NERC invites proposals from the whole community for ATSC awards for training initiatives within areas of training priority.
All training initiatives must fall within the NERC science remit but may also include training at the interface between these areas and other disciplines, where many major research challenges exist.
This funding opportunity is to support training courses in the following areas:
- priority areas of identifiable training need relevant to NERC’s remit
- skills gaps generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Skills gaps created as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic can include both specific and transferable skills, such as mentoring, project management and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training.
You should provide justification for the training topic.
All initiatives must demonstrate both the need and demand for the training it intends to support and provide appropriate evidence. For example, identifying a training area where training is not supported by the NERC doctoral programmes (DTPs and CDTs) but where there is a recognised demand for these skills.
Find out more about the career and skills development available with NERC.
What we will not fund
Funding will not be provided through this funding opportunity to support currently funded training. Your application should complement, not duplicate existing training supported through other NERC awards.
Initiatives that do not adequately demonstrate both need and demand for their proposed training will not be considered for funding.
Training initiatives may take a variety of forms, including but not exclusively:
- short courses
- field courses
- e-learning, webinars and massive open online courses
- summer schools.
For examples of current NERC research centre training courses, learn more about the research centre training programme.
Training initiatives may form part of an accredited continuing professional development, postgraduate certificate or diploma.
All initiatives must offer places as priority to NERC-funded PhD students or UKRI-funded environmental scientists working within academic or non-academic settings for future careers in research and other contexts. Places can also be available to those working in a sector or discipline aligned to NERC’s science remit.
Places can also be offered to current or past NERC-funded PhD students to fill training and skills gaps created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NERC fellows (for example, independent research fellowships) and NERC-sponsored fellows (for example, NERC Daphne Jackson Trust fellows) are considered to be eligible for places. Where there is competition for course places between priority candidates, or between non-priority candidates, the award holder should offer places to applicants according to the applicant training needs and impact that receiving the training will have on them.
NERC particularly encourages initiatives that provide significant added value to other NERC priorities or investments, such as NERC’s strategic research programmes.
NERC expects all applicants to engage as appropriate with relevant non-academic stakeholders, particularly users of NERC research, when developing and delivering training. This engagement will be considered during the assessment process.
There is a total budget of £750,000 available for the scheme and NERC intends to support approximately 10 to 15 awards.
The maximum that you can apply for to run a training initiative is £60,000 per year, although it is expected that most training initiatives will request £20,000 to £50,000 per year.
You may however request up to £100,000 per year with further justification. Funding above £60,000 per year will be awarded at the discretion of the panel.
Fieldwork courses will be more expensive than remote courses, assuming no further lockdown and travel is possible.
Failure to provide additional justification will limit the amount of funding awarded to a maximum of £60,000 per year.
Funding should be calculated on a per attendee (place on the training course) basis, Proposals may request up to £10,000 in justified direct costs per attendee, although it is expected that most initiatives will require between £1,00 and £3,000 per attendee and proposals will normally look to fund between 10 to 30 attendees. The per attendee cost will be funded at 100% of specific direct costs only.
The cost per attendee requested should include, where appropriate, support for travel and subsistence costs for attendees to attend the training.
Funding to cover staff travel, subsistence costs, venue hire, materials and consumables can be included. Funding to cover staff salary can be included in the cost per attendee calculation.
Staff salary requested can cover time spent preparing and delivering the training course. Indirect and estate costs must not be included.
You must provide a breakdown of costs for your proposed training to enable the panel to assess the costs associated with the proposed training at a per attendee level and identify costs requested under each heading. Applications that fail to provide this information will not be considered by the assessment panel and will be rejected for this funding opportunity.
The assessment panel may recommend to NERC that individual costs, or the overall cost of a proposal, be reduced prior to making an offer of an award.
These awards are cash limited and additional funding will not be made available to supplement any awards.