnership(s)

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.


Word limit: 1,000

How are you going to deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your approach so that it:

  • is effective and appropriate to achieve your objectives
  • is feasible, and comprehensively identifies any risks to delivery and how they will be managed
  • uses a clearly written and transparent methodology (if applicable)
  • will maximise translation of outputs into outcomes and impacts
  • describes how your, and if applicable your team’s, research environment (in terms of the place and relevance to the project) will contribute to the success of the work

Within the Approach section we also expect you to:

  • describe the specific intellectual and material contributions of each partner

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 1,500

Why are you the right individual or team to successfully deliver the proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how you, and if relevant your team, have:

  • the relevant experience (appropriate to career stage) to deliver the proposed work
  • the right balance of skills and expertise to cover the proposed work
  • the appropriate leadership and management skills to deliver the work and your approach to develop others
  • contributed to developing a positive research environment and wider community

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

The word count for this section is 1,500 words: 1,000 words to be used for R4RI modules and, if necessary, a further 500 words for Additions.

Use the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) format to showcase the range of relevant skills you and, if relevant, your team (project and project co-leads, researchers, technicians, specialists, partners and so on) have and how this will help deliver the proposed work. You can include individuals’ specific achievements but only choose past contributions that best evidence their ability to deliver this work.

The inclusion of at least one international partner is mandatory as the focus of the new partnership and should be considered as part of your team here.

Complete this section using the R4RI module headings listed. Use each heading once and include a response for the whole team, see the UKRI guidance on R4RI. You should consider how to balance your answer, and emphasise where appropriate the key skills each team member brings:

  • contributions to the generation of new ideas, tools, methodologies, or knowledge
  • the development of others and maintenance of effective working relationships
  • contributions to the wider research and innovation community
  • contributions to broader research or innovation users and audiences and towards wider societal benefit

Provide any further details relevant to your application. This section is optional and can be up to 500 words. You should not use it to describe additional skills, experiences, or outputs, but you can use it to describe any factors that provide context for the rest of your R4RI (for example, details of career breaks if you wish to disclose them).

Complete this as a narrative. Do not format it like a CV.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the Funding Service.

For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word limit: 1,000

What are the ethical or RRI implications and issues relating to the proposed work? If you do not think that the proposed work raises any ethical or RRI issues, explain why.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate that you have identified and evaluated:

  • the relevant ethical or responsible research and innovation considerations
  • how you will manage these considerations
  • environmental ethical considerations
  • consideration for preventing environmental harm and enhancing environmental benefit in line with NERC’s responsible business statement

If you are collecting or using data, identify:

  • any legal and ethical considerations of collecting, releasing or storing the data including consent, confidentiality, anonymisation, security and other ethical considerations and, in particular, strategies to not preclude further reuse of data
  • formal information standards with which your study will comply

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

International partnership

Word limit: 1,000

How will you develop and sustain your new international partnership?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you will develop your international partnership(s) by:

  • describing how the primary international partnership is with a new collaboration
  • demonstrating how the international partner brings expertise that is not available within the UK
  • describing your plans for long-term collaboration including:
    • how the partnership will develop beyond the duration of the grant
    • any potential future funding opportunities targeted
    • the likely research subject of a potential follow-on grant

Within the international partnership section we also expect you to:

  • clearly describe which international partnership is new and which is an existing collaboration, if you have included more than one international partner

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

New Investigators

Word limit: 10

Are you a New Investigator?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are applying as a New Investigator as defined in the NERC research grants and fellowships handbook, you should answer ‘Yes’. If not, answer ‘No’.

FAPESP or NSTC joint funding

Word limit: 10

Are you submitting your application with either FAPESP or NSTC joint funding?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If not, enter ‘N/A’ into the text box, mark this section as complete and move on to the next section.

If your application is seeking co-funding for international partners from either Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) in Brazil or the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) in Taiwan, you should provide the name of the agreement in the text box.

You should include further detail of the team, the collaboration and the added value to the project in the appropriate sections of the application, not here.

For joint funding with FAPESP you should include the SAGe visualization from FAPESP’s funding system as a single PDF attachment in this section.

For joint funding with NSTC include the completed NSTC budget form as a single PDF attachment in this section.

Any involvement of international project co-leads from IIASA or Norway should be included in core team, applicant and team capability to deliver and any other relevant sections and are not applicable to this question.

Upload guidance

Upload a single PDF containing the international funder documentation ensuring it is no larger than 8MB, if applicable.

For the file name, use the unique Funding Service number the system gives to your application when you create an application, immediately followed by the words ‘international partnerships’. Then use the ‘upload’ button.

Unless specifically requested, do not include any personal data within the attachment.

Once you have uploaded, mark this section as complete and move to the next one.

Project partners

Provide details about project partners’ contributions.

Add details about project partners’ contributions.

A project partner is a collaborating organisation who will have an integral role in the proposed research. This may include direct (cash) or indirect (in-kind) contributions such as expertise, staff time or use of facilities.

Add the following project partner details:

  • organisation name and address (searchable via a drop-down list or enter the organisation’s details manually, as applicable)
  • project partner contact name and email address
  • type of contribution (direct or in-direct) and its monetary value

If a detail is entered incorrectly and you have saved the entry, remove the specific project partner record and re-add it with the correct information.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Project partners: letters of support

Word limit: 10

Upload a single PDF containing the letters or emails of support from each partner you named in the Project Partner section.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Enter the words ‘attachment supplied’ in the text box. Each letter or email you provide should:

  • confirm the partner’s commitment to the project
  • clearly explain the value, relevance, and possible benefits of the work to them
  • describe any additional value that they bring to the project

Save letters or emails of support from each partner in a single PDF no bigger than 8MB.

