AMF welcomes applications from all parts of the scientific community, including commercial users.

Priority will be given to NERC-funded science and applicants eligible for NERC funding.

Prospective users are encouraged to contact the Facility Manager or the relevant AMF instrument scientist prior to making an application, to discuss the project’s requirements.

1. Accessing the Facility

The following modes of facility use are applicable
a) Accessing existing data
Users accessing the facility in this mode will typically do so via the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA).  In line with the NERC data policy there will be no charge at the point of use for the data.  However, there may be staff costs involved in helping users interpret the data. Users requiring such help should apply through Direct Access (Section 6).  Where a project is likely to require more than 40 person-days of Facility staff funding will need to be provided and the application should follow the procedure in Sections 1.1 – 1.6 below.
 
b) Mobile instrumentation
Users apply for access to the Facility through one of the routes described in Sections 1.1 – 1.8 below. Instrument deployments requested through all routes other than 2 below shall normally be restricted to 6 months duration on site (this does not include shipping time). Applicants requiring a longer deployment should contact the Facility Manager in the first instance, before submitting an application.
 
c) Access to Observatories and Laboratories
Users apply for access to the Facility through one of the routes described in Sections 1.1 – 1.7 below.
 
1.1.          Applying for use via UKRI:  NERC grant schemes
PIs preparing NERC grant proposals which plan to use AMF should apply to the Facility (via the online application form) to obtain a ‘technical assessment’ and cost estimates for submission with their proposal.  This should be at least one month before the grant submission deadline.  The Facility Manager will provide a Facility Charge for the project (see section 2.2) to be included in the Je-S form under the Research Council Facilities box. This covers the Facility’s ‘ready-to-go’ costs. Additional Facility costs required to carry out the project, e.g. consumables, shipping or travel and subsistence, will also be provided by the Facility Manager and should be included as Directly Incurred costs on the JeS form.
 
Where a proposal requires more than 40 working days of Facility staff time the PI must consult NCAS (via the Facility Manager) and include the extra staff time costs on the JeS form: for example by making the staff member concerned a Co-investigator or named researcher on the grant.
 
1.2.          Applying for use via UKRI:  Non-NERC grant schemes
PIs preparing grant proposals for UKRI councils other than NERC which plan to use AMF should apply to the Facility (via the online application form) to obtain a ‘technical assessment’ and cost estimates for submission with their proposal.  This should be at least one month before the grant submission deadline.
 
As with NERC grant proposals, a separate Science case is not needed as the relevant Research Council Peer review outcome will be used to determine access to AMF.
 
Since AMF only appears in the drop-down facilities menu for JeS proposals to NERC, proposals to other Councils need a different costing procedure. In such a case the cost of all Facility staff time must be included in the JeS proposal, for example by making the staff member concerned a Co-investigator or named researcher on the grant. If this is not possible, PIs should consult the Facility Manager. Additional Facility costs required to carry out the project, e.g. capital rental, consumables, shipping or travel and subsistence, should also be included as Directly Incurred costs on the JeS form.
 
1.3.           Applying for use via non UKRI funding
To ensure transparency of access and to ensure science quality PIs will be required to submit a 2-page Science Proposal alongside the AMF application. This document will be peer reviewed by 3 independent members of the Facility Steering Committee (AMFSC) and scored following the NERC grant scoring scheme. Applications receiving a score of 7 or over will be considered eligible for Facility support, subject to prioritisation (section 2.1).
 
EU projects will be expected to recover costs as allowed by EU rules.  Projects led by public sector not-for-profit organisations (e.g. Met Office) will be granted access at marginal cost (including staff costs), subject to the Facility having available capacity.
 
PIs preparing grant proposals which plan to use AMF should apply to the Facility (via the online application form) to obtain a ‘technical assessment’ and cost estimate for submission with their proposal.  This should be at least one month before the grant submission deadline.
 
1.4.          Applying for use in support of commercial contracts.
AMF does not normally have the capacity to undertake commercial work, but if there is spare capacity commercial work will be costed according to the procedures of the University that employs the relevant staff member (and owns the equipment). Prospective users should contact the Facility manager for further details.
 
1.5.          Direct Access
This scheme is open to academic and research staff employed at UK Universities and NERC research centres. NERC-funded PhD students may also apply through this scheme.
 
