Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Integrating finance and biodiversity for a nature positive future

Apply for funding to establish an interdisciplinary research and innovation network consisting of a strategic coordination hub and associated partnerships or spokes that will bring together academic, finance and relevant user communities. The network will catalyse the integration of biodiversity into financial decision-making, planning and reporting for a nature positive financial system.

You must be a grant holder of a grant awarded in phase one of the programme.

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £3 million. The grant must start in January 2024 for 27 months.

Who can apply

Before applying for funding, check the following:

Who is eligible to apply

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on UKRI’s new Funding Service from 22 May 2023.

For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

The second phase of the Integrating finance and biodiversity for a nature positive future initiative is a closed opportunity. The coordination function awarded in phase one has been tasked with co-developing a cohesive application for the strategic coordination hub and identifying the first spokes of the research and innovation network.

Grant holders of the NPF Phase one projects and named participants in the programme coordination function are eligible to lead or co-lead the hub or one of the spokes.

The proposed activities within the network are expected to be relevant to the evolving real-world setting. Recognising the network needs to include relevant expertise and stakeholders, we strongly encourage engagement with other researchers from other relevant UKRI investments such as NERC and ESRC Economics of Biodiversity programme, grant holders of the Nature Finance Seed Corn grants and knowledge exchange fellows and the Climate and Environmental Risk Analytics for Resilient Finance (CERAF) programme. If justified, the application can suggest broadening the teams for the hub or one or more of the spokes to include individuals who do not hold an Integrating finance and biodiversity for a nature positive future project grant, such as grant holders of an Economics of Biodiversity grant (subject to the UKRI eligibility criteria).

If individuals or organisations not involved in phase one of the NPF programme are interested in collaborating and engaging with the network, please get in touch with the Phase one Coordination function

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. Read more about this in the NERC eligibility guidance for applicants.

Project Partners

A key part of this interdisciplinary initiative is to ensure projects are co-created and informed by users, in particular the finance sector, to ensure the outcomes are relevant, impactful and accessible.

As such, it is essential that you contribute to the establishment of strong partnerships and foster effective collaboration with relevant stakeholders including organisations in the financial sector, economic and policy entities, regulatory bodies, or other related industries to:

  • add value to investments and provide evidence of user needs and relevance
  • align with priority policies and ongoing activity
  • identify a route to knowledge mobilisation
  • make use of partner knowledge and expertise

When working alongside these stakeholders, you should consider where project partnership can add value through cash contributions, in-kind contributions, or both. All international collaborators, for example relevant international financial policy organisations, or non- academic UK partners,(including those from business or financial sectors, not based at approved organisations can be included as project partners but will need to fund their own involvement. NERC grants will only fund minor incidental expenses for these project partners, such as some travel costs.

The successful network spokes or partnerships will be encouraged to onboard additional project partners during their lifetime, and as the community develops.

If your application includes international applicants, project partners or collaborators, visit Trusted Research for more information on effective international collaboration.

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


Why we are investing in strengthening the biodiversity-finance nexus for a nature positive and net zero financial system

In the current economic and financial system, the cost of depleting biodiversity and the benefits it offers to society and the economy are not well understood. The lack of embedding biodiversity in our financial and economic systems comes with a cost to society and our planet that is no longer affordable. The need to re-align our global financial system to protect and restore the natural environment and reach net zero carbon emissions are national and global priorities recognised by governments and the private sector. This is reflected in a rapidly changing regulatory and policy landscape for example:

The research and innovation community has the needed capacity, data and capabilities to fill knowledge gaps. Recognising that integrating biodiversity and finance is a complex task, the research and innovation community will be expected to co-develop with the finance sector the necessary tools and solutions to incorporate biodiversity as an asset or value into a nature positive net zero finance sector.

Purpose of programme

The NERC and Innovate UK research and innovation programme Integrating finance and biodiversity for a nature positive future seeks to address this challenge by exploring the critical gaps in knowledge and understanding, as informed by stakeholders in the finance sector, and by improving the integration of biodiversity into financial decision-making, frameworks, reporting and planning.

The programme will be delivered in two stages:

  • Phase one: where 12 scoping projects and a coordination function were awarded and currently in progress.
  • Phase two: the focus of this funding opportunity. Building on the emerging outcomes from Phase one, a distributed virtual research and innovation network will be established to include a strategic coordination hub and up to three initial associated themed spokes/partnerships complemented by the Innovate UK led part of the funding opportunity (details will be provided once available)

Overall programme ambition and aspired outcomes

The network (strategic coordination hub and spokes or partnerships) will be expected to:

  • build long term capability, cross-sectoral interdisciplinary community with shared understanding
  • bring together and catalyse interdisciplinary capability and a diverse stakeholder community from academia, finance sector, community stewards of biodiversity uplift projects, business and policy, to foster collaboration, common understanding, shared aims and cohesive approaches to drive integration and fill crucial knowledge gaps
  • forge strong partnership with the finance sector, emphasising user engagement, co-design and collaborative approaches, driven by enhanced understanding of the decision-context and information needs of the financial services users
  • embed research, academic data and knowledge of different scales and context, in the development of solutions. Ensure responsiveness to the evolving needs of the finance sector and decision-makers in business
  • adopt a system approach to achieve better understanding of the complex interlinkages between biodiversity, finance and society and what it means for community resilience (environmental and economic) and economic prosperity to support a roadmap to a nature positive future
  • inform investment for new research to fill data and knowledge gaps as the finance sector develops
  • facilitate the development of a skilled community to incorporate reporting on biodiversity for all business sectors in the longer term

Tools, decision-grade data, models, guidance

  • advance a common framework and language to incorporate biodiversity as an asset that recognises value differs between policy, business and community audiences (set in context of other developments at a national and international level)
  • develop robust, cost effect monitoring and remote monitoring methods to ensure interventions are effective and maintained, over varied landscapes and land area scales
  • deliver robust simulation and prediction models and scenarios, leading to a more sustainable financial services industry in anticipation of a developing regulatory system (for example, UK firm-level nature positive net zero transition plans)
  • support the development of a verified, validated, trustworthy robust and publicly available suite of decision-grade standardised, accessible, and verified data and metrics, tools, guidance, methods and frameworks that meet user needs in terms of being practically applied in on the ground projects, and enable the assessment and disclosure of biodiversity impacts on both sides of the balance sheet, incorporating biodiversity into financial services and informing decisions on future nature positive investments
  • develop new or merge existing datasets that link research to business and build biodiversity into a next generation of financial instruments
  • simulating/modelling/quantifying risk and uncertainty in biodiversity, connecting risk and uncertainty in finance contexts
  • mitigate risks and highlight opportunities to address interacting stressors simultaneously, for example biodiversity interacting with climate change and driving ambitions for net environmental gain
  • research and development motivation mechanisms to incentivise change in business and consumer behaviour for a nature-positive future
  • raise the profile of UK leadership to leverage the development of international initiatives.

Strategic coordination hub (‘hub’)

The strategic coordination hub will play a central role in leading and establishing a strong connected network to help achieve the ambitions of the programme. This will be led by a small collaborative and interdisciplinary team with proven track record in excellent leadership of complex grant programmes or consortia, or both. From an administrative perspective, a named Project Lead (previously Principal Investigator) will need to be identified for the hub. Their respective host organisation (Research Organisation) will be designated as the lead administrative organisation for the relevant award.

The bid must outline how the network will engage and work with stakeholders in the finance sector and other relevant users (new and those already collaborating with the members of the network). We expect that this team is likely to be a consortium based across multiple research institutions, with an identified ‘administrative’ institutional lead organisation.

The strategic coordination hub will be expected to:

  • oversee the establishment of the network, working impartially and collaboratively maintaining the principle of partnership and co-design across the hub and spokes
  • coordinate and integrate activities and outcomes of the distributed network, building on Phase one working collaboratively and impartially (hub and spokes) to maximise mobilisation of knowledge and impact. An appropriate framework will be included to facilitate strong links, community of practice, communication, sharing of intelligence, learning, practice, and development in areas of commonality across the network (spokes and hub)
  • act as the main interface or contact point for the finance and business sector, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders. Cross-sector engagement across the finance sector will be strengthened. Stakeholder engagement will be focused on business, policy and research sectors. Other key players will be considered as needed, to inform on evolving stakeholder needs and priorities, while minimising stakeholder fatigue
  • work closely with the Phase one Coordination Function team to oversee the coordination, planning and support the development of new spokes. Building on Phase one scoping outcomes and stakeholder engagement to ensure the themes of new spokes are responsive to emerging and priority user needs, including key knowledge gaps that could be filled by new research
  • lead, plan and deliver devolved interdisciplinary funding opportunities that will support delivery of the programme goals and in areas identified through Phase one scoping activities. These could include but are not limited to grants supporting knowledge exchange or secondments, seed corn funding or scoping new theme/challenge-led spokes or projects
  • lead on the synthesis of evidence, integration of outputs and coordination of the activities across the programme (Phases one and two including the IUK funded awards). Collaborate with or build on, or both, outcomes from other relevant UKRI and non-UKRI investments in the nature and biodiversity finance space
  • coordinate the development of legacy of outputs including (but not limited to), findings that are accessible to users and the communities shaped through the network (for example, best practice guides, toolkits, knowledge and website). Support or catalyse, or both, the development of solutions informed by the translation of knowledge and outcomes driven by the network
  • develop a plan or roadmap to secure co-funding as well as a self-sustainability plan to support the network and relationships beyond the lifetime of the UKRI funding
  • embed ethical, diverse and inclusive considerations throughout the programme of activities

Themed spokes or partnerships in the network

In time, we expect the distributed network to include a number of themed spokes or partnerships. We do not expect all spoke activities to be fully developed and start at the same time as the strategic coordination hub, thus we anticipate supporting one to three spokes from the outset.

The application should therefore include proposals for the first spokes in the network as identified from the emerging findings from Phase one projects and the Coordination Function. Each spoke or partnership will be expected to:

  • have a designated leadership team (distinct from the strategic coordination hub leadership team), which includes at least one project partner from the financial sector or business community. Where there is clear value to the proposed spokes, international collaborators can also be included
  • work closely with the hub to share knowledge, expertise, and collaboratively address interdependent aspects of their challenges to achieve the broader goals of the programme
  • conduct research or other relevant activities to fulfil the programme’s ambitions

Other considerations

This NERC-led UKRI programme ‘Integrating finance and biodiversity for a nature positive future’ forms a key part of the wider green finance portfolio of investments, harnessing research and innovation capabilities to drive the development of knowledge-based solutions to environmental challenges and meeting our net zero and nature positive goals.

As such the network is expected to complement, engage and draw upon relevant UKRI investments including NERC-ESRC Economics of Biodiversity (EoB) programme. The EoB programme explores the multiple values of biodiversity to many sectors of society using a broader economic (rather than financial) perspective. This includes both the ‘Synthesising evidence in economics of biodiversity’ and ‘Improve understanding of the economics of biodiversity’ funding opportunities and award holders.

Integrating finance and biodiversity for a nature positive future phase two will also be expected to engage with the NERC and Innovate UK ‘Climate and environmental risk analytics for resilient finance (CERAF)’ programme, including the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (UKCGFI), which is developing a platform for climate and environmental analytics for resilient finance.

As part of the programme, there will also be an Innovate UK led grant funding competition of up to £2 million to commence in 2024, with the goal of accelerating the development of an ecosystem of small, medium and large enterprises to deliver value-adding green finance analytics and reporting products and services.

Further details of this competition will be provided in due course and the network will be kept informed. The network will be expected to engage and collaborate with the successful applicants of the Innovate UK funding opportunity.

Implementation and delivery

Programme management and reporting

The leadership team (leads of the hub and spokes) will be responsible for overall programme delivery, governance, and reporting. As such, there will be a requirement to establish an appropriate management and governance model with effective monitoring and evaluation, develop a clear equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) plan, and support early career researchers. Oversight details from funders will be provided post-award and discussed with successful applicants.

The leadership of the hub and funded network spokes will be expected to attend and engage at the phase two kick-off meeting, and other relevant programme related meetings. Although these meetings will mostly be held virtually, you should make an allowance within your resourcing plan and budget should the meetings be in-person and to comply with the governance requirements.

Knowledge exchange, public engagement and impact

Knowledge exchange is vital to ensure that environmental research has wide benefits for society and should be an integral part of any research. Knowledge exchange with the financial services sector, regulators, third sector organisations and commercial providers of financial modelling services will be key.

Public engagement is a key part of knowledge exchange, and a route to increasing the impact of research. All funded projects will be required to engage with programme-wide integration and coordination activities. They will also be expected to engage with other relevant UKRI investments, including those stated above.

Data Management

You must adhere to the NERC data policy.

The Integrating finance and biodiversity for a nature positive future programme is expected to involve access to and exploitation of large existing datasets and as such, applicants are required to answer the data management question as part of their application and comply with the NERC Data Policies. NERC will pay the NERC data centre directly on behalf of the programme for archival and curation services, but you should ensure 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, must be discussed with the relevant data centre prior to submission and the costs included in your application.


The duration of this award is 27 months.

Awards must start by 2 January 2024.

Funding available

The full economic cost of the network (hub and spokes) can be up to £3 million.

We will fund 80% of the full economic cost with the following exceptions:

  • eligible costs for international co-project lead involvement would be funded at 100%

NERC will fund at 80% FEC:

  • up to £1 million for the Strategic coordination hub (£300,000 to £500,000 each year)
  • remaining funds will be distributed between the spokes, which we anticipate may range between £300,000 to £500,000 each

Distribution of funds suggested above is for guidance only. Applicants are encouraged to propose options as they see suitable.

What we will fund

We will fund the costs of building interdisciplinary research communities and the activities of the network including but not limited to:

  • investigator and researcher salaries, plus associated indirect and estates costs
  • travel and subsistence
  • workshops
  • events
  • communications
  • horizon scanning
  • funding opportunities for pilot research, feasibility testing or pump priming activities
  • translation and impact-generating activities linking to user needs such as a repository or live portal of clearly described and broadly accessible case studies to complement the theory
  • minor equipment (under £10,000 individually) should be requested under ‘Consumables (other directly incurred costs)’ in your application
  • administrative and programme management support (can include reasonable costs for monitoring and dissemination of the network’s output

What we will not fund

We will not fund standalone PhD studentships, equipment or capital over £10,000 or cruise costs.

Services and facilities

You can apply to use a facility or resource in your funding application.

You should discuss your application with the facility or service at least 2 months before the 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, go to the NERC research grants and fellowships handbook.

Read the full list of NERC facilities.

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.

If your application includes international applicants, project partners or collaborators, visit Trusted Research for more information on effective international collaboration.

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, these 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

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service

We are running this funding opportunity on the new 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 UKRI 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.

To apply:

  1. Select ‘Start application’ near the beginning of this page.
  2. Confirm you are the project lead.
  3. Sign in or create a UKRI 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
  4. Answer questions directly in the text boxes. You can save your answers and come back to them, or work offline and return to copy and paste your answers. All questions and assessment criteria are listed in the ‘How to apply’ section on this Funding finder page.
  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.

Watch our research office webinars about the new UKRI Funding Service.


We must receive your application by 24 October 2023 4:00 pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time.

Make sure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines.

Personal data

Processing personal data

We 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

We will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity on our What NERC has funded page.

If your application is successful, some personal information will be published via the UKRI Gateway to Research.

UKRI Funding Service: section guidance


Word count: 550

In plain English, provide a summary that can be viewed by assessors.

This summary may be made publicly available on external facing websites, so ensure it can be understood by a variety of readers, for example:

  • opinion-formers
  • policymakers
  • the general public
  • the wider research community.
Guidance for writing a summary

Succinctly describe your proposed work in terms of:

  • its context
  • the challenge the project addresses and how it will be applied to this
  • its aims and objectives
  • its potential applications and benefits.


You can only list one project lead.

The PcL (I) role should only be used for applications making use of the UKRI-RCN Money Follows Cooperation agreement or the UKRI-IIASA agreement. We do not otherwise accept PcL (I) applicants.

Find out about UKRI’s new grant roles.

Section: Vision and Approach

Word count 5

You should upload the Vision and Approach document to the UKRI Funding Service as a six-page PDF. The document must have single line spacing, margins of at least 2cm and be typed using Arial 11pt, or another ‘sans serif’ font with an equivalent size to Arial 11pt.

What are you hoping to achieve with and how will you deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

For the Vision, explain how your proposed work:

  • is of excellent quality and importance within or beyond the fields or areas
  • has the potential to advance current understanding, generates new knowledge, thinking or discovery within or beyond the field or area
  • is timely given current trends, context and needs
  • impacts world-leading research, society, the economy or the environment

Within the Vision section we also expect you to:

  • identify the potential direct or indirect benefits and who the beneficiaries might be

For the Approach, explain how you have designed your work 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
  • if applicable, uses a clear and transparent methodology
  • if applicable, summaries the previous work and describes how this will be built upon and progressed
  • 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, its location, and relevance to the project) will contribute to the success of the work
  • describe how complementarity between spokes, and between hub and spokes, is ensured

Within the Approach section we also expect you to:

  • demonstrate access to the appropriate services, facilities, infrastructure, or equipment to deliver the proposed work

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply.

Section: Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word count: 1,500 (1,000 words to be used for R4RI modules and, if necessary, a further 500 words for Additions)

Question: 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 the positive research environment and wider community
  • proven track record of collaborating or partnerships with financial services sector organisations, or both (including relevant professional institutions and regulators)

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 lead and project co-leads, researchers, other (technical) staff for example research software engineers, data scientists and so on, and project partners), have and how this will help to deliver the proposed work. You can include individuals’ specific achievements but only choose past contributions that best evidence their ability to deliver this work.

Complete this section using the R4RI module headings listed. You should 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

You should complete this as a narrative and you should avoid CV type format.

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

Section: Project partners

Word count 500

Provide details about any project partners’ contributions using the template provided.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Download and complete the project partner contributions template (DOCX, 52KB).

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 obtained prior agreement from project partners that, should you be offered funding, they will support your project as indicated in the template.

Section: Data management and sharing

Word count: 500

How will you manage and share data collected or acquired through the proposed research?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide an outline data management plan which should clearly detail how you will comply with NERC’s published Data Sharing Policy, which includes detailed guidance notes.


  • which NERC data centre is required to archive the data
  • whether the total volume of data is likely to be larger than 1TB
  • any other detail on how you will comply with NERC data policy

Section: Outsourcing

Word count: 500

Question: Are you outsourcing any activity?

If you are not, enter ‘N/A’ in the text box, mark this section as complete and move to the next question.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

UKRI recognises that in some instances, it may be appropriate to outsource elements of the proposed work. If that is the case in this application, please provide the following information:

  • the scope of the outsourced activity, that means what is being undertaken and what will be delivered
  • the relevance of the outsourced activity to the application
  • why the outsourced activity cannot be undertaken in house
  • why this provider is the most appropriate
  • the cost or costs of the outsourced activity and the tendering process that has been followed.

Please provide any goods and services quotations.

Section: Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word count 500

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

If you are collecting or using data you should 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 taken to not preclude further reuse of data
  • formal information standards with which study will be compliant

Section: References

Word count: 300

List the references you’ve 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.

Ensure your application is a self-contained description. You can provide hyperlinks to relevant publications or online resources. However, assessors are not obliged to access the information they lead to or consider it in their assessment of your application. You must not include links to web resources in order to extend your application. If linking to web resources, to ensure the information’s integrity is maintained include, where possible, persistent identifiers such as digital object identifiers.

Section: Facilities

Word count: 250

Question: Does your proposed research require the support and use of a facility?

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

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you will need to use a facility, follow your proposed facility’s normal access request procedures. Ensure you have prior agreement so that if you are offered funding, they will support the use of their facility on your project.

For each requested facility you will need to provide the:

  • name of facility, copied and pasted from the facility information list (DOCX, 35KB)
  • proposed usage or costs, or costs per unit where indicated on the facility information list
  • confirmation you have their agreement where required

If you will not need to use a facility, you will be able to indicate this in the UKRI Funding Service.

Section: Resources and cost justification

Word count: 1,000

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

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate how the resources you anticipate needing for your proposed work:

  • are comprehensive, appropriate, and justified
  • represent the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes
  • maximise potential outcomes and impacts

Costings should be justified on the basis of full economic costs (FEC) of the project, not just on the costs expected from UKRI. For some items we do not expect you to justify the monetary value, rather the type of resource, such as amount of time or type of staff requested.

This should not simply be a list of the resources requested – when applying on the Funding Service, you will be able to use the Resources and cost summary table for high-level costs.

Where you do not provide adequate justification for a resource, we may deduct it from any funding awarded.

You should identify:

  • support for activities to either increase impact, for public engagement, knowledge exchange and to support responsible innovation
  • support for access to facilities, infrastructure or procurement of equipment
  • support from your organisation or partner organisations and how that enhances value for money

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.

Panel assessment and interview

Eligible applications will be assessed by an independent panel of experts against the criteria.


The expert panel will conduct interviews with applicants after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

We expect interviews to be held in November 2023.

NERC will make the final funding decision.


We aim to complete the assessment process within two months of receiving your application.


If your application was discussed by a panel, we will give feedback with the outcome of your application.

Principles of assessment

We support the San Francisco declaration on research assessment (DORA) 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 directly relates to the application questions:

  • vision of the project
  • approach to the project
  • applicant and team capability to deliver
  • ethical and responsible research and innovation
  • outsourcing
  • resources and cost justification

Further detail on what the assessors are looking for is available in the questions in the How to apply section.

Contact details

Get help with your application

For help on costings and writing your application, contact your research office. Allow enough time for your organisation’s submission process.

Ask about this funding opportunity


We aim to respond to emails within 2 working days.

Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

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

Sensitive information

If you, or a key team member, need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email the UKRI Funding Service helpdesk on You must include in the subject line: <Integrating finance and biodiversity for a nature positive future, sensitive info, UKRI Funding Service application number>

Typical examples of confidential information include:

  • applicant 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 UKRI to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection

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

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