Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Modelling environmental responses to solar radiation management

Start application

Apply for funding to carry out climate modelling to understand the impacts of solar radiation management (SRM) techniques if implemented at scale.

You must be:

  • based at a UK research organisation eligible for Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funding
  • in a role that meets the individual eligibility requirements

The full economic cost (FEC) of your project depends on the theme, as follows:

  • theme one: up to £3,300,650
  • theme two: up to £3,300,650
  • theme three: up to £2,806,250
  • theme four: up to £1,693,750

We will fund 80% of the FEC.

Four projects will be funded for up to 54 months, to begin in April 2025.

Who can apply

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

Who is eligible to apply

Before applying for funding, check the following:

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

  • encourage collaborative research with other UK organisations
  • encourage applications from diverse groups of researchers
  • welcome applications from individuals at any career stage, subject to NERC eligibility criteria

Who is not eligible to apply

You may be involved in no more than two applications submitted to this funding opportunity. Only one of these can be as project lead.

Project partners fund their own involvement. We will only fund minor incidental expenses, such as some travel costs, if needed for project partners.

International applicants

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 (or UK partners not based at approved organisations) as project partners. This includes organisations from the business or financial sectors.

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


This research will model how key aspects of the Earth system would respond to solar radiation management (SRM) approaches to control Earth surface temperature, if implemented at scale. The programme will deliver independent cutting-edge environmental science, through modelling and (potentially) laboratory work to improve that modelling. The programme will not support outdoors research. The research will deliver ‘risk-risk analyses’ which will consider the detrimental impacts of Earth heating under climate scenarios versus the response where SRM is deployed.


One project will be funded under each theme. All research should be modelling and analyses, unless otherwise specified in the theme detail. No outdoor experimental research or deployment activities will be supported.

Theme one: Better understanding of the climate impacts of stratospheric aerosol intervention (SAI)

Research in the project under this theme will:

  • explore the efficacy of the global and regional cooling impacts for various baseline and SAI cooling simulations scenarios. The choice of scenarios should be fully justified and should include a range of future temperature increases, including 1.5˚C and overshoot of this target. You must consider duration of impacts, and their variation with the amount, scale, altitude, latitude and season of this intervention approach
  • develop and improve representation of key stratospheric impacts, such as large-scale heating, impacts on stratospheric dynamics and impacts on stratospheric ozone
  • explore the impacts of SAI via risk-risk assessments on large-scale surface climate for key issues, these may include for example large-scale circulation patterns, key modes of climate variability, extremes in precipitation, net primary productivity, sea-level rise, coastal inundation, surface UV radiation, the cryosphere, hurricane frequency and intensity, and near-term tipping elements, as appropriate
  • explore the impacts of termination of SAI, including the phase out strategy, in a range of plausible future mitigation situations

Your project must include research against every bullet point.

Theme two: Better understanding of the climate effects of marine cloud brightening (MCB)

Research in the project under this theme will:

  • explore the efficacy of global and regional cooling for different regional deployment strategies of MCB for various scenarios. The choice of scenarios should be fully justified and should include a range of future temperature increases, including 1.5˚C and overshoot of this target
  • explore the teleconnections between regional MCB-induced climate forcing and global and regional climate response
  • explore signal noise detectability issues
  • examine the representativeness of parameterisations used in low-resolution climate models against high resolution models that explicitly represent MCB and sub-grid-scale processes
  • explore the impacts of MCB on large-scale surface climate via risk-risk assessments in key areas, these may include for example large-scale circulation patterns, key modes of climate variability, extremes in precipitation, net primary productivity, sea-level rise, coastal inundation, surface UV radiation, the cryosphere, hurricane frequency and intensity, and near-term tipping elements, as appropriate
  • understand the impacts of termination of MCB, including the phase out strategy, in a range of plausible future mitigation situations

Your project must include research against every bullet point.

