Science and Technology Committee

No. 12 of Session 2002-03

27 January 2003


Wednesday 30 April at 4.30 pm

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee will be taking evidence from

the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) on Wednesday 30 April at 4.30 pm.

This will be a scrutiny session on NERC's work, strategy and expenditure plans, as part of the Committee's ongoing programme of scrutiny of the Research Councils.

The hearing will be held in public in a committee room at the House of Commons and members of the press and public are invited to attend.

The Committee will be considering NERC's grant application performance - in particular, the impact of the cancellation of the July 2002 standard research grant round - and its priorities for the 2003-04 to 2005-06 spending review period.  The Committee is inviting comments from users and other interested parties the performance and priorities of NERC. 

Anyone wishing to submit comments should write to the Clerk of the Science and Technology Committee at the House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA, by  Wednesday 9 April. 

Evidence should be submitted in hard copy, but please send an electronic version too by email to or on disk.  Guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at .

For further information, please ring the Committee staff on 020 7219 2793/4, or refer to the Committee Office Information Line on 020 7219 2033. 

Notes for those wishing to attend a public meeting of the Committee

Members of the public wishing to attend should present themselves at St Stephen's Entrance, or Portcullis House if appropriate, where they will be directed through security and to the appropriate Committee Room.  It is advisable to allow about 15 minutes for this. It is possible for the Committee Room designated for the hearing to change at short notice, but such room changes will be clearly  indicated.  Please ensure that mobile phones and pagers are turned off before entering the Committee Room.  Under no circumstances should members of the public address the Committee while in session.  It is not possible for seats to be reserved in the Committee Room but every effort is made to ensure sufficient seating.  Standing in Committee Rooms is permitted at the discretion of the Chairman.  Those attending meetings are asked to remain silent throughout.


Under the terms of Standing Order No. 152 the Committee is empowered to examine the Aexpenditure, policy and administration of the Office of Science and Technology and its associated public bodies@. The Committee was appointed on 12 November 2001.

NERC is one of six grant-awarding research councils funded by the Office of Science and Technology.  For details of its work, see .

The Committee has already reported on PPARC (HC 161 of Session 2002-03) and will be reporting on the MRC before Easter.