Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Understanding environmental change in Inuit Nunangat

Apply for funding for a joint UK and Canadian research programme investigating changes to the terrestrial, coastal and near-shore marine environments in Inuit Nunangat.

Proposals must consider one of the following themes:

  • Arctic ecosystems and their impact on northern communities
  • mitigations and adaptations for resilience.

You must be:

  • from an eligible UK research organisation
  • eligible for UKRI funding.

Your project must include:

  • an Inuk, Inuit organisation or community representative involved as either principal or co-investigator.

Your project’s full economic cost can be up to £681,250. We will fund 80% of this.

Find the full opportunity details on the Fonds de Recherche du Québec (FRQ) website.

Who can apply

Normal individual eligibility applies as in Section C of the NERC research grant and fellowships handbook.

Grants can be held at:

  • approved UK higher education institutes (HEIs)
  • approved research council Institutes (RCIs)
  • independent research organisations (IROs)
  • public sector research establishments (PSREs).

Read full details about approved RCIs, IROs and PSREs.

Investigators may be involved in no more than two proposals submitted to this opportunity and only one of these may be as the UK lead principal investigator.

All applications must have a Canadian principal investigator who may be an Inuk, Inuit organisation or community representative, or from another eligible Canadian organisation.

If the Canadian principal investigator is not an Inuk, Inuit organisation or community representative, one must be involved from the outset in the co-development of the research proposal and be a funded co-investigator in the project team.

What we're looking for

Proposals must support one of the programme’s key themes connected to the changes to the terrestrial, coastal and near-shore marine environments in Inuit Nunangat, as well as impacts on Inuit and community health and wellbeing. Inuit Nunangat includes land, water and ice across:

  • the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (Northwest Territories)
  • Nunavut
  • Nunavik (Northern Quebec)
  • Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador).

The themes are:

  • theme one: Arctic ecosystems and their impact on northern communities
  • theme two: mitigations and adaptations for resilience.

Proposals must also address at least two of the cross-cutting issues:

  • economics of Arctic change
  • resilience and sustainability
  • Inuit community health and wellbeing.

Proposals must be interdisciplinary and include effective representation from multiple disciplines, for example environmental, social, cultural, wider health interests, design and engineering.

Find the full opportunity details on the Fond du recherce du Québec (FRQ) website.

This programme is supported through the Fund for International Collaboration.

How to apply

Letters of intent

You must submit a letter of intent through the FRQnet platform. This must be submitted by the Canadian lead principal investigator.

Letters of intent should include:

  • CVs for all named UK researchers
  • UK budget breakdown:
    • indicative and combined for all institutions at the letter of intent stage.

The closing time for submission of letters of intent is 16:00 Eastern Daylight Time on 4 August 2021.

You are not able to submit a full proposal unless you have submitted a letter of intent.

UK principal investigators must ensure they have provided the Canadian principal investigator of their project with all necessary information in advance of this time to allow them to submit on time.

Full proposals

If your letter of intent is approved, you will be invited to submit a full proposal.

Full proposals should be submitted through the FRQnet platform by the Canadian lead principal investigator.

Further details can be found on the FRQ website.

With their proposals, UK applicants should include:

  • CVs for all named UK researchers
  • UK budget breakdown:
    • full budget for each institution involved at full proposal stage
  • justification of resources document (up to two sides A4)
  • outline data management plan
  • facility forms or technical assessment (if relevant).

Proposals cannot include studentships.

Data management

Applications are required to include a collaboration plan, which should include information on data management, intellectual property management and the management of research ethics. When completing this plan, UK applicants will be expected to adhere to the following data management requirements.

For NERC relevant data the NERC Data Policy must be adhered to, and an outline data management plan produced as part of proposal development. NERC will pay the data centre directly on behalf of the programme for archival and curation services. However, applicants should ensure they request sufficient resource to cover preparation of data for archiving by the research team.

For ESRC relevant data the ESRC Data Policy must be adhered to. The ESRC Funding Guide (page 11) provides advice with regards to data deposit requirements for grant holders and applicants.

Applicants should ensure they request sufficient time within the grant and adequate funding for the preparation of data for archiving. This should be specified in the proposal and data management and sharing plans attached to it as well as discussed with the UK Data Service when preparing the proposal.

For AHRC relevant data guidance set out on pages 65 to 67 of the AHRC Research Funding Guide must be followed.

For EPSRC relevant data, applicants should follow the EPSRC Expectations.

Services and facilities

Principal investigators wishing to use NERC services and facilities will need to contact the relevant facility at least two months prior to submission of the grant. This is to discuss the proposed work and receive confirmation that they can provide the services required within the timeframe of the grant. The facility will then 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 proposal. The technical assessment must be submitted with full proposals as detailed within the NERC Research Grants and Fellowships Handbook (paragraph 236).

The full list of NERC facilities that require a technical assessment can be found on the NERC website, excluding:

These services have their own policies for access and costing.

Use of NERC ships is not permitted as part of this call.

Applicants considering using NERC marine facilities must contact to discuss their requirement before submission of their letter of intent, as availability will depend on year of request.

The cost of Arctic field clothing must be costed into proposals as it will not be provided free of charge.

Final proposals

Applicants who are successful at the full proposal stage will be asked to submit their final proposal through Je-S (details will be provided at that time).

How we will assess your application

The evaluation process will be coordinated by the FRQNT on behalf of all funding agencies.

Letters of intent that comply with the eligibility will be invited to submit a full proposal within three weeks of submission.

Full proposals will be assessed by an evaluation committee and results should be known by early February 2022.

Contact details

Jennifer Morris


Jessica Surma


Additional info

Attend a webinar

An introduction to the new Canada-Inuit Nunangat -United Kingdom research programme webinar will take place on 16 June 2021 at 16:30-18:00 BST.

A further webinar will be held for building networks and partnerships on 30 June 2021 16:30-18:00.

For further details, please visit the NERC Arctic Office website.

How to find potential collaborators

As part of the call, the partners have created a platform for potential applicants to reach out to new collaborators, with the intent of fostering exchanges that could lead to partnerships in research.

The platform is accessible to researchers, community members and others from across Canada, Inuit Nunangat and the United Kingdom who wish to connect through this programme.

Use of the platform is not a requirement of the call, but is strongly encouraged. Information gathered will only be used for the purpose of supporting networking and collaboration in this programme.

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