Published: 13th September 2021

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Pre-announcement: ‘Exploring the role of environmental quality in connecting people with nature to improve health’ funding opportunity

NERC will shortly be inviting applications to the ‘Exploring the role of environmental quality in connecting people with nature to improve health’ funding opportunity.

NERC is seeking a research team with existing networks of researchers and practitioners working on the links between the environment, health and wellbeing, and health equity to lead an activity that aims to:

  1. Facilitate greater engagement of environmental scientists with wider disciplines and practitioners in the area of environment, health and wellbeing and health equity.
  2. Explore how methods, approaches and datasets from the environmental sciences (e.g. concepts of non-linearity and multiple scales, longitudinal datasets of environmental change) can be incorporated into mixed-methods approaches to investigate the role of ecological quality of the environment in health and wellbeing, health equity and environmental benefits of connecting people with nature; and
  3. Provide foundations for understanding how best to mobilise natural assets to target health inequalities, whilst also securing environmental benefits of interventions and strategies.

It is anticipated that the activity will take the form of a series of facilitated events where researchers and practitioners from relevant disciplines and backgrounds (e.g. environment, health, arts and humanities, and social sciences) explore advances in different fields, build partnerships, and develop collaborative ideas for methodological advances, culminating in the project awarding funding to the new collaborations to progress small proof-of-concept studies. Normal individual eligibility applies. Individuals wishing to apply as a PI or Co-I can only be listed on one application.

Up to £250,000 (80% FEC) is available to support this activity.

The project should aim to commence in November 2021, holding the collaboration activities and disbursing funds for the proof of concept studies before March 2022. Proof-of-concept studies may continue up to 6 months beyond the end of the grant.

NERC values equality, diversity, and inclusion across all its funding programmes, and actively encourages teams to be made up of diverse groups of researchers, particularly from underrepresented groups.


​We anticipate that this opportunity will be published on the  UKRI Funding Finder mid-September 2021. For all enquiries, please contact: