What is the National Environmental Isotope Facility?

The National Environmental Isotope Facility (NEIF) is an integrated platform of state‐of‐the‐art isotope and organic geochemistry analytical capabilities and specialisms.

The Facility is delivered by a partnership of five leading UK institutions based at the:

  • British Geological Survey (BGS)
  • Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC)
  • University of Bristol (UoB)
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH)
  • University of Oxford (UoO)

NEIF is part of the Natural Environment Research Council's (NERC) portfolio of science facilities, and has a primary role to underpin NERC science and provide support to the UK research community, while being responsive to evolving developments and future demand.

The analytical capabilities and specialist application science expertise provided by NEIF cover a broad range of environmental science across NERC remit, including:

  • Environmental and life sciences (bulk, molecular and elemental characterisation of gases, liquids, solids, and extant/extinct organisms for all common stable isotopes and matrices)
  • Geochronology and earth sciences (long- and short-lived radio-isotope chronometers, cosmogenic isotope dating including noble gas isotopes, and radiocarbon dating)

As part of the NERC family of science facilities for the analyses of environmental materials, NEIF is strategically aligned with the NERC Ion Microprobe Facility, as well as other NERC science facilities such as the British Ocean Sediment Core Research Facility (BOSCORF).

As a NERC facility, NEIF not only supports a breadth of science but also a wide range of activities, including pilot studies to demonstrate feasibility, student training and analyses, through to large research grants and programmes. The NEIF ethos is centred on research support, collaboration, and community leadership, and the laboratories providing the capability have track records of excellence and cost-effective service delivery to the UK user community. As part of this, NEIF providestraining, from introductory to advanced, to a broad cohort of early stage researchers in a range of analytical skills and application science. Innovation to address ongoing and future requirements of the user communities is a priority.

These analytical capabilities and technical expertise can be accessed directly via an application to NEIF, or via other research funding streams such as NERC Standard or Large Grant applications.