We’re gathering evidence of the National Chemical Database Service’s scientific impact to ensure UK academia’s continued access to these important resources – and we need your help.
The National Chemical Database Service is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council on the basis that it meets a community need: access to specialist databases that enable research in chemistry and related fields. As part of EPSRC’s routine review of mid-range facility provision, we are preparing an application (called a Statement of Need) to justify continued support of the NCDS after 2017. While we will collate the application on behalf of our Advisory Board, it represents the views and needs of the UK scientific community, so your input is vital to its success. You can help us ensure that all of UK academia retains access to the NCDS resources in the following ways:
- Complete our questionnaire (5–10 minutes)
- Contribute some details about how you use the NCDS and how it helps your research. It needn’t take a lot of your time – just a few lines could help us demonstrate the impact of the NCDS
- Spread the word! Talk to your colleagues or share on social media
What is a Statement of Need?
A Statement of Need details the scientific community’s need for a particular facility, service or piece of equipment, and gives evidence demonstrating how that facility enables high-quality science and offers value for money. For the NCDS, this means that we need to show examples of how access to NCDS resources underpins high-quality research in the UK.
Each Statement of Need is reviewed by experts in the field, and then prioritised by an EPSRC panel based on the reviewers’ comments. This prioritisation determines which facilities will be funded.
The purpose of the Statement of Need process is to determine whether or not to continue funding the NCDS, not to decide if the Royal Society of Chemistry should continue to host it. If funding is continued, a tender process in 2018 will determine which organisation will run the service in the future.
What is a mid-range facility?
The NCDS is an EPSRC mid-range facility; EPSRC funds these services to academia at a national level because it’s more cost-effective and efficient than individual institutions paying for the same service. Most mid-range facilities provide access to expensive equipment and specialised expertise that would be difficult for any one institution to support. Rather than being based around a particular scientific technique, the NCDS is a virtual facility, providing access to a number of key chemical data resources for all UK academics. In addition to the cost savings achieved by negotiating database subscriptions at a national level, the mid-range facility model allows us to provide centralised user support and training.
Our Advisory Board
|Peter Scott||Advisory Board Chair, Professor of Chemistry, University of Warwick|
|Isaac Abrahams||Senior Lecturer and Consultant to the X-Ray Diffraction Facility, Queen Mary University of London|
|Morgan Alexander||Professor of Biomedical Surfaces, University of Nottingham|
|Simon Coles||Professor of Structural Chemistry, University of Southampton and Director, UK National Crystallography Service|
|Linda Humphreys||Science Faculty Librarian, University of Bath|
|Niall Mac Dowell||Senior Lecturer of Energy and Environmental Technology and Policy, Imperial College London|
|Richard Whitby||Professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Southampton|
|Joseph Wright||Lecturer in Energy Materials, University of East Anglia|
|Talit Ghaffar||Physical Sciences Manager, EPSRC|