Accessing the facility


The next application deadline is 9 October 2024.

Applicants must discuss projects with the relevant NEIF laboratory prior to submission at the earliest opportunity.


  • Applicants must be eligible to apply as Principal Investigators (PI) to NERC Research Grants; view full PI criteria
  • Applications to support a student PhD project must be submitted by a PhD supervisor
  • Applications to Panel A - Radiocarbon can also be submitted by applicants eligible to apply as PI to AHRC Research Grants
  • It is incumbent upon individuals to check their own eligibility before submitting any proposal

Types of application

Applications to NEIF fall under three categories:

  • Direct Access - The project is not associated with a separate grant (i.e. is 'stand-alone') or is associated with a non-NERC grant. Proposals are subject to peer-review and approval by the NEIF Reviewer Panel. Support of a project is regarded as a 'grant in kind' from NERC and covers all analytical costs and staff expertise for the requested measurements, including student training
  • NERC-UKRI Grants - applications associated with a NERC or UKRI grant where NEIF support was included in the original proposal and project budget
  • Studentship Support - this category only refers to all PhD projects regardless of who is funding it. Support for Masters/other student projects will be considered as Direct Access projects

Application process

There are two deadlines for submission of applications for consideration at NEIF Panel meetings each year. Applications are submitted online via the NEIF Application Portal.

Applications will be graded by the relevant NEIF Reviewer Panel appointed by NERC (associated laboratory node indicated in brackets); these meet twice a year.

  • Panel A – Radiocarbon
    • Archaeology (Oxford)
    • Environment (SUERC)
  • Panel B – Life Sciences
    • Compound specific (Bristol)
    • Biology stable isotopes (SUERC)
  • Panel C – Geology & Environment
    • Argon isotopes (SUERC)
    • Geochronology and tracers (BGS)
    • Cosmogenic nuclides (SUERC)
    • Environmental & geological stable isotopes (BGS)

Where cross panel support is required (e.g. stable isotopes [Panel C] combined with radiocarbon dates [Panel A]) applicants are encouraged to submit one application. Cross panel applications should be written as a coherent joint proposal and not as two separate applications.

A completed draft of the application should be provided to the relevant NEIF laboratory at least two weeks before the submission deadline. The requirements of the project must be discussed with the relevant NEIF laboratory at the earliest possible opportunity.

To prepare an application you should:

  • read the NEIF applicant guidance notes (pdf)
  • contact the facility to get advice on your specific proposal and for eligibility advice
  • write a 'Case for Support' document and CV (see guidance notes for details of document requirements, which vary by reviewer panel)
  • ensure the PI has a Je-S User-ID (ask your research services office or head of department if you are unsure about this)
  • fill in the online form via NEIF application Portal

When you submit the form online you will be prompted to attach the Case for Support and CV. If resubmitting a proposal, please include a cover letter, a copy of the previous application and the previous decision letter alongside the new Case for Support in a single combined PDF. Ideally please keep the application PDF size down to 2MB otherwise you may need to resend it when we acknowledge receipt of the application. If you need any help with filling in the form please contact the facility.

NEIF Application Portal - Apply now

Approved projects