Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Maximising UK adaptation to climate change hub

Apply for funding to establish a coordination and translation hub for the UKRI-Defra co-funded maximising UK adaptation to climate change programme.

You must be based at an eligible UK research organisation to apply.

The hub will convene a transdisciplinary team of academics, policymakers, external practitioners and other relevant experts to inform UK adaptation to climate change, while benefitting people, the economy and nature.

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be up to £5 million. We will fund 80% of the FEC.

Funding is available for up to 3 years.

Who can apply

Before applying for funding, check the following:

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for UKRI funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service. For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

Who is eligible to apply

This UKRI funding opportunity is seeking a diverse hub team that includes researchers and innovators covering a broad range of disciplines across the remits of NERC, AHRC, EPSRC and ESRC and beyond, as well as policymakers, practitioners, industry, public engagement professionals and wider civil society.

New collaborations and partnerships are encouraged, especially across disciplines and sectors, as the hub will be required to be transdisciplinary. Full information about the hub team requirements is detailed in the ‘What we’re looking for’ section.

The project lead must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for NERC funding. This includes eligible Public Sector Research Establishments (PSREs) and Independent Research Organisations.

Project co-leads (previously co-investigator) can be based at a UK research organisation eligible for NERC funding. For this UKRI funding opportunity, project co-leads may also be based at UK businesses, third sector or government organisations. Read including project co-leads from business, third sector or government bodies – ESRC for details of eligible organisations and costs. Note that costs associated with project co-leads from a UK business, third sector or government organisations contribution to a project must not exceed 30% of the overall cost of the grant at 100% of FEC. Additionally, eligible costs differ amongst organisation types, for example, for government organisations we will only fund travel and subsistence.

There is no limit to the number of project co-leads per application, but it must be clear from the application what unique contribution each project co-lead will make to the success of the proposed project.

Other ways different organisations can be involved include:

  • project partners: people who will not receive funding directly from the award but will have an integral role in the proposed project. Minor directly incurred costs, such as some travel costs, are acceptable
  • subcontractors: people responsible for providing a service only
  • dual roles: an organisation or individual can act as both a project partner and be paid non-minor costs to be covered by a subcontract, however this must be fully justified. An example of where dual roles might be required is when an organisation or individual is giving to the project in kind but are also funded to deliver other work to the project

Be aware that neither Defra nor the Met Office should be included as project partners as they are co-funders and partners of this programme, respectively. Defra’s Arm’s Length Bodies who are approved UKRI public sector research establishments are eligible to apply to this funding opportunity.

International applicants

This UKRI funding opportunity is focused on maximising adaptation to climate change in the UK. However, climate adaptation is a shared international challenge with many interlinked risks and pathways including but not limited to international supply chains. There may also be opportunities to learn from adaptation strategies explored in other countries.

We do not fund overseas organisations, except for specific costs for project co-leads 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 as project partners.

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.

Partnering with stakeholders

You are expected to collaborate with stakeholders (for example policy, regulatory or industry). This is to ensure that the hub has the necessary skills and expertise needed from across relevant sectors to provide evidence around how to increase the resilience of people, ecosystems and infrastructure in the UK to cascading climate impacts.

Where possible, you should make every effort to build partner activity with stakeholders to:

  • add value to existing investments
  • align with ongoing activity
  • make use of partner knowledge and expertise

You should consider where, in cooperation with these stakeholders, project partnership can add value to your proposal through cash, in-kind contributions, or both. Information on these partnership contributions should be clearly outlined within proposals.

This programme has been co-designed with the Met Office. As a result, the Met Office cannot take part in discussions with potential applicants or help to shape proposals at the outset. They will however be able to work with the successful bidder by supporting additional activities up to the value of £500,000 over 3 years. Applicants may wish to indicate within their proposals what type of activity or support they would like the Met Office to provide if successful.

