History of the programme

The SoS Mineral Resources programme was commissioned in two phases.

Phase 1

During 2012, NERC and EPSRC set up an expert group from industry and academia to advise on the SoS MinErals focus and develop a science and implementation plan 741 KB pdf that would best address the relevant NERC strategic challenges within the sustainable use of natural resources (SUNR) theme. The expert group was made up of the following members:

  • Professor Adrian Boyce (Chair), Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
  • Mr Alan Gibbon, Minerals Industry Research Organisation
  • Professor Hylke Glass, University of Exeter
  • Mr Gus Gunn, British Geological Survey
  • Professor Barrie Johnson, Bangor University
  • Dr Stephen Roberts, National Oceanography Centre
  • Dr Dan Smith, University of Leicester
  • Professor Mark Tibbet, Cranfield University
  • Professor Frances Wall, University of Exeter
  • Professor Bruce Yardley, University of Leeds

The expert group delivered their recommendations in the science and implementation plan, and these were used to formulate an announcement of opportunity 219 KB pdf for programme catalyst grants, which were aimed at enabling researchers to develop realistic and relevant research strategies and research partnerships with the potential for significant national/international impact.

Thirteen catalyst grants 3.7 MB pdf were supported during Phase 1. These grants allowed researchers to build partnerships and to develop proposals. The following kinds of activity were supported:

  • evidence gathering, strategic reviews and research needs/impact assessments
  • planning and hosting of themed 'research challenge workshops' and research meetings
  • building appropriate research strategies, plans and proposals
  • bringing together working partnerships, collaborations and management mechanisms
  • developing leading teams and management structures
  • developing knowledge exchange and communication strategies

A network was also funded and commenced around the time that the expert group delivered their recommendations in the science and implementation plan.

Phase 2

Phase 2 consisted of a call for main grant proposals. The successful projects now make up the programme.