Proposals are invited for a new £8 million research programme on Unconventional hydrocarbons in the UK energy system: Environmental and socio-economic impacts and processes. The programme is jointly supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the ESRC.

The outcome of this research programme will be the provision of an updated independent scientific evidence base to understand potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of unconventional hydrocarbon development.

Research proposals are sought for:

  • Cross-cutting consortium addressing challenge 1
    • Challenge 1: The evolving shale gas landscape.
      One multi-institutional consortium bringing together environmental science and social science with support totalling up to £1 million (80% full economic cost) for four years' duration.
  • Discipline-specific projects addressing challenges 2-5
    • Challenge 2: Shale resource potential, distribution, composition, mechanical and flow properties.
    • Challenge 3: Coupled processes from reservoir to surface.
    • Challenge 4: Contaminant pathways and receptor impacts.
      Three multi-institution consortium projects (one project per challenge) that may include research studentships, with support totalling up to £1.7 million each (80% full economic cost) for up to four years' duration.
    • Challenge 5: Socio-economic impacts £1.5 million (80% full economic cost) is available to fund three to six projects in the social sciences (consortium or single-institution) for up to four years' duration.

Town hall meeting

A town hall meeting will be held on 4 October 2017 in Birmingham. The purpose of the day will be:

  • to provide a forum for discussion of the science challenges and possible approaches to undertaking the research
  • to provide an opportunity to broker potential collaborations and partnerships.

The event will also ensure the research community is aware of the NERC national capability available to support this research, where appropriate, including the recently confirmed UK geoenergy observatories field site infrastructure.

Attendance at this networking event is not a pre-requisite for the submission of proposals to this call.

How to apply

For full call details and information on how to apply, visit the NERC website.

The deadline for receipt of intention to submit notifications is 16:00 on 3 November 2017.
The closing date for full proposals is 16:00 on 30 November 2017.