Science Committee



The Science Committee brings broad strategic perspective and expertise to support the development and delivery of NERC strategic priorities, investments and policies. It advises the Executive and Council on NERC’s research, innovation, training and national capability portfolio, and will recommend NERC strategic research and innovation investments.

The Science Committee provides advice on:

  1. How to support an excellent and sustainable UK environmental science community that seizes opportunities, in UKRI and international contexts, to achieve the following goals:
      • to advance the frontiers of knowledge
      • to address government, UKRI and NERC strategic priorities
      • to deliver beneficial economic and social impacts
  2. Priority areas for future rounds of NERC strategic research and innovation investment.
  3. Environmental science priorities for the UKRI Infrastructures Roadmap, and for NERC capital investment.
  4. Commissioning, effectiveness and performance of NERC investments, including:
      • discovery science
      • strategic research and innovation
      • postgraduate training and fellowships
      • national capability
      • scientific infrastructure and capital
      • international partnership and subscriptions
      • public engagement
  5. NERC funding policy for all of the above funding streams.

The Science Committee provides recommendations for new NERC investment:

  • strategic research and innovation programmes: assessing submitted proposals against published criteria and recommending which proposals should be funded by NERC
  • strategic research and innovation highlight topics: assessing submitted ideas for highlight topic against published criteria and recommending which should go forward to a funding opportunity, and at what level of expenditure


  • Professor David Hannah, University of Birmingham (Chair)
  • Professor Nicola Beaumont, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • Professor Mike Bentley, Durham University
  • Professor Jane Hill, University of York
  • Professor Anna Hogg, University of Leeds
  • Professor Ian Main, The University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Andrew Manning, University of East Anglia
  • Professor Dan Parsons, Loughborough University
  • Professor Daniela Schmidt, University of Bristol
  • Professor Marian Scott, University of Glasgow
  • Professor David Topping, The University of Manchester
  • Dr Glenn Watts, Environment Agency
  • Professor Helen Williams, University of Cambridge

Conflict of interest register for the Science Committee.


NERC Science Committee meeting agendas and summaries.

Meetings in 2025

  • 4 to 5 March 2025
  • 2 to 3 July 2025
  • 15 to 16 October 2025

Meetings in 2024

  • 16 to 17 October 2024
  • 3 to 4 July 2024
  • 24 to 25 January 2024

Meetings in 2023

  • 18 to 19 October 2023
  • 5 to 6 July 2023
  • 26 to 27 April 2023
  • 26 to 27 January 2023

Minutes and agendas from previous meetings on the UK Government Web Archive.

Last updated: 16 April 2024

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