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ECCI’s pioneering career enhancement programme reports impact

Joint delivered by ECCI and SAGES, the ECCI Innovation Programme is a pioneering career enhancement opportunity for NERC and SAGES postgraduate students.

The programme matches students with a wide range of organisations to provide meaningful research work opportunities for the students, and top class research and consultancy resources for the businesses.

Supported by ECCI, SAGES is a network that gives organisations, businesses and policy-makers to access geosciences-related expertise from across Scotland.

NERC E3 DTP - based at the University of Edinburgh - brings together 28 partners and more than 200 PhD supervisors. Collectively, their research expertise spans the full spectrum of earth and environmental sciences.

The 2018/19 report shows that ECCI enabled business and policy engagement by matching students with businesses, boosted impact and innovation skills by delivering skills and industry workshops and deepened sector knowledge to support impact and end user experience.


  • 700 businesses were made aware of the programme
  • 15 students and organisations attended workshops and events
  • 19 organisations wanted to work with SAGES and NERC students
  • 5 industry engagement events were delivered
  • 5 students completed a placement
  • 15 students and lecturers attended workshop in delivering research for Government policy

Anton Puzorjov, founder and CEO of One Cherry, one of the start-ups that took part in the programme, said: “Our placement consultant Marja provided us with excellent business analysis at an important time for the business, with a clear pathway of recommendations so that we can start making changes and improvements to the business."

One Cherry's student placement Marja van den Houten said:

“The internship was useful for my future career prospects - it took me out of my PhD niche for a brief spell, inspiring some new ideas and refreshing others."

"Being based in ECCI’s vibrant low carbon hub also allowed me to network with other practitioners."

Dr Richard Essery, Reader in High Resolution Atmospheric Modelling and Deputy Director (Training), E3 DTP, University of Edinburgh, said: "ECCI has the links with private, third and public sector organisations that allow our students to identify and take advantage of placement opportunities.

"We know from the feedback that we receive that these opportunities are highly valued by both students and host organisations."

Read the report

Could you benefit from the ECCI Innovation programme? Are you a start-up, SME or third sector organisation? Looking for some PhD student support at no cost?