AMF welcomes applications from all parts of the scientific community, including commercial users, but 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 – 1.6 below. As AMF is a community Facility, instrument deployments 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. Longer deployments require approval by the chair of the AMFSC (arranged by the Facility Manager) and can only be supported if:
 
(i)  The project is funded through a NERC grant, or 
 
(ii)  The project is funded through a cross-council UKRI programme involving NERC: e.g. GCRF, Newton Fund, Grand Challenges, or 
 
(iii) Deployment beyond 6 months can be supported through a NERC Centre-commissioned  science programme (e.g. LTSM).
 

Extension to an active instrument loan can be supported if:

(i)  A further application is received for the instrument three months before the end of the initial 6 months period,

(ii) No other requests for the instrument(s) have been made in the meantime. 

No more than two extensions (18 months total deployment) may be applied for.

Note the capability to deploy for periods greater than 6 months and to extend a deployment is only  available to projects funded through NERC or a cross-council UKRI programme.

(c)   Access to Laboratories and guest instrument access to Observatories 

Users apply for access to the Facility through one of the routes described in Sections 1.1 – 1.6 below. 

(d)  Access to Observatories: Operation of on-demand instruments and of long-term measuring instruments in a user-defined configuration (provided this does not prejudice the long-term measurement programme)

Users apply for access to the Facility through one of the routes described in Sections 1.1 – 1.6 below.

1.1. Applying for use via NERC grant schemes.

PIs preparing NERC grant proposals which plan to use AMF (including applications to UKRI cross-cutting schemes where the application comes through NERC on JeS) 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. 

A separate Science case is not needed as the relevant Research Council Peer review outcome will be used to determine access to AMF.

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 non-NERC grant schemes from national and international funding agencies, and applications from public sector not-for-profit organisations. 

Organisations falling into this category include UKRI funding councils other than NERC, NSF, EU, UK Met Office etc.  

To comply with NERC reporting requirements, 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 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.

1.3. 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 institution that employs the relevant staff member (and owns the equipment). Prospective users should contact the Facility manager for further details.

1.4. 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 1.5 – 1.6.

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 and those funded through UKRI cross-council schemes involving NERC, may apply in their own right to AMF, and may request up to 40 working days (2 months) Facility staff support. 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. 

PhD students not funded by NERC are not eligible to apply directly to AMF, but eligible supervisors may apply on their behalf though Direct Access as above (and are restricted to 20 working days instrument scientist support).

1.5. 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.

1.6. 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.

Where the request is in support of commissioned National Capability Underpinning or Long-Term Science programmes no 2-page Science Proposal is required and no external peer review by the AMFSC occurs.

Where the request is in support of facility development no 2-page Science Proposal is required and no external peer review by the AMFSC occurs. The Facility Manager provides overview and sign off and a report to Facility Management is expected at the end of requested period.

1.7. AMF Access Pathway
2. Application process

All potential users applying through Mode (b), (c) or (d), other than commercial users, are required to submit an application through the AMF website.  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: 

  1. NERC grant applications 
  2. UKRI cross-council schemes involving NERC
  3. NERC NC 
  4. Direct Access
  5. UKRI Non-NERC Research Council grant applications
  6. EU grants, public not-for-profit organisations and recognised national\international funding bodies 
  7. 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 considered as part of Direct Access.

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

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

1.  NERC grants.

a) ready-to-go costs included in the facility cost section on the JeS form and recovered by NERC at source.

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

To apply use:AMF Application Form

2.  Grant schemes from national and international funding agencies, and from public sector not-for-profit organisations.

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(s) employing relevant NCAS staff member(s)

To apply use: AMF Application Form

3.  Direct Access projects must provide user costs (marginal T&S and consumable costs) only.

To apply use: AMF Application Form

4.  Direct Access for large instruments (X-band, Ka-band, Radar Wind Profiler when deployed away from current deployment location). 

a) ready-to-go costs not applicable

b) staff time 

staff time over the 20 days available through the scheme, 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(s) employing relevant NCAS staff member(s)

To apply use: AMF Application Form

5.  Commercial users.

a) full costs, determined individually

Payment to institution(s) employing relevant NCAS staff member(s)

To apply send an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

2.2. NERC grant costing structure (method for calculating ready-to-go costs)

  • Staff time: Staff time (up to the allowed limit of 40 days) is charged at a rate of £270.00 per day. This covers:
    • Instrument preparation and checking in after use, deployment, monitoring during deployment, quality control of data and delivery of standard data products to CEDA.

Staff time in excess of 40 days must be requested through the grant.

