NERC public engagement strategy

As the UK’s largest funder of independent environmental science, we have a responsibility to engage society with the science we fund. We want to meaningfully engage and involve people with current environmental science which has relevance to all of our daily lives, and maximise the impact of the research we fund. By listening to, engaging and involving the public, we aim to fund the best environmental science relevant to society, to enable informed, evidence-based decisions to be made by all.

Supporting the UKRI vision: discuss, create and participate

NERC has a strategy for public engagement with research and innovation, which supports the UKRI public engagement strategy. We work alongside the whole of UKRI to deliver our strategy.

Public engagement strategy and glossary

The NERC Public Engagement with Research and Innovation Strategy outlines our purpose, objectives, approach and commitment to public engagement from 2019 to 2025. Our activities, and those we commission, will be guided by five objectives:

  • to build the capacity of our researchers to engage
  • to promote engaged research
  • to convene public debate about contemporary issues in environmental science
  • to inspire public audiences with environmental science
  • to listen to the public through public dialogue to inform NERC.

NERC’s mission to engage the public with environmental science is referred to in the Higher Education & Research Act (PDF).

Our strategy is supported by a public engagement glossary, which has definitions of terms associated with public engagement as used by NERC, and provided for clarity for when NERC uses a term.

In developing this strategy, we commissioned Helix Research and Evaluation and NCCPE to review the previous status of public engagement with environmental science; and seek feedback on the new strategy, through consultation with stakeholders and an open online survey.


You can ask us for more information about public engagement.


Last updated: 18 December 2023

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