Improving Model Representation of Turbulent Atmospheric Processes – New NERC and Met Office Funding Call

Support is available for projects to improve forecasts of extreme weather events and enhance the UK’s management of vulnerability, risk and resilience.

The new Improving Model Representation of Turbulent Atmospheric Processes call is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Met Office to improve forecasts of extreme weather events and enhance the UK’s management of vulnerability, risk and resilience. This should be through research into atmospheric turbulent processes and representation in kilometre (km) and sub-kilometre (sub-km) scale weather and climate models. This programme:

  • Aims to combine new observational data and process modelling of the atmosphere with theoretical developments to improve model representations of boundary layer and convective moist turbulence appropriate for km and sub-km scales.
  • Will focus exclusively towards improving Met Office weather and climate models.

Funded projects will work closely with the Met Office to ensure developments are aligned with improving the Met Office Unified Model, and proposals will need to demonstrate how the research stands to contribute to making improvements at these scales. The improvements should offer better realism for any given forecast, and the stochastic properties enabling it to provide better probabilistic forecasts. UK summertime convection will be the focus of observations for the programme.

The proposal can either focus on:

  • The observational component: observations for boundary layer and convective cloud turbulence; or
  • At least one of the three science themes:
    • Theme A: boundary layer evolution.
    • Theme B: moist convective turbulence.
    • Theme C: stochastic processes for ensemble forecasting.

In all themes, the proposed work must include a component that is focused on the translation of scientific understanding into practical formulations that could be implemented in climate and numerical weather prediction (NWP) models (eg findings that are quantitative and testable).

Grant must be held at UK research organisations eligible for UKRI funding (ie approved higher education institutions, research council institutes, independent research organisations, public sector research establishments and catapults). NERC individual eligibility rules apply to Principal Investigators (refer to Section C of the NERC research grant and fellowships handbook).

The total call budget is £5.1 million. NERC anticipates supporting five projects across the programme. The full economic cost of the project can be up to:

  • £1.125 million for a ‘science theme’ project (four projects will be funded).
  • £1.875 million for an ‘observational component’ project (one project will be funded).

NERC will fund 80% of the full economic cost. An extra £400,000 funding will be available for programme integration to successful projects. Projects must start by 10 February 2023 and last no longer than 48 months.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 19 October 2022 (16:00).

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