  • Staff T&S: Staff will follow the T&S policy of their host institution and submit claims to the grant PI.
  • Facility charge will be capped at £30 k for a standard grant and £50 k for a large grant.
  • Consumables: project is liable for any consumables the project will require. An appropriate amount will be arrived at after discussion with Facility staff involved.
  • Instrument daily access charge:

Instrument

Cost Band

2B Technologies Ozone Monitor - 1 Channel

1

2B Technologies Ozone Monitor - 2 Channel

1

Aerodynamic Particle Sizer - Unit 1

2

Aerodynamic Particle Sizer - Unit 2

2

Aerolase AL5002 CO Monitor

5

Ametek CO Monitor - Unit 1

2

Ametek CO Monitor - Unit 2

2

Aircraft DC-GC-FID

3

Aircraft GC-MS

3

Aircraft WAS

3

AQD Fast NOx

4

AQD High Sensitivity NOx

3

Boundary Layer Radar Wind Profiler operating away from home base

7

Boundary Layer Radar Wind Profiler operating at home base

5

Ceilometer

2

Cloud-Aerosol & Precipitation Spectrometer with Depolarisation

3

Cloud Particle Imager

3

Cloud Particle Imager - 3v

3

Dual Channel Gas Chromatograph with Flame Ionisation Detector (DC-GC-FID)

3

Dewpoint Hygrometer

2

Doppler Aerosol Lidar

5

Energy Balance - 1

1

Energy Balance - 2

1

Filtered Radiometer

1

Flux tower 1

2

Flux tower 2

2

GRIMM Optical Particle Counter 1.108

2

HATPRO Radiometer

5

Licor 1

2

Licor 2

2

Lidar Wind Profiler

5

Micro Rain Radar

2

X-Band Radar operating away from home base

7

X-Band Radar operating at home base

5

Cloud Radar operating away from home base

7

Cloud Radar operating at home base

5

PAN-GC

5

Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer - Unit 1

3

Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer - Unit 2

3

Sonic Anemometer 1

2

Sonic Anemometer 2

2

Spectral Radiometer

1

Sun Photometer

2

Thermo 42i NOx Analyser

2

Thermo 49 Series Ozone Analyser - Unit 1

2

Thermo 49 Series Ozone Analyser - Unit 2

2

Ultrafine Condensation Particle Counter - 3010 Unit 1

2

Ultrafine Condensation Particle Counter - 3010 Unit 2

2

Ultrafine Condensation Particle Counter - 3025 Unit 1 now 3776 unit 3

2

Ultrafine Condensation Particle Counter - 3025 Unit 2 now 3776 unit 4

2

Ultrafine Condensation Particle Counter - 3776 Unit 1

2

Ultrafine Condensation Particle Counter - 3776 Unit 2

2

Vaisala Radiosonde - Unit 1 Manchester

3

Vaisala Radiosonde - Unit 2 leeds

3

Windsonde Radiosonde - Unit 1 Manchester

1

Windsonde Radiosonde - Unit 2 leeds

1

Instrument bands are based on the replacement cost of an instrument. The band and associated daily instrument rental charges are as follows:

Replacement cost (£)

Band

Daily Facility Charge ex VAT (£)

< 10K

1

10.00

10K - 50K

2

20.00

50K - 100K

3

30.00

100K - 150K

4

40.00

150K - 200K

5

50.00

200K - 250K

6

60.00

        > £250 k

7

70.00

  • Observatory Access for guest instruments: 
      • By discussion with the Observatory, to cover local staff costs, power and any additional services required. In cases where minimal input is required, no Facility or User charges will be required.
  • Laboratory Access:
    • COZI (CO and ozone calibration) & PTU (Pressure, temperature and humidity calibration) labs
      • Facility costs to be included as below in NERC grant application
      • Directly incurred costs to be included as required

Facility

Daily cost ex VAT (£) 

COZI

£40.00

PTUCal

£20.00

    • EnFlo 
      • EnFlo specific services: by discussion with Laboratory
      • Facility charge of £70 per day (ex VAT) for NERC grants. 
      • Non-NERC grants: apply direct to Facility (not through AMF)
      • Directly incurred costs to be included as required.

2.3  Operational Exceptions

In instances where mobile instrumentation is deployed supporting a project that is coming to an end a Direct Access application requesting a continuation of the deployment can be supported if:

  1. The applicant is not associated with the original project
  2. There are no other projects requesting access to the particular facility
  3. Any costs (other than shipping) associated with operations in the locations are met by the Direct Access project.
  4. The PI of the original project is amenable to deferring payment for the return shipment until the Direct Access project has finished. The two project PI must come to an agreement independently of AMF
  5. if (d) does not occur the Direct Access project will be charged for all costs incurred in returning the instrument to its home base.

Due to the level of support required for operation the following instruments have two modes of operation: 1) operation at host observatory and 2) operation at another site in the UK or abroad. The instruments are:

  • Mobile X-band Radar
  • Mobile Ka-band Radar
  • Boundary Layer Radar Wind Profiler  

These instruments are available via grant and Direct Access when operating at their home base.  

These instruments are only available for operation away from their home base when accessed through “applying for a NERC grant” path. Operational deployments away from the instrument’s home base of operations is not available via the Direct Access scheme. 

 

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.