Unless specially requested, please do not include any sensitive personal data within the attachment.

For the file name, use the unique Funding Service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘Project partner’.

If the attachment does not meet these requirements, the application will be rejected.

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply. If you do not have any project partners, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Ensure you have prior agreement from project partners so that, if you are offered funding, they will support your project as indicated in the contributions template.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

Do not provide letters of support from host and project co-leads’ research organisations.


Word limit: 1,000

List the references you have used to support your application.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Include all references in this section, not in the rest of the application questions.

You should not include any other information in this section.

We advise you not to include hyperlinks, as assessors are not obliged to access the information they lead to or consider it in their assessment of your application.

If linking to web resources, to maintain the information’s integrity, include persistent identifiers (such as digital object identifiers) where possible.

You must not include links to web resources to extend your application.

Resources and cost justification

Word limit: 1,000

What will you need to deliver your proposed work and how much will it cost?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Justify the application’s more costly resources, in particular:

  • project staff
  • significant travel for field work or collaboration (but not regular travel between collaborating organisations)
  • any consumables beyond typical requirements, or that are required in exceptional quantities
  • all facilities costs
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘Exceptions’

Assessors are not looking for detailed costs or a line-by-line breakdown of all project resources. Overall, they want to be assured that:

  • all resources are comprehensive, appropriate, and justified
  • the project will make optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes
  • maximise potential outcomes and impacts

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

All applications that meet the eligibility criteria and are within remit will be reviewed by an assessment panel. The panel will consist of independent experts representing the disciplinary remits of NERC.

Sift process

All applications will be assigned to two panel members who will then pre-score the applications. Based on the pre-scores, the lowest scoring applications will be sifted out with agreement from the panel chair.


The assessment panel will discuss all remaining applications that progress from the sift process and agree on a single score for each application.

We will use the recommendations of the assessment panel along with the overall funding opportunity requirements and the available budget in making the final funding decisions. Random allocation may be used where necessary to allocate funding between equally scored applications. ‘New investigator’ status will be taken into consideration, as described in the ‘Who can apply’ section.


We aim to complete the assessment process within five months of the funding opportunity closing date.


We will give feedback with the outcome of your application.

Panel feedback will be provided to both successful and unsuccessful applicants following the funding decision. Applicants whose applications are sifted prior to the panel assessment will receive their pre-score and comments.

Principles of assessment

We support the San Francisco declaration on research assessment and recognise the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

We reserve the right to modify the assessment process as needed.

Assessment criteria

The criteria against which your application will be assessed are:

  • vision
  • approach
  • applicant and team capability to deliver
  • ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)
  • international partnerships
  • project partner letters of support

Find details of assessment questions and criteria under the ‘Application questions’ heading in the ‘How to apply’ section.

Contact details

Get help with your application

If you have a question and the answers aren’t provided on this page

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Helpdesk is committed to helping users of the UKRI Funding Service as effectively and as quickly as possible. In order to manage cases at peak volume times, the Helpdesk will triage and prioritise those queries with an imminent opportunity deadline or a technical issue. Enquiries raised where information is available on the Funding Finder opportunity page and should be understood early in the application process (for example, regarding eligibility or content/remit of an opportunity) will not constitute a priority case and will be addressed as soon as possible.

Contact details

For help and advice on costings and writing your application, contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

For questions related to this specific funding opportunity, contact

Any queries regarding the system or the submission of applications through the Funding Service should be directed to the helpdesk.


Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

To help us process queries quicker, we request that users highlight the council and opportunity name in the subject title of their email query, include the application reference number, and refrain from contacting more than one mailbox at a time.

You can also find information on submitting an application.

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email

Include in the subject line: seedcorn fund 2024; sensitive information; your Funding Service application number.

Typical examples of confidential information include:

  • individual is unavailable until a certain date (for example due to parental leave)
  • declaration of interest
  • additional information about eligibility to apply that would not be appropriately shared in the ‘Applicant and team capability’ section
  • conflict of interest for UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection

For information about how UKRI handles personal data, read UKRI’s privacy notice.

Additional info


Environmental science is inherently global in nature. Many of the biggest environmental challenges the world faces do not respect national boundaries.

Advancing our understanding of the environment and developing innovative solutions to these challenges requires UK researchers to collaborate with the best international researchers wherever they are located.

Considering the increasing importance of international partnerships for research, the Global Partnerships Seedcorn Fund provides support to enable UK researchers to establish sustainable long-term partnerships with international collaborators and reap the benefits that these relationships can deliver.

Our commitment to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms which deprive a person of their liberty in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain, such as:

  • slavery
  • servitude
  • human trafficking
  • forced and compulsory labour

We are committed to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and the abolition of modern slavery and human trafficking.

Reporting requirements

All NERC grant holders are required to report through the UKRI reporting system, Researchfish. This is required annually and continues for up to five years after funding ends.

Supporting documents

FAPESP guidance (PDF, 88KB)

NSTC guidance (PDF, 91KB)

NSTC budget form (DOCX, 211KB)


  • 27 March 2024
    Under 'Supporting documents' in the 'Additional info' section, have uploaded the 2024 document versions for the 'FAPESP guidance', 'NSTC guidance' and the 'NSTC budget form' as the previous documents were showing the 2023 versions.

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