Connect NMR UK: A National NMR Network for the Physical and Life Sciences

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

NMR spectroscopy is arguably the most widely employed tool in materials, chemical and biomolecular research sciences for the study of atomic structure and behaviour. It has a uniquely powerful ability to probe the chemical structure at atomic level, combined with sensitivity to their motions and changes in chemical environment.

The importance of NMR spectroscopy has been recognised by the UKRI's recent and largest-ever investment of £20 M in NMR spectroscopy in a UK-wide network of NMR spectroscopy facilities in 2018 which was matched by substantial provision of ongoing support through expert personnel and specialist infrastructure by the host institutions. Together these and previous significant capital investments made by UK research intensive universities, research councils and medical charities position the UK at the forefront of NMR technologies and will enable a very wide range of scientific investigations with a depth that was previously impossible.

To ensure that we maximise the value of this capital investment, this proposal aims to establish a national NMR network in the physical and life sciences, Connect NMR UK, integrating the three main existing interdisciplinary communities (UK solid-state NMR; liquid-state, biological NMR; UK NMR managers group) and two learned societies (Royal Society of Chemistry NMR Discussion Group; Institute of Physics Magnetic Resonance Group) and connecting all of these NMR facilities through a central web portal, annual discussion forum, workshops and training scholarships. This will ensure we link the NMR solutions provided by the latest instrumentation and personnel, centred around the very- and ultra-high field NMR facilities, with the challenges being tackled by the UK's leading scientists. Providing these scientists with access to the cutting edge capabilities, sharing knowledge from the experts in these NMR facilities with the wider UK scientific community and exchanging best practice between the experts will ensuremaximum value is obtained from the UKRI research council investment.

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