Future of UK Treescapes Programme Call for Interdisciplinary Research Projects

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Welsh Government and Scottish Government, has issued a call for proposals for large interdisciplinary research projects under the Future of UK Treescapes programme.

Future of UK Treescapes is an interdisciplinary programme, led by NERC, 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. It is recognised that landscapes must become more resilient to pressures (such as changing climate and competing land use demands) and that there is great potential for treescape management and expansion to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

There is a need to recognise the multiple environmental, social, economic and cultural benefits that improved treescapes can deliver. The funders therefore expect to support a balanced portfolio of awards that collectively address the following three research themes. Each proposal must address one or more theme:

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.

Proposals must take an interdisciplinary approach that crosses research council boundaries. This approach across the environmental and social sciences and the arts and humanities is required to improve understanding of the complex interplay between environmental conditions and constraints on the treescape with social and cultural requirements.

Applications are accepted from individuals in approved UK higher education institutions, research council institutes and independent research organisations. Proposals must bring together environmental scientists, social scientists, economists, and arts and humanities researchers to form substantial research collaborations.

Forest Research cannot apply for funding directly under this call but can submit joint collaborative research proposals with organisations that are eligible to receive UKRI funding, or can participate as a project partner.

NERC, AHRC and ESRC have allocated up to £10 million to this call. In addition, Defra, Welsh Government and Scottish Government will provide up to £900,000 to support Forest Research to collaborate with eligible research organisations and submit joint research proposals.

Funding of up to £2 million per project is available for a maximum of three years. Successful proposals will be funded at 80% fEC. The funders anticipate supporting up to six projects. Projects must start by 1 August 2021.

The funders will support a minimum of three programme-wide events to be held in the UK over the lifetime of the programme, including a kick-off meeting and a final event. The applicants should budget appropriate travel and subsistence costs for at least three programme meetings in their proposals to enable effective participation at these events.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 8 December 2020 (16:00).

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.