ORAU > Dating services > Funding routes


There are a number of sources of funds for radiocarbon dates. Submitters outside the UK should apply either to the EU or their own national funding agencies.

Gas ampoules

Routine dating within the UK

This applies to dating which uses existing techniques. Here the radiocarbon laboratory is providing a well-defined service.

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

NERC will not fund routine radiocarbon dates as part of research grants because it has a Research Facility to conduct this work - the NERC RadioCarbon Facility (NRCF) for which ORAU provides the archaeological component.

Other research councils and the EU

These will be willing to fund radiocarbon dates as part of research grants. In such cases you should contact the laboratory and use our Schedule of charges to calculate the costs.

Research samples

Where the samples are of unusual types or the application of radiocarbon is novel, it is best for ORAU to be involved with the research project from the outset. In such cases, joint research grants can be obtained which cover the cost of the dating and the research carried out at ORAU and the other institution. This is usually the most efficient approach for very large projects.

Funding of ORAU

ORAU's main source of regular funding is through the payment made for radiocarbon dates by submitters. Many of these are part of large research projects. The remaining are organisations and individuals from around the world.

Funding of research undertaken by the lab (including radiocarbon dates measured for our own research) is through peer reviewed grants from the ERC, the NERC, the Leverhulme Trust and other research funding agencies depending on the application.

The University of Oxford provides the basic infrastructure of the laboratory and a proportion of the academic staff costs.

The AMS system at the unit was funded by NERC as part of the Joint Infrastructure Fund (JIF).