NERC invites the research community to submit Statements of Community Need for facilities that are essential to the delivery of environmental science looking forward over the next five to ten years.  Only those ideas submitted to NERC via this opportunity will be considered for inclusion in the future portfolio. Such a portfolio may include new facilities, current facilities or an evolution of current facilities to provide new or enhanced capability. Statements of Community Need must be led by an individual but be co-created by a research community.

We recommend that you type the answers into a word document first, and then copy and paste into this survey when ready.  Please note that question 8 asks for an attachment to be uploaded. During this assessment process, the panel will not be obliged to read any embedded links, therefore we recommend that these are not included.

Data Protection: All personal data provided to UK Research and Innovation via this form will be processed in accordance with current UK data protection legislation.  Further details can be found in the guidance notes and on the UK Research and Innovation Privacy Notice (https://www.ukri.org/privacy-notice/).

Further information on this Statement of Community Need call can be found on the UKRI Funder Finder website (https://www.ukri.org/opportunity/nerc-scientific-support-and-facilities/). 

Please contact sfmt@nerc.ukri.org if you have any questions.

FORM UPDATED 21.04.2021, Question 8 changed from 'those directly involved in writing the statement of need' to 'community signatories to help demonstrate breadth of engagement and community need'.  Question 15 added for listing co-authors.

FORM UPDATED 18.05.2021, Question 8 clarified to state that physical signatures are not required, NERC requires a list of community members engaged.

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* 1. Name of lead author (for co-authors, please see question 15)

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* 2. Institute of lead author

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* 3. Email address of lead author

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* 4. Title of Statement of Community Need

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* 5. Vision 
Applicants must describe the facility including an indication of what technologies, services and capabilities are required to maximise its benefit to the research community. Also, information on the likely type and number of staff required for this facility. Applicants must also describe, why this capability is needed and will be needed over the next 5 to 10 years. Ideas must demonstrate how the facility is innovative and forward thinking, considering emerging areas, interdisciplinary research and opportunities for national and international collaboration. Character limit (no spaces) 3000

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* 6. Quality 
Applicants are expected to explain the relevant research areas the facility will serve and provide evidence of how this idea will address the long-term research priorities of NERC and UKRI. The Statement of Community Need should outline what excellent science will be achieved, specifically the research questions the proposed idea will enable the community to address, focusing on those questions that cannot be answered without this facility. If this would enable cross-disciplinary research, please state which other council’s remit(s) this would fall. Character limit (no spaces) 2000

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* 7. Users and Community Engagement 
This section must present convincing evidence of strong community interest and of strong community engagement and support during the development of the idea. As such, applicants should strive to include evidence on the following: 
  • The level of community support and engagement throughout the entire process, from development of the idea to submission of the Statement of Community Need. 
  • The process of how this idea was developed within the community 
  • How the applicants validated a wide breadth of community need for this facility (e.g. list of signatures) 
  • A description of the national and international communities that will benefit from the usage of the facility (e.g. expected number of users, type of users and type of sectors). 
  • Projected growth of the user base over the next 5 years. 
  • Information on key research groups portfolio, including emerging or current research leadership.
Character limit (no spaces) 2500

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* 8. Please upload a list of community signatories (a list of those engaged, physical signatures are not required),  to help demonstrate the breadth of engagement and community need, including their name, organisation and research interests

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* 9. Importance and Context
The Statement of need must present a clear explanation of the existing UK and international landscape, in terms of the available facilities and equipment, and how this will address a genuine UK need. It should also highlight existing capabilities and how the capability and/or facility would add value to the landscape or how a new investment will enhance the landscape if none currently exist in this area. The facility should deliver against short- and long-term objectives of NERC (as included in the NERC Delivery Plan), UKRI (as included in the Research and Development Roadmap) and other national strategic aims as well as unlocking further opportunities for national and international collaborations. Character limit (no spaces) 2500

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* 10. Impact
What potential impact will the facility have on the research community and wider community? How will it work to maximise those impacts, for example scientific/academic, people, economic, skills and training, socio-economic, environmental. There should be a clear pathway for expanding the user base and accelerating the identified impacts. How can such a facility support training of skilled people, or enable potentially transformative research with impact on the society, the economy or the environment, including through adoption of sustainable research practices. Character limit (no spaces) 2500

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* 11. Justification
Please provide an explanation for how this links and/or is different from other available capabilities, e.g. other facilities, large scale laboratories, institutes etc), and if appropriate, why such capability does not exist already. Justify why this model is the most appropriate, as opposed to other approaches (such as local provision / strategic equipment, etc.). Reasons to be considered may include: 

  • the need for specialised expertise in the technique,
  • a new technique that is still at the early stages,
  • unique capabilities (rather than just extra capacity),
  • efficiencies of scale,
  • fostering new communities or
  • any other well founded and clearly explained justifications for a Facility.  Character limit (no spaces) 2000

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* 12. Responsible Research: The Statement of Community Need is expected to detail how the facility would meet the UKRI sustainability strategy and NERC’s commitment to responsible research. Responsible research is defined as reducing harm/enhancing benefit on the environment and society through effective management of research activities and facilities.   
 
NERC seeks to actively promote responsible research practices. Responsible research practices seek to: 
  • protect/enhance the natural environment, e.g. through energy efficiency, waste minimisation and protection of wildlife (where relevant);  
  • benefit/minimise harm to local and research communities, e.g. though engagement activity; and  
  • promote an open and inclusive approach to research activities that recognise the benefits of diversity (e.g. through consideration of EDI in recruitment).  
Describe how the facility idea could enhance or create social, environmental or economic benefits, including through adoption of sustainable research practices. 
Character limit (no spaces) 2500

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* 13. Indicative Resources:  There will be future steps to establish the scope and scale of any funded activity. At this point we require indicative costs only over 5 years of operation. These should be split into capital requirements and yearly resource costs.  In cases where there are existing UK capabilities or equipment that the proposed activity could utilise, the Statement of Community Need should describe both: 
The costs of supporting this facility if the existing capabilities or equipment did not exist. 
The costs of this facility if it were to use existing capabilities and equipment. Character limit (no spaces) 2000

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* 14. If you would like to include references, please upload an attachment here.

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* 15. Please provide the names and institutes of co-authors

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