In order to aid this process, the Met Office have provided the following details of the capabilities and experience they would be able to contribute to the climate change adaptation hub:

  • Knowledge integration and synthesis for policy
  • Experience of developing the early stages of a potential national framework for climate services
  • Applied science capability to address NAP3 risks in many sectors
  • Access to networks of users and practitioners with interests in risk and resilience
  • Climate attribution and monitoring data and knowledge
  • Experience of delivering and applying national climate scenarios (such as UKCP)
  • Climate communications

Please note that any activities included within your hub application that require Met Office support should be costed within the maximum amount of £5 million allowable for the Hub. Requested Met Office support for these activities cannot exceed £500,000

Please note that it is not mandatory for applicants to include plans to work with the Met Office within their hub proposal.

Following the assessment process there will be an opportunity for the successful hub to liaise with Met Office directly (if they have indicated within their proposal that they would like Met Office support with particular hub activities) to ensure that the costs included are reasonable and appropriate.

If you have any further questions, please contact UKRI on and not the Met Office directly. UKRI will ensure that all questions are answered by the Met Office and as well as email responses, a full set of questions and answers will be available on the UKRI website. The webinar on the 1 November 2023 will also be a good opportunity to ask any questions on the Met Office involvement.

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has already indicated in advance a desire to partner or collaborate with applicants for this climate adaptation hub. DESNZ can offer the following support:

  • provide advice/input on bids to help make sure these reflect current policy challenges and evidence needs particularly to help make sure outputs could be as impactful/useable as possible
  • assist with secondment opportunities and provide opportunities for dissemination to DESNZ both in terms of delivering presentations but also options for holding workshops with relevant policy teams
  • provide data (on a case-by-case basis) if useful/appropriate

Pease contact Savio Moniz (Climate Science) or André Neto-Bradley (Energy Research) for more information.

What we're looking for

Maximising UK adaptation to climate change: adaptation hub – coordination and translation

This UKRI funding opportunity is part of the Maximising UK adaptation to climate change Programme. The programme is co-funded by UKRI and Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It has been co-designed by UKRI, Defra, the Met Office and the Climate Change Committee.

The broader programme consists of two strands of commissioning activity:

  1. a climate change adaptation hub – coordination and translation
  2. a series of research projects – new transdisciplinary knowledge for UK climate adaptation

Full details about the programme can be found in the ‘Additional information’ section.

This UKRI funding opportunity is for the climate change adaptation hub. There will be a separate UKRI funding opportunity for the research projects opening in spring 2024 (exact date to be confirmed).


This funding opportunity will fund the creation of a climate change adaptation hub to provide evidence around how to increase the resilience of people, ecosystems and infrastructure in the UK to cascading climate impacts.

The hub will coalesce the skills and expertise needed from across relevant sectors, to aid the development and where possible, implementation, of a national climate change adaptation plan. Working closely with policy stakeholders the hub will synthesise relevant research, evidence and impact relating to climate change risk and vulnerability and translate this into information on what works in terms of climate adaptation at the local and national scale.


We are experiencing more frequent and more extreme impacts of climate change in the UK across our cities, communities, infrastructure, the economy and ecosystems. These impacts are predicted to increase over the coming decades, even if very large reductions in global emissions are achieved. Recent events, such as the extreme weather seen in the UK during 2022, have highlighted the UK’s vulnerability and limited capability, at present, to address these impacts. Building the UK’s preparedness and resilience to cascading climate impacts is essential to protect our people and economy and manage the environment to avoid the direct and indirect costs of climate change. Failure to respond threatens delivery of key government objectives such as net zero, economic growth and public health.

The hub will help to achieve the overarching programme objectives around reducing risk and vulnerability to climate change shocks, by ensuring that the following three key themes are addressed through its activities and any projects funded via its flexible fund:

1. Skills, partnerships and knowledge transfer

Areas of interest:

  • understanding and bridging the skills gaps between relevant expertise and communities to enable co-produced and co-led transdisciplinary adaptation to climate change
  • enabling knowledge exchange between the research and adaptation practitioner community
  • mobilising a community with relevant expertise that builds on previous knowledge and investment, along with lived experience of climate change, to embed climate adaptation at all levels of government and across society

2. Data and information

Areas of interest:

  • integration of new and existing vulnerability and exposure evidence from multiple sources to enhance climate impact assessments and improve decision-making in the face of uncertainty
  • development, testing and implementation of place-based tools and methods for adaptation, including co-benefits and trade-offs of different adaptation solutions
  • understanding adaptation costs, including the costs of maladaptation, and defining spend to inform public and private adaptation action and finance

