NERC Funder Group

What is the NERC Funder Group?

The NERC Funder Group was established in June 2016 and is chaired by Professor Mark Purnell, Director of Research, College of Science and Engineering ( with support from Dr Maggy Heintz, Research and Business Development Manager, College of Science and Engineering ( Maggy is currently on maternity leave and the current job holder is Dr Teresa Raventos (

The development of funder groups forms a core part of the college research strategy. One of the drivers for developing such groups is compliance with funders’ quality requirements and alignment with funders’ strategy.

We currently have a number of exciting projects funded by NERC (log in required).

We send out occasional bulletins with the latest news and funding calls from NERC. Please subscribe to keep up to date with the latest information.

Who is eligible to join?

The group is available to all researchers at the University whose interests are aligned to NERC's areas of priority: natural sciences and the environment. We welcome researchers who are engaged in NERC funded research, currently making applications for NERC funding or considering an application. 

A core group of academics meet in a structured committee to consider peer review and demand management as wells as other items. There are 14 academics who attend the formal, structured meetings. The composition of the group reflects the breadth of NERC funded disciplines and involves academics at all stages of their careers. Transparency within our internal NERC community being an imperative, minutes from meetings will be circulated to the entire funder group and each member will act as main point of contact within his/her department.


The need for a forum to raise awareness of and showcase our NERC funded research came out of the first NERC funder group meeting in June 2016 and led to the organisation of the first NERC Festival of Research. In the current, fast evolving funding landscape, interdisciplinarity will be a key requirement and it is therefore extremely timely to:

  • Share interdisciplinary knowledge
  • Get to know colleagues with NERC relevant research interests
  • Share good practice
  • Explore interdisciplinary funding opportunities
  • Develop internal collaborations

NERC Funder Group remit

  1. Developing relationships with NERC at multiple levels
  2. Increasing the number of staff sitting on committees and planning groups in order to influence NERC's agendas and strategic priorities
  3. Identifying NERC's key funder priorities and disseminating these to colleagues
  4. Identifying where our research fits, or could fit, with NERC's priorities and assisting colleagues to develop ideas to meet these priorities
  5. Encouraging staff to become members of peer-review colleges and to share the expertise gained with colleagues
  6. Where demand management measures exist or scheme bids are limited, providing a mechanism to meet these
  7. Using staff with relevant peer-review college expertise pro-actively as reviewers and mentors
  8. Development and facilitation of visits by funders to the University
  9. Co-ordinating responses to funder consultations, with RSPPC where appropriate
  10. Monitoring success rates

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