Since 2015, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has issued institutional quotas for its ‘Discovery Science’ standard grants. This is in order to limit the number of applications that an individual research organisation can make where that organisation fails to achieve a 20% success rate threshold (based on NERC application and award data from the previous 6 funding rounds).

NERC has now replaced the Discovery Science scheme with two new schemes from 2022, both of which have streamlined application process with reduced documentation required at application stage:

Exploring the frontiers of environmental science research
Funding to explore new ideas and approaches that may open up novel paths of research or result in discipline-shifting discovery in environmental science. This is a pilot scheme for projects up to £100k and may be used for proof of concept studies. There is no demand management for this scheme, but all applicants must submit a mandatory intent to submit notification ahead of the full application. See call details - soon to be updated for 2023 call

Pushing the frontiers of environmental science research
Funding to pursue an ambitious, high-risk and high-reward project in environmental science. Projects may be up to £1M and in exceptional cases over this amount (with prior agreement from NERC). Institutional quotas are in place for this scheme, as for Discovery Science, with the University of Bath restricted to one submission per round to each of the July 2022 and January 2023 rounds. We have therefore, as necessary, introduced an internal demand management and quality review process to meet NERC’s requirements. Please email at the earliest opportunity to be considered for the Bath-led submission to the January 2023 round and obtain a copy of the pitching template slide deck and invite to the panel session. See call details - soon to be updated for 2023 call

Internal process for January 2023 submission

  • 11 October: Register your interest - email
  • 25 October: Pitching to Panel
  • November-December: Proposal development
  • 30 November: Submission of draft proposal to internal peer reviewers
  • 14 December: Peer reviewed draft sent to panel
  • w/c 9 January: Panel feedback and selection decision
  • mid-January: NERC Submission deadline*

*Some dates may be subject to change depending on funder’s submission deadline. We will inform applicants the final dates as soon as these become available. This timetable will be updated accordingly.

Please note, your application needs to be uploaded to jes and undergo Pre-Award checks in good time prior to external deadline.

For queries please contact Dr Colin Waring, Research Development Manager in Research and Innovation Services (RIS):