3. Implementing effective and sustainable UK climate adaptation

Areas of interest:

  • identifying what works through adaptation evaluation and integrating that knowledge into wider practice and decision making across the UK to support the third National Adaptation Programme (NAP3)
  • enabling a systems approach to climate risk assessment and adaptation interventions to identify trade-offs and avoid unintended consequences for the environment and people
  • identifying incentives for adaptation solutions and for the scaling up of these solutions from local to national scale where appropriate

The climate change adaptation hub will convene a transdisciplinary team of academics, policymakers, external practitioners and other relevant stakeholders to support the UK in achieving a climate change adaptation plan that provides both local and national solutions. The hub will:

  • exchange and integrate knowledge: adding value by working across all elements of the programme and interfacing with other relevant investments, ensuring research findings of the hub and research projects, once awarded, are aligned with policy and practice needs, and communicated effectively
  • engage stakeholders: building strong links to stakeholders, identifying opportunities for co-production and learning, and ensuring collaboration across disciplines, sectors and through public engagement
  • develop capacity and capability: provide opportunities that will help the UK to respond to climate shocks by identifying and developing the skills and expertise needed.
  • ensure cohesion across the wider climate adaptation programme, including the research projects, to deliver clear and consistent messaging and policy recommendations which consider all findings and perspectives ,for example, workshops, evidence synthesis, convening, placements
  • fund new research: provide opportunities for rapid research that responds to urgent policy questions to be funded through a flexible fund aiming to deliver real world impact

The climate change adaptation hub will work in close partnership with local and national government departments, devolved administrations, industry, civic organisations and other stakeholders to provide evidence that will underpin policy development in climate resilience and adaptation and support the NAP3. Working with civic partners and other stakeholders with a local focus will be particularly important when considering place-based adaptation interventions.

The climate change adaptation hub will support the wider programme to take a whole-systems view when developing evidence and proposing adaptation solutions, crucial to understanding how to maximise UK adaptation to climate change as well as delivering on commitments around the environment and net zero. A key element of this will be interfacing closely with the research projects, once awarded, and other relevant UKRI investments, to ensure cohesion across the programme and UKRI Strategic Themes.

Key requirements for the climate change adaptation hub

The climate change adaptation hub will have the following requirements:

  • have UK-wide reach including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and regions thereof
  • embed equality, diversity and inclusivity principles and best practices throughout
  • be delivered in an environmentally sustainable way
  • champion the research and impacts of the research projects funded through the wider programme
  • take a holistic approach that builds on, and links to other key UKRI and wider UK investments in climate adaptation (see ‘Additional information’ section)
  • ensure transdisciplinary work by involving a broad range of disciplines across the remits of the participating UKRI councils NERC, AHRC, EPSRC and ESRC and beyond
  • engage non-academic stakeholders, including policymakers and practitioners at national and local levels across the UK, as well as with civil society and the public
  • demonstrate direct policy-relevance and impact of research projects and findings, synthesising and translating evidence into outputs suitable for policy audiences and other end-users
  • manage the delivery of a flexible fund to provide rapid responsive research through small projects (see ‘funding available’ for more details) that complement other research funded through the programme
  • include regular monitoring, learning and evaluation on progress and reporting to the programme funders (the programme funders will provide continued oversight and governance, through this reporting, to ensure that policy and practice relevance is maintained throughout, as an essential deliverable of the hub outcomes)

Climate change adaptation hub team

We are looking for a diverse hub team that includes researchers covering a broad range of disciplines, as well as policymakers, practitioners and wider civil society.

If the successful hub proposal has chosen to work with the Met Office, the Met Office will become a partner.

