NRI is a specialized Institute and School of the University of Greenwich at its Medway Campus, in the county of Kent, England. The University of Greenwich is a multi-campus University in south-east London and Kent, serving higher education needs both locally and nationally within the UK, and regionally in the European Union, and reaching out to provide research, consultancy and education services worldwide, especially through the long-established international activities of NRI in the developing world on the sustainable management of natural and human resources.
Although a major component of NRI's work in the past has been concerned with developing countries and those with economies in transition, its expertise has increasingly proved to be of growing relevance to the development and management of natural resources in industrialised countries. In recent years, NRI's collaboration with the University's School of Science at Medway has further extended NRI's skills in natural resources issues to span the world from the poorest developing countries to the most highly industrialised countries.
NRI's reputation is founded on a long history of expertise in the development of natural resources in the developing world, and the Institute - and its predecessors - is known world-wide for this, especially in tropical and subtropical countries. This long-standing reputation continues to be supported by recent assessment and evaluation.The Institute gained certification to ISO 9001 Quality Management standard in May 2000, in order to ensure continued high quality outputs and improve delivery of services to customers. Later that year it was announced that the University of Greenwich had earned a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in the 2000 round for the work of NRI on "Food Security in the Developing World."
Experience and Activities
The Institute currently has about 70 scientific, academic and technical staff, working in a wide range of disciplines in the natural and social sciences, assisted by about 10 managerial and administrative support staff, in a flexible team-based organisation. Current NRI staff have over 350 person-years of experience of working and living in the developing world. Each year these staff undertake over 500 professional overseas assignments in over 80 countries (mainly in the developing world or in countries with transitional economies) as consultants, researchers, advisors or educators. NRI's associates provide additional expertise in a wide range of specialisms, working alongside our core staff on specific projects. Within the wider University, NRI staff work with others in the fields of health, education, law, business, architecture, engineering, earth and environmental sciences, and chemical and life sciences, bringing interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approaches to bear on issues of natural-resource management, especially to improve the quality of life of the rural and urban poor.
Partnerships in Research and Consultancy
NRI works in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders in natural-resource development and management, from major international and national development agencies to community-based organisations and small-to-medium enterprises. Almost all of NRI's research and consultancy is undertaken through contract funding, most of it secured in open competition. The Institute has evolved from the former scientific units of the UK government's international development department (now DFID). DFID remains an important client for NRI's services but the Institute now provides its specialist skills to many customers funding sustainable development programmes and related projects on natural resources. NRI plays a significant role in capacity building in developing countries by sub-contracting research and consultancy to its partner institutions in these countries.
Skills for Higher Education
A particular strength of NRI lies in the integration of diverse skills relevant to natural resource management and development, from a range of natural and social sciences. Our grant-funded strategic research underpins the contracted adaptive research that informs our consultancy, training and teaching. Since it joined the higher education sector in 1996, NRI has developed specialist postgraduate programmes based on its practical training experience in natural resource management. Increasing collaboration with other Schools and Departments within the University, especially on the Medway campus, is further enhancing its experience as a provider of higher education in the natural resources sector.