Direct access allows for small projects which require 20 working days (1 month) or less of Facility staff time. The majority of applicants will be required to submit a Science Proposal of up to 2 pages which will be peer-reviewed by AMFSC: the exceptions are discussed in the section 1.6 – 1.7
 
Minor additional support may be awarded to projects already supported by AMF at the Facility Manager’s discretion. No additional peer review will be needed in such a case.
 
NERC-funded PhD students may request up to 40 working days (2 months) Facility staff support. Such usage will not be subject to AMFSC peer review. An application to the Facility will be needed through the Direct Access route to allow AMF to meet NERC reporting requirements. A 2 page Science Proposal is required in this instance which will be considered by the AMF staff member concerned as part of the technical review.
 
1.6.          National Capability Access
NERC research centres may use the Facility as part of their commissioned National Capability Underpinning or Long-Term Science programmes. Such usage will not be subject to further peer review, but an application to the Facility will be needed through the Direct Access route to allow AMF to meet NERC reporting requirements. Such applications are restricted to 40 person-days staff support, and must provide the necessary non-staff costs. A Science Proposal is not required.
 
1.7.          Usage of Facility by AMF staff
The Facility staff may utilise up to 10% of the NERC-funded capacity for Facility research and development purposes.  This will be by agreement with the Facility Manager.  If a particular project requires an abnormally large amount of the capacity the facility (>10% of that available annually), the cost of the work should normally be funded externally (e.g. via a grant or NC science programme).
 
An application to the Facility will be needed through the Direct Access route to allow AMF to meet NERC reporting requirements.
 

2. Application process

All potential users applying through Mode (b) or (c), other than commercial users, are required to submit an application through the AMF web site.  The Facility Manager, through his/her support staff, will be responsible for monitoring the progress of each application and will ensure that adequate communication is maintained with the user.  

2.1.          Prioritisation
When allocating resources the Facility Manager will prioritise as follows:
a) NERC grant applications
b) Non-NERC Research Council grant applications
c) NERC NC
d) Direct Access
e) EU grants and public not-for-profit organisations
f) Commercial organisations

The score obtained by a NERC grant and the score resulting from AMF peer review (based on the NERC grant scoring scheme) determines prioritisation within a category. If scheduling clash still occurs then allocation of resources within that category will be on a first-come-first served basis. Applications from NERC-funded PhD students will be given a peer-review grade of 7.

In the event of a scheduling clash that cannot be resolved within these guidelines, the Facility

Manager will consult with AMFSC. Disputes will be referred to the Chair of AMFSC.

2.2.          Costing

1. NERC grants
a) ready-to-go costs included in the facility cost section on the JeS form
b) staff time:
i) if < 40 days required and staff member not named on grant, staff costs are included in the facility cost section on the JeS form
ii) if > 40 days required, PI must agree with Facility Manager how the project is to be supported
c) user costs:
marginal T&S and consumable costs should be entered under the appropriate Directly Incurred cost category  on JeS
 
 
2. UKRI grant: Non-NERC
a) ready-to-go costs not applicable
b) staff time:
all staff time, costed at marginal rate, must be met by grant. PI must discuss with Facility Manager how staff costs will be met.
c) user costs:
marginal T&S, consumable costs, and facility capital rental, should be entered under the appropriate Directly Incurred cost category on JeS
 
Payment to institution employing relevant NCAS staff member
 
 
3. Direct Access
Projects must provide user costs (marginal T&S and consumable costs) only
 
NERC students, Commissioned NC science, Facility Scientists apply through this path
 
 
4. EU and not-for-profit public sector organisations:
a) ready-to-go costs not applicable
b) staff time:
all staff time, costed at marginal rate, must be met by the applicant. PI must discuss with Facility Manager how staff costs will be met.
c) user costs:
marginal T&S, consumable costs, and facility capital rental
 
Payment to institution employing relevant NCAS staff member
 
 
5. Commercial users:
Full costs, determined individually
 
Payment to institution employing relevant NCAS staff member
 
To apply send an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

By making an application you are agreeing to abide the AMF terms & conditions of facility usage which includes agreeing to our data policy.

Please do not hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions regarding accessing AMF and the facilities on offer.