The call for applications is now closed.

Many thanks to all those who submitted proposals, especially given the challenging circumstances for many. Particular thanks to our Policy Stakeholders who took part in 22 online meetings with different applicants and 13 meetings fielded by The Crown Estate representatives with applicants. We will work closely with NERC and ESRC colleagues to complete the review process as soon as possible, recognising the ongoing challenges and competing demands on people’s time.

The application deadline was at 16.00 on 20 October 2020.


The Announcement of Opportunity closed at 16.00 on 20 October 2020. The below reflects the information available to potential applicants before this deadline.

The Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources programme is a £12.4 million initiative set to deliver research in support of UK marine environmental policy across five years. The research programme will support six projects covering a range of initiatives that seek to achieve the programme’s core themes.

Proposals can bid for up to £1.5 million for 36 months and must address at least two of the programme’s three themes.

In recognition of the potentially large number of applications, UKRI will be adopting the pre-score process as outlined in Section 5 of the Standard Grants Panel guidance. UKRI will also extend the start date for funded projects from 15 May 2021 to 10 August 2021. This does not preclude earlier start dates subject to notification of award.

During the submission period, many researchers will be seeking guidance on relevant policy stakeholder priorities. Find out more about stakeholder priorities here.

If you are looking for interdisciplinary partners, to complement your skills for example, please use the SMMR workshop – needs and wants document to assist you in your search.

Please note that only those who have formally registered a NoI will subsequently be able to submit a full proposal. The NoIs will not be assessed, and the purpose of this stage is to help estimate the number of potential submissions, identify thematic areas being addressed and enable the SMMR Champions to facilitate policy stakeholder connections.

Applicants should apply through the UKRI portal, Je-S.

General feedback

Following discussion on the 70 Notifications of Intent to Submit (NoIs), the SMMR Programme Board emphasised that final proposals should be truly interdisciplinary, incorporating a blend of natural and socio-economic research.

“The Science Advisory Group (SAG) for the programme sees inter‐disciplinary research as a crucial feature of the programme. All the themes will require an appropriate blend of social and natural science to meet the need to support policy outcomes and this is especially so for Themes 1 and 3. The SAG, therefore, advises all applicants to construct their proposals with these needs uppermost in their thinking. There is a need for this programme to break new ground when it comes to understanding how marine resources are used, how their use can be managed in future and what policies are needed to deliver good outcomes. The SAG believes that this topic can only be studied through considering both sides of this problem – the drivers of resource availability and the drivers of resource consumption, and by engaging with the policy community.”  – Professor Sir Ian Boyd and Professor Colin Moffat

Policy stakeholders have given general feedback on NoIs. Their feedback, and the general subject breakdowns of the NoIs received, are available here.

Who is eligible

This call is open to all individuals in organisations that are normally eligible to apply for research grants from UKRI Research Council funding. Please see the Research Councils section on this page for details regarding eligibility.

The SMMR Programme will allow Public Sector Research Exploitation Fund eligible bodies (PSREs) to apply. However, in order to apply you must be registered as an Independent Research Organisation (IRO). PSREs should check whether they are registered as IROs before applying. If you intend to apply or be party to an application for SMMR funding, please ensure that your organisation is a registered IRO. If you are in doubt or wish to apply, please contact Avril Allman as soon as possible to discuss the process for applying for IRO status.

Find a collaborator

If you are interested in partnering with another organisation or research group, please contact the SMMR Champions. They can either connect you directly or feature your request for collaboration alongside those below.

Currently, the organisations below are seeking project partners. More comprehensive details can be provided upon request.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum

The PCF is a coastal partnership that develops groundbreaking best practice in coastal management. Their expertise covers ecosystem services, water quality, marine renewable energy, sustainable recreation and conservation. It has strong links to all Welsh regional stakeholders including industry, regulators, environmental groups, local authorities and communities.

Professor Max Munday, Cardiff University

This proposed research project will develop a regional marine satellite accounting framework to assist marine planning processes for offshore development activity. The team is open to partnering their research with other well-developed bids. More details are available upon request.

If you have any further questions about the research programme and how to apply, visit our FAQs page.