About the Centre

SUERC was established to provide to the Universities of the Scottish Consortium collaborative access to expensive equipment and specialist expertise. This is a highly cost-effective way of adding value to their research, training and teaching activities. The main areas of strength are in geochemistry, radiochemistry and isotope biogeosciences and the Centre houses perhaps the most comprehensive suite of dating techniques available in the UK.  Of the thirty or so national facilities operated by NERC, the Centre is host to five, viz. the Radiocarbon Facility (Environment), the Argon Isotope Facility, the East Kilbride node of the Life Sciences Mass Spectrometry Facility, the Isotope Community Support Facility and the Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility.

The SUERC collaborative model evolved out of 35 years of experience of the Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre (SURRC); it is predicated on the individual research reputations of the academic staff, a high level of technician expertise and commitment, and a cadre of experienced postdoctoral research assistants and senior research fellows.  Increasingly, inter-institutional, cross-disciplinary collaboration has formed the basis for funding initiatives in Scottish science (e.g. SAGES) and the SUERC experience has greatly informed and facilitated such developments.

Mission and Strategy

The SUERC mission is to perform, stimulate and support high quality basic, applied and strategic research within and beyond the Scottish University community, and broadly in the Earth, Environmental and Biomedical Sciences.  SUERC provides a focus in Scotland for high quality research through its own research programme and by assisting partner universities successfully to bid for and deliver research grants. Through teaching and training SUERC contributes to the future supply of highly able scientists. Commercial research and testing is a valuable source of additional income and frequently contributes to national welfare and security.

Collaborating with SUERC

Potential collaborators are encouraged to discuss their requirements with the appropriate SUERC staff.  There is no ring-fenced budget to cover the cost of analytical work but SUERC staff will lend their support to applications to fund such work.  In addition, SUERC staff have some discretion to use resources generated from commercial activities in support of (i) pilot projects intended to increase the competitiveness of subsequent funding proposals, and (ii) research student projects.

Researchers from all UK institutions eligible for NERC support can apply for NERC Facility time which is allocated on a competitive basis by a number of steering committees.  Details of the application process can be found on the individual NERC Facility web-sites but it is strongly recommended that proposed projects are discussed in advance of an application with the Facility Heads and/or Managers.

Access to the SUERC laboratories and facilities is predicated on full collaboration from project inception to joint publication.  In addition, we are able to offer some of our services on a fully commercial and/or consultancy basis.