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Met Office Academic Partnerships

The Met Office Academic Partnership (MOAP) will embrace the challenges set out in the Met Office’s newly refreshed Research and Innovation strategy, where our ambitious agenda reaches beyond the traditional disciplines of weather and climate science and technology. We recognise that to be truly innovative and to deliver our strategy, we need to forge innovative partnerships across traditional discipline boundaries. 

By developing our academic partnership, we can combine research excellence from the Met Office and leading UK institutions in weather and climate science, while reaching scientists in other sectors including health, technology, artificial intelligence, and the social sciences. 

To support delivery of the Met Office Research & Innovation Strategy, UCL, University of Bristol, University of Exeter, University of Leeds, University of Oxford, University of Reading, University of Edinburgh and University of Birmingham come together through a formal collaboration to advance the science and skill of weather and climate prediction. 

You can find out more information about the Research and Innovation Strategy in the following videos and slide deck:

What are its aims? 

  • To draw together world-class expertise around a focused programme of joint research to tackle key challenges in weather and climate science and prediction. 

  • To maximise the return on the UK's investment in research and development in its leading institutions, in order to provide society with the best possible advice. 

  • To combine our strengths to secure the UK's position in leading the world in weather forecasting and climate prediction. 

  • To build a cluster of research excellence that can be instrumental in determining priorities for future funding. 

  • To provide an outstanding environment to develop the science leaders of tomorrow in this very challenging area of research and delivery. 

What does the Partnership do? 

The Partnership sets in place formal arrangements for collaboration on key areas of science of common interest to the members and where alignment of research efforts brings substantial benefits in terms of the advancement of the science and services. 

It seeks to maximise the investment of the UK Government in weather and climate science, by ensuring that a critical mass of effort is brought to bear on key science challenges in a properly coordinated manner. This will allow the best science to be brought forward as rapidly as possible into the delivery of the best services. 

The Partnership considers where strategic investment of resources should be channelled, to seek to optimise the funding that comes available and to work together to influence the future agendas of major funding agencies at national, European and international levels. 

A key ambition of the Partnership is to provide an outstanding environment to develop the science leaders of tomorrow in this very challenging area of research and delivery. 

How is the Partnership different from other collaborations? 

Collaboration is the bedrock of research and science flourishes from the free and open exchange of ideas and capabilities. The formation of the MOAP was the first time that a group of leading Universities has joined forces with a leading Government Research and Service organisation to form a cluster of research excellence aimed at accelerating scientific research and its pull-through into societal benefits. 

The Partnership is about the Met Office reaching out to 'blue skies' research, working with the leading universities on major research initiatives and growing the next generation of scientists. 

How the Partnership works? 

To foster the Partnership the Met Office has invested in jointly funded Chairs at the Universities of Bristol, Exeter, Leeds, Oxford, Reading, UCL, Edinburgh and Birmingham. These Chairs will act as the leaders for joint research programmes and related activities within their institution and across the Partnership.  

Various mechanisms are used to encourage the growth of the Partnership. Research staff are supported to move more freely between the Met Office and the Universities to deliver improved levels of knowledge exchange. A programme of visits and secondments is well-established and Met Office staff are integrated into university Departments. 

The Partnership aims to provide an exciting environment for the education, training and career development of young researchers. The Met Office will sponsor undergraduate and PhD prizes, summer placements and internships and will seek to focus its existing CASE studentship scheme on areas of strategic importance as well as targeting the best candidates.