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NERC publishes its delivery plan for 2016-2020

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has published its latest delivery plan, which lays out budgets and investment priorities for the period 2016-20.

Montage picture: low emmissions road sign, stormy sea and harvesting a wheat field

Recognising that science is vital to the country’s prosperity, security and wellbeing, the government is providing real terms stability for overall research funding from 2016 to 2020, it said.

Each year NERC will invest around £290m in resource and £34m capital in world class labs, plus additional capital in large research infrastructure. It will focus investment where environmental science enhances prosperity, security and wellbeing in the UK and globally.

The new Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF, £1·5bn over five years) combines UK aid or official development assistance (ODA) and research objectives. As a new budget outside the research councils, GCRF provides a powerful and exciting opportunity for the UK’s world-leading environmental scientists, in partnership with other disciplines, to address major challenges facing the developing world.

NERC will manage its budgets to support an environmental science base that balances:

  • UK and international priorities
  • single and multi-disciplinary research
  • discovery science and strategically directed research
  • the diversity of environmental science disciplines, sectors and research centres.

To achieve these balances, NERC will review and evolve its budget processes and allocations as the implications of the new GCRF emerge.

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