Incorporating Nature into Decision Making in the Finance Sector – Finance for Nature KE Fellowships

Funding opportunity for UK research organisations to enable the sharing of ‘nature and finance’ knowledge and expertise between academics, stakeholders and user communities.

The new Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Incorporating Nature into Decision Making in the Finance Sector call is a focused knowledge exchange (KE) fellowship opportunity designed to actively engage the NERC and wider academic research community, and resources within that community, with the developing process of the Task Force on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TFND).

Launched in June 2021 by the United Nations (UNDP and UNEP), WWF and Global Canopy, TFND will help appraise nature-related risk. It aims to deliver a framework by 2023 for organisations to report and act on such risks and the redirection of global financial flows away from nature-negative and towards nature-positive outcomes.

The fellowships will be expected to:

  • Work closely with Finance for Biodiversity (F4B).
  • Contribute to the ambition of the opportunity by enabling the sharing, flow and translation of knowledge and expertise between academic experts from environmental sciences and other relevant disciplines and their stakeholders, partners and user communities.

The high-level approach to the work should be proposed by the applicants but is likely to evolve in line with the programme of TNFD action. Generating practical and also scientifically robust research will be core to TNFD’s success. Fellowships can focus on any theme or activity arising from research relevant to the TNFD process and user community. Approaches could include:

  • Strengthening existing partnerships with stakeholders.
  • Developing new relationships that lead to collaborative projects.
  • Identification of the knowledge needs of business, non-governmental organisations and policy makers.
  • Researching new market opportunities for the exploitation of research outcomes.
  • Providing briefings and reports suitable for policymakers and business users.

Normal individual eligibility rules apply (ie must be resident in the UK, at lecturer (or equivalent) level or above, and based in a UK higher education institution, research council institute, independent research organisation or public sector research establishment approved by NERC).

The fellow must be employed by a host institution for the duration of the fellowship, including any time the fellow spends embedded within another organisation.

The total budget is up to £300,000. This will fund two to three fellowship awards. The full economic cost of the fellowship can be up to £100,000, funded at 100% of the full economic cost. Awards will be for six months in the first instance, with the potential to extend by a further six months subject to funding (not guaranteed at this stage).

Funding will cover up to 100% of the fellow’s salary on a pro-rata basis (including superannuation, national insurance and specific allowances), plus up to £40,000 for travel and other associated costs. Direct costs only will be covered.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 18 November 2021 (16:00).

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