Met Office Academic Partnership

The Met Office Academic Partnership is a cluster of research excellence that brings together the Met Office and institutions who are among the leading UK Universities in weather and climate science (University of Exeter, University of Leeds, University of Oxford and University of Reading) through a formal collaboration to advance the science and skill of weather and climate prediction.

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

What will the Partnership do?

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

It will seek 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 will consider 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. This is 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 the science 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. It complements the NERC/Met Office Joint Weather and Climate Research Programme (JWCRP) which was announced in 2009.

The JWCRP is also critical to the UK's world leadership in weather and climate science but acts as a strongly directed programme concerned with maintaining and developing the UK's national capability in modelling and observations.

How will the Partnership work?

To foster the Partnership the Met Office has invested in jointly funded Chairs at the Universities of ExeterLeeds, Oxford and Reading. These Chairs will act as the leaders for joint research programmes and related activities within their institution and across the Partnership. The Met Office has recently established a new programme in Science Partnerships and its Head will work with the Chairs on the coordination and strategic direction of the Partnership.

Various mechanisms will be used to encourage the growth of the Partnership. Research staff will be supported to move more freely between the Met Office and the Universities to deliver improved levels of knowledge exchange. A programme of exchange fellowships and sabbaticals will be established and Met Office staff already located in a partner University will be more fully integrated into the relevant Department.

The Partnership will aim 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.

The partners

Further information on the partnership can be found on our partners pages: