Announcing Working Groups for NERC Highlight Topics and Strategic Programmes in ‘Omics

 NERC has recently announced its mechanism for developing new strategic research programmes by inviting research communities to submit ideas for scientific advances that address its strategic societal challenges (http://www.nerc.ac.uk/research/portfolio/strategic/ideas/). ‘Ideas’ for new Highlight topics or Strategic Programme Areas will be consider by the new Strategic Programme Advisory Group (SPAG) and should describe a substantial evidence trail for the development and refinement of the proposed programmes.

During the International Environmental ‘Omics Synthesis conference (iEOS2014) in September we will be running series of working groups to develop ‘Ideas’ to put forward to SPAG.  An outline series of topics are given below:
1.       Using (e)DNA to enhance biomonitoring: understanding ecosystem health, function and service delivery
2.       Defining Adverse Outcome Pathways through Toxicogenomics
3.       Learning from the past to inform the future
4.       Defining community metabolism through metagenomics
5.       Exploiting ‘Omics to identify mechanism of resilience to climate change
If individuals or groups wish to add topics please email EOS directorate at tmt@ceh.ac.uk or kille@cardiff.ac.uk with your ideas.
To contribute to these working groups, please register for iEOS2014 at http://environmentalomics.org/ieos2014/ – Note deadline for registration is 28/07/2014 so register urgently to influence to the development of NERC’s future research programmes.
Yours sincerely,
Professor Peter Kille
(EOS Co-Director)
NERC Highlights Vs Strategic Programmes in brief:
Highlight Topics
·         Topic focuses strategic research on a defined topic area
·         £4m and last up to five years
·         Idea to call will take around 6 months
·         Two calls a year
Strategic Programme Areas
·         Major activities that address complex science questions
·         Size from £5m to £20m
·         Idea to call will take around 12 months
Heavy metals are essential for life, however, paradoxically exploitation of land for mineral extraction and manufacturing industry results in the release of large quantities of heavy metals that can be toxic to the natural environment. My research portfolio is designed to exploit state-of-the-art genomic, proteomic and metabolomic techniques to study the mechanisms by which biological systems handle heavy metals assessing: their impact as pollutants, their involvement in disease and the basic mechanisms by which they are bound within biological systems.

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