Theme three: Using natural analogues and mining of existing data to understand SRM

Research in the project under this theme will cover:

  • use of satellite data to examine and improve the fidelity of aerosol processes in models related to:
    • SAI using stratospheric intrusions of aerosol from natural events such as explosive volcanic eruptions and wildfires
    • MCB using, for example, effusive volcanic eruptions or   ship track emissions
  • disentangling meteorological variability from aerosol-climate interactions using methodologies such as satellite-climatological analysis, machine learning, and AI techniques
  • analysis of aerosol and cloud microphysical data from laboratory, for example cloud-chamber, and from existing surface-based and airborne measurement campaigns to improve understanding of aerosol-climate interactions to inform SAI and MCB studies. This will not include any deployment activities

Your research project does not need to address every bullet in Theme three.

Theme four: Novel SRM techniques

Your research project under this theme should cover the modelling of at least three different SRM approaches and should examine the potential climatic impacts of such deployments for various scenarios. The choice of scenarios should be fully justified and should include a range of future temperature increases, including 1.5˚C and with overshoot of this target. This could include:

  • assessment of the plausibility and scalability of techniques that target either solar or terrestrial radiation, these may include for example cirrus cloud thinning (CCT), marine sky brightening (MSB), mixed-phase regime cloud thinning (MCT), or surface albedo modification
  • examination of the use of materials other than SO2 for SAI and sea-salt for MCB
  • development and scientific analysis of approaches that target regional rather than global climate change, for example polar areas

Programme coordination

In addition to the four research projects, the programme will include a dedicated programme coordination function which will work with the research projects to:

  • coordinate research efforts between teams and ensure sharing of knowledge, bringing together research outputs as a whole
  • engage with policymakers in order to co-develop appropriate scientific outcomes into tailored reports and policy, share best practice and up-to-date discovery, and contribute to forthcoming reports
  • understand what is happening internationally with regards to SRM, linking with international research in SRM, where appropriate and relevant
  • consider the implications for ethics, governance and regulation from the research of the programme, working with wider stakeholders and experts in this field of research
  • work with NERC in managing programme risks, including reputational
  • work with NERC on agreed communications lines throughout the programme lifetime

£500,000 will be held back in order to allow the successful projects to work together to deliver this coordination function. Further information will be provided to successful projects. However, given the expectations for the programme coordination function, projects should individually include networking costs to work with international partners (including working with existing coordination activities like GeoMIP), interact with other international leaders in this research to compare research and put this programme’s work in an international context, and work with the global south to allow accessible archived data provision and analysis expertise. As the programme will interact with experts in the field of ethics, governance and regulation, projects should build in the allowance that this may guide some of the finer detail of the research.

Public dialogue and oversight group

In addition, there will be a public dialogue associated with this research programme to bring in wider understanding of public perception, involving the programme coordination function and the research projects. This is being commissioned by NERC and will be delivered by a contractor during 2025.

The successful projects funded through this funding opportunity will be expected to engage and take part in this two-way activity, including working with NERC, Sciencewise (who are co-funding and supporting the dialogue), the contractor, and oversight group (who advise the public dialogue scope and delivery), as necessary.

While the scope of research will be set according to the detail above, the projects should expect to be open to minor amendments based on any insights provided though the public dialogue. Overall, it is expected that the results of the dialogue will be brought together with the research from the programme, to provide a well-rounded evidence base; it is expected that the programme coordination function will act to bring together these two strands.

Governance and publication of results

In addition to other requirements as specified in this funding opportunity, projects will be required to be delivering research which supports the Oxford Principles, five high-level principles for geoengineering governance. In particular this relates to Principle 3: Disclosure of geoengineering research and open publication of results, whereby “There should be complete disclosure of research plans and open publication of results in order to facilitate better understanding of the risks and to reassure the public as to the integrity of the process. It is essential that the results of all research, including negative results, be made publicly available.”


We anticipate funding four projects through this funding opportunity. The duration of this award is a maximum of 54 months.

Projects must start in April 2025.

Funding available

Depending on the theme your application is addressing, the full economic cost (FEC) of your project can be:

  • theme one: up to £3,300,650
  • theme two: up to £3,300,650
  • theme three: up to £2,806,250
  • theme four: up to £1,693,750

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

  • justified equipment would be funded at 50%
  • eligible costs for international project co-lead (previously co-investigator) involvement would be funded at 100%
  • facilities costs

Costs (travel and subsistence) to participate in cross-programme meetings should be included in your application.

We will not fund the following:

  • PhD studentship costs
  • 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 two months before the funding opportunity’s closing date to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supporting skills and talent

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

Trusted Research and Innovation

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is committed in ensuring that effective international collaboration in research and innovation takes place with integrity and within strong ethical frameworks. Trusted Research and Innovation is a UKRI work programme designed to help protect all those working in our thriving and collaborative international sector by enabling partnerships to be as open as possible, and as secure as necessary. Our Trusted Research and Innovation Principles set out UKRI’s expectations of organisations funded by UKRI in relation to due diligence for international collaboration.

As such, applicants for UKRI funding may be asked to demonstrate how your proposed projects will comply with our approach and expectation towards TR&I, identifying potential risks and the relevant controls you will put in place to help proportionately reduce these risks.

Further guidance and information about Trusted Research and Innovation, including where you can find additional support, can be found on UKRI’s trusted research and innovation web page.

Data management

You must adhere to UKRI open research policy and NERC data policy and complete the ‘Data management and sharing’ question.

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

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

Responsible research

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

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

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

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

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

Research disruption due to COVID-19

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

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

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

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

How to apply

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

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

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

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

To apply

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

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

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

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

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.

For more guidance on the Funding Service, see:


Applications should be self-contained, and hyperlinks should only be used to provide links directly to reference information. To ensure the information’s integrity is maintained, where possible, persistent identifiers such as digital object identifiers should be used. Assessors are not required to access links to carry out assessment or recommend a funding decision. You should use your discretion when including references and prioritise those most pertinent to your application.

Reference should be included in the appropriate question section of the application and be easily identifiable by the assessors, for example (Smith, Research Paper, 2019).

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


We must receive your application by 8 October 2024 at 4:00pm UK time.

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

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

Personal data

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

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

Publication of outcomes

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

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


Word limit: 550

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

We usually make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, therefore do not include any confidential or sensitive information. 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))
  • specialist
  • grant manager
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher
  • researcher co-lead (RcL)

Only list one individual as project lead.

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

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

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

Your SRM application

Word limit: 1

What the assessors are looking for in your response

In the text box enter the relevant number, from ‘one’ to ‘four,’ corresponding to the theme of this funding opportunity you are addressing, from this list:

  • theme one: Better understanding of the climate impacts of stratospheric aerosol intervention (SAI)
  • theme two: Better understanding of the climate effects of marine cloud brightening (MCB)
  • theme three: Using natural analogues and mining of existing data to understand SRM
  • theme four: Novel SRM techniques

Application questions


Word limit: 2,500

What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

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, or generate 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 this section we also expect you to:

  • indicate clearly how your application fits the scope of this funding opportunity, specifically
  • identify the potential direct or indirect benefits and who the beneficiaries might be

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the ‘How to apply’ section.

References may be included within this section.


Word limit: 2,500

How are you going to deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your approach so that it:

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

Within this section we also expect you to:

  • demonstrate that it is effective and appropriate to achieve your objectives, and in relation to the scope of this funding opportunity
  • demonstrate access to the appropriate services, facilities, infrastructure, or equipment to deliver the proposed work
  • provide a detailed and comprehensive project plan including milestones and timelines in the form of a Gantt chart or similar

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the ‘How to apply’ section.

References may be included within this section.

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 1,650

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

What the assessors are looking for in your response

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

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

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the ‘How to apply’ section.

The word limit for this section is 1,650 words: 1,150 words to be used for R4RI modules (including references) 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.

References may be included within this section.

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

For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word limit: 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
  • consideration for environmental responsibility including preventing environmental harm and enhancing environmental benefit as well as social responsibility including equality, diversity and inclusion, in line with NERC’s responsible business statement

If you are collecting or using data, identify:

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

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the ‘How to apply’ section.