The hub team will be required to have excellent skills and experience in:

Policy, communication and strategy:

  • working with a range of stakeholders to support the application of research into policy and practice
  • translation and communication of research findings into real world scenarios and policy recommendations, which capture both benefits and trade-offs across the whole system
  • strong leadership, strategic vision and ability to set and meet objectives
  • public and community engagement

Analysis and evidence:

  • expertise across a broad range of interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary research that is relevant to climate adaptation, including representation of disciplines across relevant UKRI council remits
  • systems thinking
  • modelling and applied climate science
  • evidence synthesis and integration
  • foresight and scenario development

Coordination and programme management:

  • leadership of interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary research
  • programme coordination
  • knowledge mobilisation
  • workshop design and facilitation
  • supporting equality, diversity and inclusion in research or programme coordination

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


The duration of this award is three years.

Funding available

Funding is available to support one climate change adaptation hub. The full economic cost (FEC) of the hub can be up to £5 million and we will fund 80% of the FEC.

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

What we will fund

In addition to staff costs for the climate change adaptation hub team, funding can be requested for a wide range of activities to support the core purposes of the hub. Funding under the ‘directly incurred’ cost heading could include, but is not limited to, the following costs:

  • travel and subsistence: to enable members of the adaptation hub to meet to exchange ideas and expertise. This may include visits by or to experts overseas. This may also include travel and subsistence costs to support secondments. Where possible, collaborators should meet their own travel costs
  • administrative support: a sufficient level of administrative support should be requested to ensure the coordination, management and smooth running of the hub. Reasonable costs for monitoring and dissemination of the hub’s activities can also be included
  • organisation of activities: funding can be requested for costs involved in running activities such as networking events, expert working groups, workshops. Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about the range of activities that could support the delivery of the hub’s goals
  • engagement and access: funds can be requested for engagement activities, such as engaging with local community groups
  • activities to identify and disseminate key research challenges in the area, for example, horizon scanning studies
  • activities to facilitate impact and advance policy: for example, reports and briefings
  • secondment support: funds can be requested for support, including scoping of potential opportunities, travel and subsistence
  • activities to support career development: funds can be requested for activities including training, knowledge exchange visits and mentoring
  • activities to connect users, practitioners, industry, policymakers and other stakeholders with the research base: funds can be requested for activities including stakeholder workshops and engagements
  • communication costs: funds can be requested for communication costs

Flexible fund for small responsive projects

Between £750,000 to £1 million (100% FEC) of the total grant funding must be used for a flexible fund managed by the climate change adaptation hub to deliver small responsive projects with real-world impact. We will fund 80% of the flexible fund’s FEC. This amount should not include hub team costs for managing the fund but appropriate resources should be requested to support the delivery of the flexible fund as part of the broader application (see ACCESS flexible fund reflections for lessons learned on managing flexible funds within programmes). Flexible fund costs should be included in applications as ‘Other directly incurred’.

The flexible fund must be used at least in part for open competitive research UKRI funding opportunities to support new work and capacity building but could also be used to commission specific activities for early career researchers, for example, or through the research projects that will form part of the wider adaptation programme. The hub should ensure that activities funded through the flexible fund engage with the wider programme of activity. The hub will require sign off from the Programme Advisory Group on the use of the flexible fund and will work in partnership with funders throughout the award to ensure good practice is followed in the assessment and allocation of the flexible fund.

What we will not fund

  • PhD studentship costs
  • Requests for equipment of £10,000 and over are not part of this UKRI funding opportunity. You should request smaller items of equipment (under £10,000 individually) under ‘Consumables (other directly incurred costs)’ in your application

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 two 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, 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.

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 the hub, 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

There are two stages to apply for this UKRI funding opportunity:

  • notification of intent
  • full application

Notification of intent

There is a mandatory notification of intent (NoI) stage for this UKRI funding opportunity.

To submit an NoI, fill in this form by 21 November 2023 at 4:00pm UK time. If a full application is submitted without a prior NoI by the stated deadline, it will be rejected.

The NoI form requests details of the proposed hub team and a summary of the hub application. This information will not be assessed but will be used to inform plans for the assessment panel. Nothing provided as part of the NoI step is considered finalised, therefore additional partners and investigators may be added at a later stage, and the proposal may change significantly as further details are prepared.

You will receive an automated email acknowledgement once you have submitted your NoI. Once you have submitted your NoI you may submit your full application.

Full application

We are running this UKRI 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.

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 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
  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 us.

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


We must receive your application by 1 February 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.

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.

NERC, as part of UKRI, will need to share the application and any personal information that it contains with Defra so that they can participate in the assessment process. For more information on how Defra uses personal information, visit the Defra website.

Publication of outcomes

NERC, as part of UKRI, will publish the outcomes of this UKRI 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 that 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
  • 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)
  • specialist
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher

Only list one individual as project lead, who should be the individual who has set up this opportunity on the Funding Service.

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. NERC does not otherwise accept project co-lead (international) applicants.

Find out more about UKRI’s new grant roles.

Application questions

Vision and approach

Word count: 10

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

What the assessors are looking for in your response
Upload guidance

Create a document that includes your responses to all criteria. The document should not be more than eight sides of A4 (comprised of the Vision and Approach (six pages), project plan (one page) and data management plan (one page)), single line spacing in 11-point Arial (or equivalent sans serif font) with margins of at least 2cm.

You may include images, graphs, tables.

For the file name, use the unique UKRI funding service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘Vision and Approach’.

Save this document as a single PDF file, no bigger than 8MB. Unless specifically requested, do not include any personal data within the attachment.

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

Once you have uploaded, enter the text ‘attachment provided’ into the textbox, mark this section as complete and move to the next one.

For the Vision, explain how your proposed work:

  • is of excellent quality and importance within or beyond the field(s) or area(s)
  • 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:

  • demonstrate how the hub will align with the aims and objectives of the maximising UK adaptation to climate change programme and ensure cohesion across the programme
  • 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, summarises 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, and relevance to the project) will contribute to the success of the work

Within the Approach section we also expect you to:

  • demonstrate how the hub will convene a transdisciplinary and cross-sectoral community with representation from a diverse range of stakeholders
  • describe your approach to co-development with decision makers and other end-users
  • demonstrate access to the appropriate services, facilities, infrastructure, or equipment to deliver the proposed work
  • provide a project plan including milestones and timelines in the form of a Gantt chart or similar (one-side of A4)
  • include a detailed and appropriate plan for plan for how you will acquire and manage data (one-side of A4)

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word count: 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

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.

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.


Word count: 1000

How will you embed sustainability (environmental and social) into the hub’s activities?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you will ensure that the hub and any associated activities are:

  • delivered as environmentally sustainably as possible while still achieving the intended outcomes of the hub
  • delivered in a socially sustainable way, embedding equality, diversity and inclusivity principles and best practices throughout

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word count: 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

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

Research involving human participation

Word count: 700

Will the project involve the use of human subjects or their personal information?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing research that requires the involvement of human subjects, provide the name of any required approving body and whether approval is already in place.

Justify the number and the diversity of the participants involved, as well as any procedures.

Provide details of any areas of substantial or moderate severity of impact.

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Flexible fund

Word count: 1000

How will you use and manage the hub’s flexible fund?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you will use and manage the flexible fund so that it:

  • supports the hub’s objectives
  • identifies suitable urgent policy questions to address
  • distributes funding appropriately across a diverse range of activities
  • where appropriate, distributes funding through clear, transparent competitive processes
  • builds capacity in key fields and career stages
  • ensures appropriate processes for monitoring, reporting and governance of funded activities

Project partners

Add details about any project partners’ contributions. If there are no project partners, you can indicate this on the Funding Service.

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.


Word count: 250

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

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 have to attach a facility form, for example NERC ship-time and marine equipment or Antarctic logistics, then upload it as a PDF. If you need to upload multiple forms, then combine them into a single PDF.

If you do not need to use a facility, simply add ‘N/A’ into the text box, mark this section as complete and move to the next section.

Upload guidance

Upload a single PDF containing facility forms ensuring it is no larger than 8MB, if applicable.

For the file name, use the unique UKRI Funding Service number the system gives to your proposal - when you create an application – immediately followed by the words ‘facility forms’. 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.


Word count: 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 count: 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 or to conferences)
  • any consumables beyond typical requirements, or that are required in exceptional quantities
  • all facilities and infrastructure 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

We will assess your application using the following process.

Notification of Intent

Each hub team proposal must submit a Notification of Intent (NoI). There will be no assessment at this stage but submission of a NoI is mandatory to apply to the full application stage. Full details in ‘How to apply’.


An assessment panel comprised of independent external panel members will review your application against the assessment criteria and rank it alongside other applications. Panel members will consist of experts spanning the breadth of the UKRI funding opportunity remit to ensure that due consideration is given to interdisciplinary applications.

The panel will then make a shortlist of the strongest applications to invite for interview.


For shortlisted applications, an expert interview panel will conduct interviews with applicants after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

We expect interviews to be held the week commencing 18 March 2024.

UKRI and Defra will make the final funding decision based on panel recommendations.


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


We will give feedback with the outcome of your application.

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.

Sharing data with co-funders

We will need to share the application, including any personal information that it contains, with Defra so that they can participate in the assessment process. For more information on how Defra uses personal information, visit the Defra website.

Assessment criteria

The criteria against which your application will be assessed are:

  • vision
  • approach
  • applicant and team capability to deliver
  • sustainability
  • flexible fund
  • ethics and responsible research and innovation
  • resources and cost justification

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

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

For questions related to this specific funding opportunity please contact

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

Ask about this funding opportunity

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

For technical system questions, contact the UKRI Funding Service 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 here: Improving your funding experience.

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email the UKRI Funding Service helpdesk on

Include in the subject line: Maximising UK adaptation hub; sensitive information; your UKRI 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 UKRI to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection

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

Additional info


This UKRI funding opportunity is a component of the UKRI-Defra funded Maximising UK adaptation to climate change programme.

Programme aims and scope

The aim of the Maximising UK adaptation to climate change programme is to build capacity, knowledge, and skills that will offer practical and scalable solutions to meet the UK’s environmental commitments and put the UK at the forefront of climate adaptation strategies at both local and national scales.

The programme will address challenges identified in the latest Climate Change Committee National adaptation progress report (PDF, 15.7MB) around:

  • driving reductions in exposure and vulnerability to climate risks
  • increasing resilience of people, ecosystems and infrastructure to cascading climate impacts
  • understanding risks to the UK economy from climate change outside of the UK

In addition, the programme will support the implementation of the third National Adaptation Programme (NAP3) and development of the fourth Climate Change Risk Assessment through:

  • dealing with climate risks in a systematic and human-centric way
  • understanding the socio-economic landscape to contextualise physical hazard information and give a true picture of climate impact
  • enabling adaptation through learning what works and what incentives are needed to enhance the adaptation landscape

To date, research has focused on climate risk and vulnerability to climate shocks but needs to go further in terms of adaptive action in policy and practice. Building on knowledge and legacy of the UK Climate Resilience Strategic Priorities Fund programme and other relevant investments this programme will integrate the aspirations of two cross UKRI Themes (Building a Green Future and Building a Secure and Resilient World) and support research that is policy relevant and co-designed with key stakeholders. Research will help to identify priorities and develop policy and practice for adaptation, considering how and when to scale up from the local to national level. It will ultimately produce adaptation solutions that will improve UK resilience to climate impacts while benefitting people and the economy.

The programme will fund research under three key themes:

  • skills, partnerships and knowledge transfer
  • data and information
  • implementing effective and sustainable UK climate adaptation

Details of the areas of interest falling under each theme are specified in the ‘What we are looking for’ section of this opportunity.

Programme outcomes

This programme will put the UK at the forefront of climate adaptation strategies by:

  • creating capability and capacity that results in mobilisation, advancing knowledge, partnerships and skills that have long term legacy
  • embedding research into policy and practice through partnership, resulting in evidence-based policy in climate adaptation
  • developing place-based adaptation solutions that can be scaled up across the UK to increase national resilience to climate shocks and stresses
  • building evidence and understanding of what works in terms of effective and efficient adaptive measures
  • exploring and developing new opportunities that have real world impact and can be scaled, where appropriate, to increase resilience across the UK
  • supporting implementation of the NAP3, which will embed adaptation delivery across government and wider society to drive an effective overall response to the challenges of climate change
  • ensuring public engagement is at the centre of informing decision making to achieve sustainable change

Wider funding landscape

The Maximising UK adaptation to climate change programme will link to, build on and use lessons learned from relevant UKRI and wider UK investments including, but not limited to:

The UK Climate Resilience programme was a four-year Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) interdisciplinary research programme led jointly by UKRI and the Met Office that sought to quantify UK climate risk and build resilience, producing usable outputs to directly support decision-making.

