The BOSCORF Advisory Group

The BOSCORF Advisory Group will report to the BOSCORF Executive Board (the ‘customer’ for NERC science programmes) and the Directors of NOC, as the ‘providers’ of the facilities that deliver the UK national deep sea core repository comprised of:

  1. National deep-sea core repository and national archive for marine, lacustrine and terrestrial palaeoenvironmental records.
  2. Specialised long-term storage facility for sediment cores collection by NERC ships and NERC-funded researchers provided controlled conditions to ensure optimum preservation of sediment cores.
  3. Advanced state-of-the-art core logging and analysis facilities for community use under the supervision of expert staff.
  4. Sediment core sampling facilities making existing sediment cores widely available for use by the scientific community.
  5. Provision of training in state-of-the-art core analysis, advanced core logging techniques and core data visualisation for postgraduates and early career researchers and support for principal investigators before/during/after cruises.
  6. A database of sediment core holdings and archival data to promote the secondary usage of the core material and data in its care amongst the scientific community.
  7. Long-term data stewardship of core-based data relating to cores in its care and from core-based national marine programmes.
  8. Adaptation of innovative methods of automated non-destructive core analysis, data application and data visualisation.
  9. Contributions to global digital archives of training images and online curatorial resources to provide high quality training aids.
  10. Representative of the UK at international assemblies for seafloor and lakebed sample curatorial facilities, international curatorial standards and analytical techniques.
  11. Contributions to efforts to increase public awareness, engagement and dialogue of environmental sciences, with a particular focus on marine geoscience and deep-sea sediment core outreach and engagement activities.


The BOSCORF Advisory Group exists to provide objective advice to NERC on all delivery aspects of the BOSCORF services and monitor outputs from these services & facilities (e.g. User Assessment forms and engendered publications).

NERC Directors will in turn provide advice to the NERC Science Board and the NERC Executive Board, as appropriate.

Terms of reference

The terms of reference of the BOSCORF Advisory Group are to:

  1. Advocate for science users requirements and strategically align the community’s future science needs.
  2. Conduct an annual review of the services provided by BOSCORF, and to provide a report on this to NERC.
  3. Examine issues associated with all aspects of the day-to-day operations and strategic outlook BOSCORF, and to provide advice on these issues to the BOSCORF Executive Board as and when appropriate.
  4. Monitor the level of performance of the services and facilities that are provided, through user satisfaction and other measures, including the Benefits Realisation Plan.
  5. Receive and discuss the annual report from the BOSCORF in order to provide advice and guidance on the report to NERC.
  6. Give advice to the BOSCORF regarding function and service priorities.
  7. Monitor the procedures and processes used by BOSCORF in the provision of services and facilities, to provide assurance to NERC that an effective, efficient and coordinated service is being provided to the environmental science community.
  8. Advise the BOSCORF Executive Board on resource requirements for provision of BOSCORF, and especially highlighting issues of critical shortfall.
  9. Review and approve requests for core top samples from BOSCORF users.
  10. Advise on international curatorial standards and best practice.
  11. Provide recommendations to achieve the ‘one-in-one-out sediment core policy’.

The BOSCORF Advisory Group will maintain processes to ensure it meets these terms of reference.


  1. Full membership of the BOSCORF Advisory Group will include a Chair and a minimum of four persons drawn from the environmental science community. The membership must include:
    1. at least one representative from a UK higher education institution;
    2. at least one representative from a NERC research and collaborative centre; and
    3. at least one representatives with appropriate operational expertise (e.g. international core repository curator);
  2. Full members will be invited by NERC to serve for a term of up to three years with a maximum extension of a further two years.
  3. Ex officio members will represent different levels of NERC as follows:
    1. Directorate: NOC Associate Director
    2. Operational: BOSCORF Curator
    3. NOC Head of Project Support
  4. The BOSCORF Advisory Group Secretariat will be provided by NOC.

Mode of operation of meetings

The Group will meet annually for a one-day annual review meeting. This will normally take place in Southampton and will focus primarily on reviewing the Annual Report.

Typically, the format will be:

  1. Minutes and matters arising;
  2. Annual review reports and presentations;
  3. BOSCORF users assessment forms;
  4. Future developments;
  5. Specific issues;
  6. Finalise content of the group’s annual report (ex officio members only as required).

All agenda items are required to be supported by written papers submitted in sufficient time for them to be distributed two weeks prior to the meeting. The following procedure will be used to elicit specific input from the user community:

A calling notice will be circulated two months in advance of each meeting asking for any additional agenda items regarding specific user issues

  1. A calling notice will be circulated two months in advance of each meeting asking for any additional agenda items regarding specific user issues
  2. These must be supported by a written paper that has been submitted to the BOSCORF Advisory Group Secretariat in sufficient time for the Chair and Secretariat to review and agree which will be included in the agenda and distributed in the Group’s papers.
  3. Where necessary the Chair and Secretariat will invite authors as visitors to speak on their paper(s) at the meeting.
  4. The Group’s papers will be circulated by the Secretariat to arrive with members at least two weeks before meetings.

Should there be a business requirement to do so the Group may, on exception, hold a second meeting in December of any year.

Current Advisory Group membership

The current Advisory Group membership is:

  • Chairman: Professor Bill Austin (University of St Andrews, 2019 – present)
  • Dr Alix Cage (University of Keele, 2019 – present)
  • Dr Victoria Peck (British Antarctic Survey, 2019 – present)
  • Brian Buczkowski (USGS, 2019 – present)
  • Dr Maarten van Hardenbroek van Ammerstol (University of Newcastle, 2019 – present)
  • Professor Sue Dawson (University of Dundee 2023 - present)
  • Professor David Thornalley (University College London 2023 - present)
  • Dr Mike Clare (National Oceanography Centre 2023 - present)
  • Professor Doug Connolly (Assoicate Director Science and Technology, National Oceanography Centre 2023- present)
  • Dr Suzanne Maclachlan, Curator BOSCORF

Current Sampling Committee members

The current Sampling Committee members are:

  • Professor Bill Austin (University of St Andrews, 2019 – present)
  • Dr Alix Cage (University of Keele, 2019 – present)
  • Dr Maarten van Hardenbroek van Ammerstol (University of Newcastle, 2019 – present)
  • Professor Sue Dawson (University of Dundee, 2024 - present)

Committee Letters of Support: