You are encouraged to contact the NERC office at an early stage to discuss any questions on funding opportunity procedures.
All queries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
There are two stages to apply for this funding opportunity:
- notification of intent
- full proposal.
Notification of intent
For this pilot funding opportunity, a notification of intent to apply must be submitted by 16:00 on 10 May 2022. You must include:
- a title and summary of your planned work
- investigators, institutions and project partners you expect to be involved.
The summary will not be assessed at this stage, but NERC will use the information to plan resourcing for the proposal assessment.
Notify NERC of your intent to submit.
Full Je-S proposals submitted without a prior notification of intent will be rejected.
You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system by 16:00 on 14 June 2022.
We recommend you start your application early. You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.
When applying, select ‘new document’ then one of the following options:
- council: NERC
- document type: standard proposal
- scheme: standard grant
- call: Exploring the frontiers of environmental research JUN22.
Your host organisation will be able to provide advice and guidance on completing your application.
It will not be possible to submit applications after the closing date and time.
You should leave enough time for your proposal to pass through your organisation’s Je-S submission route before this date. Any proposal that is incomplete, or does not meet NERC’s eligibility criteria or follow NERC’s proposal submission rules, will be office rejected and not be considered.
Demand management does not apply to this pilot funding opportunity. As we are expecting significant interest in this scheme, we encourage research organisations to ensure that only their most excellent proposals are submitted.
You can find out more about the application process in the NERC research grants and fellowships handbook.
Requests for shiptime and marine equipment from NERC’s marine facilities will be considered. However, any requested fieldwork should be small-scale in order to reflect the size and duration of the award.
Applicants intending to apply for NERC’s marine facilities should contact email@example.com to discuss shiptime and equipment needs as soon as possible.
Applicants wishing to apply for NERC’s marine facilities must complete an online Shiptime and Marine Equipment (SME) or Autonomous Deployment (ADF) application form on the Marine Facilities Planning website.
The SME or ADF number should be included on the proposal form (Je-S proforma) under ‘services and facilities’. Completed SME or ADFs must be submitted by 1 April 2022 and approved by NERC marine planning by the time the proposal is submitted.
Failure to do so may result in the request not being considered for inclusion in the NERC Marine Facilities Programme.
BAS polar logistics support
Requests for Antarctic logistics support from NERC BAS will be considered. However, any requested fieldwork should be small-scale in order to reflect the size and duration of the award.
Antarctic fieldwork should be planned for the 2023 to 2024 field season to coincide with the lifetime of the grant.
Applicants must complete a pre-award operational planning support questionnaire (OPSQ) online. You must email the Antarctic Access Office (AAO) at BAS (firstname.lastname@example.org) as early as possible, stating your name, institution and proposal title.
The AAO will set up a new and numbered pre-award OPSQ and send the link to the applicant along with instructions for completion.
The deadline for pre-award OPSQs to be submitted to the Antarctic Access Office is 16:00 on 1 April 2022.
Any funding applications that request Antarctic logistic support without having received prior logistic approval will not be accepted. For further details, see BAS polar fieldwork opportunities.
Applicants requesting access to the NERC UK Arctic Research Station should first contact the station manager (email@example.com) to discuss the support required.
You should then complete a NERC Arctic Research Station application form at least eight weeks prior to submission of the proposal and return it to the station manager for review. Find out more on the UK Arctic Research Station website.
To reduce bureaucracy, this funding opportunity has been designed to require minimal documentation.
A proposal form (Je-S proforma) must include an estimated high-level costs summary. The costs will not be considered as part of the assessment process.
Case for support
This must be a maximum of three sides of A4 and include the following.
Description of the proposed research
This must be two sides of A4 and describe the research vision and environmental challenge or question, highlighting the novelty and ambitious nature of the concepts, technologies, or approaches.
Outline how this explorative research will advance knowledge and, where important, may open up novel research avenues and lead to further, related ground-breaking, high-risk and high-reward research.
Narrative capability to deliver
This must be one side of A4 and describe your skills and capability to deliver, in particular, demonstrating the ability of the team to conduct ground-breaking, innovative research and that you have the capability to successfully execute the project.
This should be a narrative, drawing on the Royal Society’s Résumé for Researchers. The assessment process will consider relative to career stage, your ideas and contribution, to your field of science, the wider research and innovation community and users of research and not be based on metrics (for example, publications and income).
Technical assessment, facility form or quote
Where relevant, you should submit technical assessments, facility forms or quotes with the proposal.
The quotes will not be made available to reviewers or panels. If required, a blank document can be attached to pass the system validation, in which case, any successful applicants will need to provide the quotes to NERC before grants are awarded.
Proposal cover letter
This attachment does not go out to panels, so should not be used except to flag up a significant issue to the NERC office.
This attachment should be used to declare any relevant interests, and list any collaborators.
For this current round, the proposal cover letter should also be used to declare if you would have been eligible to apply as a new investigator under NERC’s previous standard grants scheme (which is no longer in operation).
Under the previous standard grants scheme, applicants would be eligible to apply as a new investigator if they were within five years of first becoming eligible for NERC funding as a principal investigator (taking account of any career breaks) and had not received competitive research funding from any source, as a principal investigator, that included post-doctoral research assistant staff support costs.
This information will be used in the current funding round solely for the purposes of internal monitoring of the impacts of NERC’s new discovery science funding schemes launched in 2022.
What you must not submit
You must not submit:
- justification of resources: costings for successful projects will be checked and further information may be requested before the grant can be awarded
- CVs: information relevant to the investigators should be included in the one side narrative of capability to deliver in the case for support
- letters of support (for project partners or others): detailed information on project partners is not required and should be named in the project partners section of the Je-S proforma (they can be explained briefly in the case for support where required)
- outline data management plan: successful grant holders will (where applicable) be required to produce a full data management plan working with the relevant NERC data centre
- equipment quotes.