UK Climate Projections (UKCP) is a climate analysis tool that forms part of the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme. The UKCP18 project uses cutting-edge climate science to provide updated observations and climate change projections out to 2,100 in the UK and globally. This equips the UK with information to help adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.

The findings of a public dialogue on public perceptions and attitudes towards Climate Adaptation (overseen by Defra in partnership with UKRI’s Sciencewise Programme) informed the development of the Third National Adaptation Programme (NAP3). The NAP3 sets out the actions that the UK government and others will take to adapt to the impacts of climate change in 2023-28.

The UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI) is a national centre established to accelerate the adoption and use of climate and environmental data and analytics by financial institutions internationally.

The What works network aims to improve the way government and other public sector organisations create, share and use high-quality evidence in decision-making. It supports more effective and efficient services across the public sector at national and local levels.

The Developing Local Policy Innovation Partnerships (LPIPs) programme funds a network of partnerships that address social, community, economic and environmental priorities that contribute towards inclusive sustainable economic growth. LPIPs aim to connect local policy and research partners, providing research, evidence, data and expertise to take advantage of opportunities and find place-based solutions to challenges that matter to local people and communities.

The Changing the environment programme aims to stimulate new collaborations across disciplines to develop solutions to issues including helping rural communities adapt to climate change, biodiversity loss, achieving net zero cities, and providing timely data, analysis and evidence for policy decisions.

The Regional impact from science of the environment programme brought research organisations together with businesses, policy bodies and other organisations to deliver high impact and focused research translation and innovation in environmental science.

The Place-based approaches to sustainable living programme will deliver interdisciplinary research on place-based approaches for an environmentally sustainable future to provide understanding that will enable enhanced evidence-based decision making.

The Place Based Climate Action Network brings together the research community and decision-makers in the public, private and third sectors to translate climate policy into action ‘on the ground’ to bring about transformative change.

Programmes recently commissioned also as part of UKRI Strategic themes of particular relevance include:

The Resilient UK coastal communities and seas programme will provide a transdisciplinary and a whole systems understanding of the resilience of UK coastal seas, coastal communities, and the natural capital these areas support. The programme will support collaboration with stakeholders to build understanding and enable transformative decision-making utilising natural capital or other approaches.

The Centre in Climate Change and Health will be a world-leading centre of excellence carrying out interdisciplinary, cutting-edge, and impactful research to address major challenges at the interface of climate and health research.

The Transforming land use for net zero, nature and people programme will mobilise and support research to work in partnership with government and industry to tackle net zero through action in the UK land sectors.


Steering for the programme will be provided by a Programme Executive Board and Programme Advisory Group (PAG), who will provide input throughout the duration of the award. The hub team will be required to provide reporting updates to the PAG on a quarterly basis initially and biannually thereafter.

The successful hub team will be required to secure approval from the PAG for any activities proposed for its flexible fund before they are commenced.

The hub will be expected to engage with other projects funded through the wider programme as well as those funded externally that have relevance to the topic of Climate Change Adaptation.

Webinar for potential applicants

We held a webinar on 1 November 2023. This provided more information about the UKRI funding opportunity and a chance to ask questions.

Watch the webinar recording via Zoom.

Download the webinar slides (PDF, 1MB).

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.

Supporting documents

Frequently asked questions (PDF, 151KB)


  • 1 December 2023
    FAQ document added in 'Additional info' section.
  • 30 November 2023
    Webinar recording and slides added in 'Additional info' section.
  • 1 November 2023
    Total fund amount changed to £5 million and information regarding the support provided by DESNZ added.
  • 19 October 2023
    Total fund amount changed to £4.5 million. 'Partnering with stakeholders' information added to the 'Who can apply' section. Notification of intent deadline extended to 21 November 2023.

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