Through its urgency grants scheme, NERC offers researchers funding to gather data following unpredictable natural events. Geographer Andy Russell spoke to Rebecca Hill about accessing this unusual source of funding.
How aware are researchers of NERC’s urgency grant?
I think it’s better known now than it used to be. I remember when a volcano erupted in Iceland in 1996, I was fairly young at the time, and a senior researcher I met in the corridor said, “I think NERC have got an urgency scheme, you should give them a ring.” I hadn’t heard about it previously. Nowadays, most of my colleagues in the department know about the scheme, but it doesn’t get flagged up [in the same way as a thematic call]. The onus is on the principal investigator to get off their backside and contact NERC to inquire whether a project would qualify.