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Strengthening UK’s geospatial monitoring and satellite-enabled climate services to address extreme conditions of water and land resources

Funding opportunity: UK Climate Resilience Embedded Researcher scheme – Phase 2 Embedded Researcher Opportunities, Funded through: NERC/UKRI

In this second phase of the UK Climate Resilience Embedded Researcher scheme, UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) is inviting proposals from UK based academic researchers to apply for placements at non-academic host organisations. Funding will be awarded as a research grant to the researcher and profiled across 12 months from 1 September 2020. Each researcher can apply for up to £70K (at 80% FEC). Up to five placements will be delivered through this first round.

Satellite Applications Catapult has been selected as one of the host organisations and our project is titled: “Strengthening UK’s geospatial monitoring and satellite-enabled climate services to address extreme conditions of water and land resources”

Our Project:

The aim of this project will be to strengthen the UK’s geospatial monitoring capabilities through the co-creation of satellite-enabled climate services to provide actionable insights to UK government and local communities to increase climate resilience and respond to extreme water and land-related challenges (i.e. floods, drought, biodiversity loss, land degradation). The project will start with a discovery phase to explore these challenge areas facing the UK:

  1. Flood prediction and adaptation
  2. Coastal erosion
  3. Land use and land health (i.e. subsidence earth movement, soil moisture, degradation) particularly in areas of urban/rural interface.

These challenge areas will be examined within the context of strengthening one of the regions and related economies most affected by these climate risks. Then scaling this out both across the UK and then to the other focus areas. Through the discovery phase the researcher would narrow the project down to a specific challenge and regional focus to start with.

During the following phase, the researcher would create a stakeholder map for the selected challenge, providing a full picture of the current landscape and then identifying any gaps. This would include stakeholder mapping of all end users to include communities and industry affected by these risks, academics in related fields, government agencies, and climate service providers already addressing these challenges.

The output of the discovery phase would be to:

  1. Engage with stakeholders; including current climate service providers and start to build a strong network across these stakeholders
  2. Educate stakeholders on how they can harness geospatial intelligence to improve the services they provide and help them form new partnerships to do this
  3. Identify gaps in the climate services market and
  4. Identify a case study for the project.

The researcher would have the opportunity to write a white paper and case study on the findings of the discovery phase. Next, the researcher would work with the network established to co-produce an ecosystem of satellite-enabled solutions to bring the existing landscape together and to bridge any gaps in the market leading to an enhanced market of satellite-enabled climate services to address the challenge identified. The researcher would work with industry and government to create a small consortium that could develop a prototype solution together, tests its feasibility and turn it into a demonstration. The group would also co-create a proposal to fund this idea and secure funding to continue the project by the end of the year.

How to apply:

If you are interested in applying, please contact our Sustainable Development lead, Heather Garrick at

The deadline to apply has been extended. Potential applicants must contact host organisations by no later than 11 May 2020, with hosts informing their preferred researcher candidate by 18 May 2020.