Marine and polar facilities governance

Cruise Programme Executive Board (CPEB)

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) CPEB has been convened by NERC Council to:

  • oversee the implementation of the funding model for the National Marine Facilities (NMF) ship and technical support operations
  • ensure that the science and financial risks associated with the funding model are well managed by NERC in the future

The role of CPEB includes:

  • approving the publication of the NERC cruise programme on an 8-month rolling basis, taking full account of the associated science and financial risks
  • when required, deciding on the priority for programming of competing ship-time bids for science and income-earning cruises on the RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook
  • looking ahead at the planning for RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook, and identifying at an early stage science and income-earning opportunities that NERC should try to take advantage of
  • ensuring that NERC effectively communicates with the seagoing science community, especially when decisions are made by NERC that have significant consequences for the delivery of NERC science
  • considering any major issues or risks that the chairs of the NERC Cruise Programme Review Group and NERC Marine Facilities Advisory Board wish to raise following the meetings of their advisory groups

CPEB meets twice a year, currently once in the summer and once in the winter.

Cruise Programme Executive Board terms of reference

Marine facilities governance structure

Cruise Programme Review Group (CPRG)

The NERC CPRG provides objective advice to NERC on all delivery aspects of the operations that make up the NERC cruise programme, and monitors outputs from these marine services and facilities.

This includes science cruises aboard the NERC research ships operated by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), technical seagoing support provided by NMF and marine facilities provided through NERC’s barter arrangements with other operators.

The role of CPRG includes:

  • conducting an annual review of the operations carried out as part of the NERC cruise programme, and reporting to the NERC CPEB
  • examining issues associated with all aspects of these operations, and providing advice to NERC as and when appropriate
  • monitoring the level of performance of the services and facilities that are provided via the NERC cruise programme
  • receiving and discussing annual reports from NMF, BAS operations and NERC Marine Planning, in order to provide advice and guidance on these reports to NERC
  • giving advice to NMF and BAS operations (in relation to both ship and technical support)
  • monitoring the procedures and processes used by NMF, BAS and NERC Marine Planning in the provision of ships and facilities, to provide assurance to NERC that an effective, efficient and coordinated service is being provided to the marine science community
  • advising NERC on resource requirements for provision of the NERC cruise programme

CPRG meets annually in the summer for a 2-day meeting to review the previous year’s cruise programme.

Cruise Programme Review Group terms of reference

Marine Facilities Advisory Board (MFAB)

The NERC MFAB is tasked with developing a medium to long term holistic strategy for future equipment requirements in marine science. The strategy will respond to and reflect the community’s needs and assess current and future funding.

The role of MFAB includes:

  • undertaking an audit of marine equipment to establish what is available, what state it is in and how much it has been used in the past 5 to 10 years
  • identifying new or emerging capabilities
  • developing a strategy that prioritises the equipment portfolio with regard to emerging and declining requirements
  • reporting actual or predicted changes in requirements to the CPEB to help inform funding decisions

Marine Facilities Advisory Board terms of reference

Polar Research and Operations Board (PROB)

The PROB has a role in the governance of NERC polar scientific and operations infrastructure and facilities, making recommendations to the NERC Executive Chair and NERC Management Board (NMB) on their prioritisation and balance of use.

The Polar Operations and Science Team (POST) reports into PROB.

The role of PROB is to:

  • advise on the prioritisation and planning of the activities of polar science and support capabilities
  • advise on the balance of the deployment of assets between research station logistical support, infrastructure improvement and science or alternate delivery mechanisms.
  • advise on external customer use of infrastructure
  • monitor the quality of capabilities
  • advise on user community communications
  • advise on reaching net zero research capability by 2040
  • escalate issues to NMB

PROB meets quarterly.

Polar Research Operations Board terms of reference

Last updated: 9 January 2023

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