Project partners

Provide details about any project partners’ contributions.

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 limit: 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, 37KB)
  • 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, then upload it as a PDF. If you need to upload multiple forms, then combine them into a single PDF.

Facilities should only be named if they are on the facility information list. If you will not need to use a facility, simply add ‘N/A’ into the text box, mark this section as complete and move onto 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 Funding Service number the system gives to your application 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.

Data management and sharing

Word limit: 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 a data management plan that clearly details how you will comply with UKRI’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

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

Provide a data management plan that clearly details how you will comply with UKRI’s data sharing policy, which includes details guidance notes.

Resources and cost justification

Word limit: 2,000

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 equipment
  • 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.


We will invite experts to form a panel and use the evidence provided in your application to assess your application against the assessment criteria.

We will invite you to attend an interview with the panel where you will be asked to present your application and answer questions by the interview panel. After which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

We expect interviews to be held in January 2025 (date to be confirmed).

Full details of the interview process will be sent to candidates in advance of this date following the application closing date.

We reserve the right to modify the assessment approach to incorporate a sift stage prior to interviews depending on the number of applications received.

NERC will make the final funding decision using the panel recommendations to ensure a balanced portfolio of investments under this funding opportunity.

We reserve the right to not fund research projects where research to be undertaken is duplicated by funding via another source. This may include where funding decisions by others are made after the closing date of this funding opportunity.


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


We will give feedback with the outcome of your application.

We reserve the right to work with successful applicants post assessment to discuss any aspect of the application before award (for example, discuss panel feedback or requirements from NERC).

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 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) principles of assessment and decision making.

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

Assessment criteria

The criteria against which your application will be assessed are:

  • vision
  • approach
  • applicant and team capability to deliver
  • ethics and responsible research and innovation

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

Contact details

Get help with your application

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

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Helpdesk is committed to helping users of the UK Research and Innovation (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 funding 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 a funding opportunity) will not constitute a priority case and will be addressed as soon as possible.

Contact details

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

For questions related to this specific funding opportunity, contact

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


Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

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

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

You can also find information on submitting an application.

Sensitive information

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

Include in the subject line: the funding opportunity title; sensitive information; your Funding Service application number.

Typical examples of confidential information include:

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

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

Additional info


Current climate mitigation efforts are widely acknowledged to fall short of keeping global mean temperatures below 1.5 to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, which is the target that would limit societal and ecological impacts.

In response, more extreme intervention ideas have proliferated, including ‘climate intervention’ (sometime referred to as geoengineering). Of these many approaches, the largest uncertainty exists with solar radiation management (SRM) techniques which propose to cool the Earth by reflecting away sunlight (solar radiation).

Currently many uncertainties exist in SRM modelling, including structural and parametric uncertainties in representing detailed atmospheric processes, dynamics and feedbacks. These result in different distributions of climate forcing. These variables are compounded by uncertainties in climate models, leading to significant challenges in predicting climate impacts. Therefore, there is a need to develop an understanding of Earth system responses to ensure there exists independent and trustworthy research in this field.

Simulations with the same climate models assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) show that SRM can reduce negative impacts of climate change. However, SRM may have its own detrimental side effects, and this research seeks to understand what these are.

This understanding must then be contextualised via risk-risk assessments: estimating detrimental impacts of Earth heating under climate scenarios versus the impact on Earth systems where SRM is deployed.

Future discussions of geoengineered climate intervention must be supported by robust scientific research, which is free from vested interests. NERC investment in strategic research in this area will provide impartial evidence for international comparisons to make informed decisions on SRM.

This programme of independent research aligns with the government’s current position of not deploying SRM but supporting research into the effects of SRM on climate and wider impacts.

This is distinct from the work of Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA). Our programme has been developed independently of ARIA’s work in this space. However, we will continue to engage with ARIA and other government bodies as this work progresses, as is routine in applied research.

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