22 & 23 October 2019

Start: Tue 22 Oct 11 am

Finish: Wed 23 Oct 5 pm  (tbc)

Penrith, Rheged Centre

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is holding a 2-day sandpit in 2019, funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. The sandpit will be held at Rheged, Penrith, which has the benefit of being co-located to a number of important field runoff experiments. 

The broad aims of the sandpit are to generate research proposals which can:

  • Build a better understanding of the problems and challenges posed by water runoff and allow these to be framed in a clearer way.
  • Address the key research challenges that are identified through use of STFC facilities , technology and expertise.
  • Facilitate interactions between key researchers and end-users in water and agriculture.

The sandpit will include demonstrations of scientific advancements in the area of rainfall runoff modelling, including the demonstrations of real time flood forecasting for arable environments from JBA, and novel sensor systems for measuring diffuse pollution. Following the sandpit, participants will be invited to apply for funding for ~10 projects at up to  £20k each. The aim is for projects to deliver advanced technology solutions to address the challenges identified by the community.

The application deadline for participation in this sandpit has now closed

Water runoff from fields is a large, global economic and environmental challenge. It can lead to soil loss, pollution of surface waters, treatment costs to downstream users, maintenance costs for water courses and floods. The UK is at the forefront of research seeking to tackle such impacts via technical and policy measures delivered by research, regulatory and third sector organisations (e.g. the NFU and the farming community). Despite these efforts and some examples of progress, the issues and impacts remain largely unresolved.

Funded by the STFC’s 21st Century Challenge programme, CEH is planning to run a two-day sandpit event to build multidisciplinary collaborations involving STFC-funded researchers.

STFC has recognised that significant potential may exist in bringing its expertise, technology and facilities to the challenge of tackling runoff from fields by working with a range of other disciplines, including those more traditionally associated with the management of runoff. The anticipation is that STFC expertise and capabilities can bring about a step-change in resolving the issue.

A minimum of 10 projects of up to £20k per 12 months will be funded (more may be funded depending on other stakeholders contributing to the sandpit award budget). The aim is for projects to deliver advanced technology solutions rather than incremental changes. 


Call closes

Participant selection panel

Joining Instructions


Application Deadline for funding

31 Aug 2019

Sep 2019

27 Sep 2019

22 & 23 October 2019



PDF icon Sandpit announcement (pdf) . 

Note: STFC will make the final awards after successful applicants have submitted proposals through Je-S. We could agree to pay travel costs, e.g. for early career applicants, and STFC would administer this.

Event Date: 

Tuesday, 22 October, 2019 - 11:00 to Wednesday, 23 October, 2019 - 17:00

Science areas: