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Valuing Nature Programme, Health and Wellbeing

Photo of a field in autumn with trees shedding leaves of yellow, brown and green.

Our interactions with natural spaces can be experienced in a number of ways; we might take a stroll in by a lake or picnic with friends in a park. Currently it is challenging to capture what value people place on these experiences outside of the monetary value. A new funding opportunity for natural and social scientists, arts and humanities researchers to form substantial interdisciplinary research collaborations (with relevant reference to health sciences), to increase understanding of the role and value of biodiversity and ecosystem processes in relation to human health and wellbeing is currently open. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) alongside the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), are announcing this major new joint investment as part of the Valuing Nature Programme.

The focus of the call will be on understanding the value of the UK's natural environment for human health (physical and mental) and wellbeing within and across the following three areas:

  • Natural hazards and extreme weather events.
  • Human exposure to pathogens and aquatic toxins.
  • Urban ecosystems.

As a part of the call proposals should seek to combine different approaches, expertise, methods and/or data to explore cross-cutting themes such as:

  • Historical, spatial and temporal dynamics of value.
  • Cultural and social contexts of value.
  • Optimising value through evidence-informed design of interventions.

A funding pot of up to £3·96m (80% FEC) from NERC, AHRC and ESRC is available, which is expected to support between three and six interdisciplinary proposals of up to three years duration.‚Äč