7 June, 2012 News stories

Governing body considers combined management of polar and marine science

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is considering a merger of the scientific and logistics management of marine and polar science delivered through its National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

A marine and polar headquarters would deliver a single management function whilst retaining the identity of the existing centres as component parts. All the existing BAS and NOC sites, at Cambridge, Southampton and Liverpool would remain, without the need for significant relocations of staff.

Through combined scientific and logistics management and administration of NOC and BAS, NERC aims to better exploit the many scientific and operational synergies between marine and polar science.

More integrated management of increasingly expensive major research infrastructure, especially NERC’s four research ships, may achieve further savings through improved opportunities for partnership and cost-sharing with the international marine and polar sciences communities.

Council’s intention is to increase the excellence and impact of NERC’s marine and polar science whilst continuing to operate its scientific bases in Antarctica and South Georgia, and retaining the current level of activity in that region.

Council has asked the NERC Executive to prepare a detailed scientific and business case for the merger for its consideration in December 2012. As part of this process NERC will be consulting its staff and wider stakeholders on how best to implement the proposed changes in order to increase both the excellence and impact of NERC marine and polar science.

Further information:

Judy Parker
Head of Communications
Natural Environment Research Council
Polaris House, North Star Avenue
Swindon, SN2 1EU
Tel: 01793 411646
Mob: 07867 553053