About NIGL

Our mission

NIGL is one of the largest facilities in Europe for studying naturally occurring isotopes. NIGL’s aim is to support, stimulate and carry out high quality applied and strategic research within the UK academic community in the fields identified largely by NERC’s research strategy. NIGL provides a means to undertake isotope research and assists UK academics to successfully bid for and deliver research grants. By teaching and training it contributes to the future supply of isotope scientists. Commercial research and testing is a valuable source of additional income. One of our strengths is the breadth of equipment, techniques and expertise held under one roof. The diversity of capabilities at NIGL allows the use of several stable and radiogenic isotope methodologies to be applied to individual problems in an effective, multidisciplinary approach.

Who is responsible for NIGL?

NIGL is largely funded by NERC science budget money allocated and monitored by the NERC Science Programmes Directorate. The laboratory is managed by, and the staff are members of, the British Geological Survey.

How does NIGL operate?

Once a project has been approved by NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee (NIGFSC) arrangements are made for the isotope component of the project to be undertaken by either a member of NIGL staff or, more commonly, by the student/academic involved in the project. Visits to NIGL range between a few days to several months, to allow for training by research scientists and scientific support staff through hands-on operation of laboratory procedures. Several of our past PhD students have gone on to establish their own laboratories, and many of the overseas visitors come for training in preparation for a career in isotope geochemistry. All visitors have access to computing facilities including e-mail and the internet, shared office facilities at NIGL, and to the British Geological Survey site facilities. Further information for visitors can be found in the Visiting NIGL section.

When can projects be submitted?

The NIGFSC, which assesses research submissions, sits twice yearly during spring and autumn. However, we are always available for discussion and consultation about possible projects, and small pilot projects are occasionally undertaken to assess feasibility. See the introduction section on the NIGFSC application form for more details. 

If you would like more information or wish to propose projects please contact the NIGL secretary or an appropriate member of staff who will be happy to assist you.

Annual reports

The latest NIGL Annual Report can be downloaded.