Future of UK Treescapes Programme Announces New Fellowship Scheme

Fellowship scheme to enable researchers and non-academics to work on a topic related to the Future of UK Treescapes programme remit in a new disciplinary, institutional or applied setting.

Future of UK Treescapes is an interdisciplinary programme that seeks to significantly improve the environmental, socioeconomic and cultural understanding of the functions and services provided by UK treescapes. The aim is to inform decision-making on the expansion of future treescapes for the benefits of the environment and society. ‘Treescapes’ are landscapes in which trees are an important element eg woodland, parks or hedgerows. Three research themes have been identified to address the overarching objectives of the programme:

  • Theme 1: Forms, functions and values of UK treescapes.
  • Theme 2: Opportunities, barriers and pathways for expansion of UK treescapes.
  • Theme 3: Resilience of UK treescapes to global change.

The programme is led by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and jointly funded with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), with contributions from Defra and the Welsh and Scottish governments.

This Future of UK Treescapes Fellowship Scheme will enable researchers and non-academics to work on a topic related to the Treescapes programme remit in a new disciplinary, institutional or applied setting. Fellowships will provide a learning and knowledge exchange experience outside of the fellow’s usual area of expertise. The aim is to enhance broader interdisciplinary environmental and forest science capacity. Activity could include time spent exploring new understandings and conceptual frameworks relevant to the Treescapes programme, developing new methodological skills or data use, or exploring the policy and/or practice implications of existing Treescapes projects.

Fellows can be funded to undertake a diverse set of activities, including:

  • Cross-disciplinary dialogue and knowledge exchange related to themes in the Treescapes programme.
  • Translating environmental and forest science knowledge in ways that can be used in ‘real world’ contexts concerned with treescape expansion or resilience.
  • Visiting an international research or stakeholder institution to gain knowledge and best practice relevant to UK treescapes.

Applications are accepted from individuals in approved UK higher education institutions, research council institutes, independent research organisations and public sector research establishments. Full eligibility criteria are detailed on the UKRI website. Fellowships are open to applicants from any disciplines under the remit of NERC, ESRC or AHRC, but proposals must clearly demonstrate their relevance to the NERC remit.

For non-academics currently employed at end-user/stakeholder organisations, the fellowship grant should be held by their host academic institution, which must be eligible for UKRI funding.

The total scheme budget is £270,000. The full economic cost of the fellowship must not exceed £50,000 (funded at 80% of the full economic cost). It is expected that up to seven fellows will be funded. Fellowships can be funded for a minimum of three months and a maximum of one year, and could include full-time or part-time arrangements.

For applications with a focus on tree health, additional funding is available from Defra to support one or more fellowships as either a fully Defra-funded fellowship or Defra co-funded fellowship where Defra provides additional support to applicants for whom the 80% full economic cost funding is a barrier to participation.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 29 July 2022 (12:00).

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)