Working with Others


CEH has a remit for long-term environmental monitoring for the public good which includes modelling, interpretation and the understanding of the collected data. It is vitally important that the research that we do takes account of the needs of the whole spectrum of potential end-users and is, where appropriate, user-inspired and can be applied.

Collaborative working

Already we work with government and other public-sector bodies, agencies, voluntary societies, academia and industry and commerce – nationally and internationally (see our Collaborative Working page). Examples include the Natural Hazards Partnership and the Environment Science to Services Partnership (ESSP).

But we would like to engage with any organisation to discuss ideas and potential projects about how our data and knowledge can help solve their problems and how we can work together.

There are a number of ways in which you can work with us – some are listed below – but the first thing to do is to contact us, through CEH Enquiries, to see how we can help.

Businesses and third sector

We interact with businesses and third sector organisations by means of:

  • Advice
  • Consultancy on scientific problems: These can be direct contracts on specific problems or through Natural Environment Research Council grants such as Connect A (up to £4,000)
  • Knowledge transfer partnerships: three-way projects, between an academic institution, a business and a recently qualified person
  • NERC Knowledge Exchange fellowships in topics including Biodiversity Offsetting. and water and climate change, which produced a workshop on nitrogen impacts.
  • CASE studentships: collaboration between the research community and the end-users of research, where a PhD student spends up to 18 months with a business partner
  • Supporting research grants through partnership with either in kind or direct funding
  • As subcontractors on relevant tenders (e.g. European, or Defra tenders)
  • We are particularly interested to hear from Small to Medium Enterprises with specific scientific challenges. When you contact us, please describe the problem or identify the bidding opportunity, what the envisaged benefits would be, and what potential application or impact the solution would have. You can also use our staff webpages to help identify the scientist with whom you need to get in touch.


Much of the science that we do is carried out at the behest of government departments. We believe that one of the most effective ways of exchanging knowledge is through people transfer. As part of NERC, we have access to the Policy Placement Scheme. This allows:

  • "Fellowship" placement, whereby the applicant works for three to 12 months in a host organisation on a topic specified by the organisation
  • "Work shadow" placement, whereby the applicant sets up their own work shadowing arrangement in a host organisation, for up to one month


We work with a wide variety of academic institutions in the UK and overseas through collaborations in projects and programmes.

We also receive advice from the academic scientists who comprise CEH's Science Development Group, the membership of which is reviewed periodically.

The international dimension

We work with a multitude of international organisations, such as the European Space Agency and the Bureau of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

CEH works closely with others to coordinate UK input to the UN’s major hydrological programmes under WMO and UNESCO

In Europe, CEH collaborates in the science programmes of the European Union, and is a member of PEER (Partnership for European Environmental Research) and EurAqua.

Science in society

At CEH, we believe that public understanding about the environment is essential, and we encourage our staff to engage appropriately in informing the public. We do this through a number of means – please click here for more information.

Much of our monitoring is done through volunteering – either directly for us or through the collating of data from monitoring schemes by the Biological Records Centre (BRC). If you are interested in this type of activity please visit the BRC website, where you can find details of the different schemes.

Long-term monitoring and data collection

The majority of our work in long-term environmental monitoring is carried out in collaboration with a wide range of partners, and a number of our monitoring sites are European Commission Infrastructure recognised sites.

We also work on sites managed by others, such as the Invereshie and Inshriach NNR.

Involving members of the public in environmental monitoring is a highly effective way of increasing understanding of and commitment to key environmental issues. Defra and the Defra arms-length bodies support a number of monitoring schemes run by CEH which have been designed to optimise the resources of the volunteer community.

Some activities tap into the enthusiasm of existing interest groups, which enables experts in teams such as the Biological Records Centre to collate the records derived from an estimated 75,000 hours of wildlife recording time.

Other activities recruit volunteers for specific monitoring schemes. These range from a network of 50 volunteers who provide information to the Isle of May monitoring team, using European Shags as a measure of environmental variability, to the UK Eutrophying and Acidifying Atmospheric Pollutants network volunteers, who collect samples at the majority of the 100 sites in the network as a measure of the consequence of nitrogen deposition in the environment.

Such evidence can inform and validate policies to enhance and protect the environment while supporting the farming food production chain and ensuring society is directly involved.

More information

For details of the major datasets hosted by CEH, please see our Data Holdings webpage.

Our data is available for use through the CEH Information Gateway.