Left - a lake sediment core recovered from a sub-Antarctic lake

Radiocarbon analysis of samples at the NERC Radiocarbon Facility (East Kilbride) can be obtained via:

  • NERC-funded radiocarbon analysis. Application to NERC to provide radiocarbon analytical support, free at the point of delivery, for projects which have been approved via peer review. If applying for NERC Standard, Small or other grant applications, 14C analyses must be costed into the grant application (refer to guidelines on this/see below).

  • Commissioned / Commercial radiocarbon analysis. The laboratory can perform Commissioned radiocarbon analysis of samples for NERC Centres/Surveys, and depending on available capacity, undertake analyses on a commercial basis.

NERC-funded radiocarbon analysis

The NERC Radiocarbon Facility (East Kilbride) is funded by NERC to carry out 14C analysis of samples for members of staff of Higher Education Institutions, NERC Institutes and any other persons who are eligible to be awarded NERC Research Grants and/or Training Awards in the UK (eligibility can be checked by contacting NERC).

Applications for NERC funded radiocarbon analyses are considered by the NERC Radiocarbon Facility-Steering Committee (RCF-SC) which has the remit to peer-review and grade the scientific quality of each application (see NERC Radiocarbon Facility web site for a list of panel members). The full costs for the analysis of samples will be met by NERC for applications graded above the cut-off grade defined by NERC.

The Committee meets twice a year and the deadline for receipt of applications for consideration at the next Committee Meeting is given on our homepage (the deadlines are usually in April and October).

All applications should be submitted on-line via the NERC Radiocarbon Facility web site.

The Committee will make every attempt to assist users to keep to their timetable. Within the constraints of the laboratory's overall work load, samples can be "fast-streamed" at the NRCF if such a need is demonstrated and justified by the applicant. Also, in some instances a few priority measurements may be supported as "range-finders", to facilitate project planning.

A publication for new/potential users (download PDF) was prepared by the Chair's of the Radiocarbon Laboratory Steering Committee and the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Dating Service (ORADS) Advisory Panel (now merged to form the NERC Radiocarbon Facility-Steering Committee), and published during early 1999 (updated July 2004). The purpose of the paper was to bring to the attention of the Quaternary and Archaeological communities the nature of radiocarbon provision in the UK, to provide an update on recent developments in the NERC-funded radiocarbon analysis service, and to offer guidance to those who might be interested in applying to NERC for radiocarbon dating/analytical support.

NERC grant applications (including Standard and Small grants) requiring 14C analyses

When applying for a NERC grant (e.g. Standard grant or Small grant) where it is envisaged that radiocarbon analyses will be required, the costs for radiocarbon analysis should be included within the overall budget of the grant application (please contact us directly to obtain the appropriate cost per analysis, which may be sample-dependent). If the grant application is successful, a copy of the application will be sent to the NRCF-SC who will inform the grant holder whether a subsequent application to the NRCF-SC will be required prior to submitting samples for 14C analysis.

PDFFurther information on NERC grant applications requiring 14C analyses

Commissioned / commercial radiocarbon analysis

The NERC Radiocarbon Facility (East Kilbride) has expertise and experience in radiocarbon analysis of samples for commissioned research (e.g. British Antarctic Survey, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and British Geological Survey NERC-directed research). We also undertake analysis of samples on a commercial basis (for example, radiocarbon analysis of methane and/or carbon dioxide in land-fill gas).

For commissioned or commercial enquiries, please contact the Facility directly.