NERC Funding to Investigate the Role of the Environment in the Health Benefits of Connecting with Nature

NERC funding will support a project exploring the role of environmental quality in the human health benefits of connecting with nature.

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has launched a funding opportunity to support a project exploring the role of the ecological quality of the environment in: health and wellbeing, health equity, and environmental benefits of interventions and strategies to connect people with nature.

Funded activities should take the form of a series of facilitated events, at which funded researchers and practitioners will explore advances in different fields; build partnerships; and develop collaborative ideas for methodological advances. This will culminate in the network awarding funding to the new collaborations to progress small proof of concept studies.

Activities supported by this call must:

  • Connect environmental scientists with wider ‘nature-connectedness’ disciplines and practitioners.
  • Explore how environmental science methods, approaches and datasets can be part of mixed-methods approaches.
  • Increase understanding of how to make use of natural assets to address health inequalities, while also securing environmental benefits of interventions and strategies.

Applications must be submitted by research teams with existing networks of researchers and practitioners working on links between the environment, health and wellbeing, and health equity. The successful research team is expected to use its existing networks to attract a range of participants from different disciplines and diverse backgrounds, including environmental scientists who may not have engaged with these issues previously.

The opportunity is open to UK organisations eligible for NERC research grant funding, including applicants based in UK higher education institutions, research council institutes (RCIs), independent research organisations (IROs) and public sector research establishments (PSREs) approved by NERC. Participation of the voluntary sector in planning and delivering the collaboration activities is welcomed.

The scheme will support projects with a full Economic Cost (fEC) of up to £312,500. NERC will generally provide 80% of the fEC, up to £250,000.

Projects must be delivered between November 2021 and March 2022.

Applications should be submitted by the 8 October 2021 (16:00) deadline.

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