Strategic research

NERC's strategic research funding supports research into environmental areas of major economic and societal importance. It aims to address key science challenges and priorities for the 21st century.

NERC plans strategic research funding opportunities via its Strategic Programme Advisory Group, which uses ideas from the community on where strategic research should be targeted.

Once strategic research funding opportunities have been agreed, the community are asked to respond with grant proposals. View details of planned funding opportunities.

There are three types of strategic research funding:

  • Highlight topics: funding opportunities once a year, requesting proposals for large-size grants to address one of a defined list of strategic topics.
  • NERC strategic programme areas: there will be one or more funding opportunity per programme, requesting proposals for grants to address specific aspects of the programme's objectives.
  • Joint strategic response: when NERC contributes to strategic activities led by other funders, our partners may publish and manage the funding opportunity.

Until 2014, strategic research was funded primarily through NERC's research programmes, many of which remain active and continue to offer funding opportunities. View the list of current research programmes to find out more.