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ECCI-NERC Consultancy Innovation Programme

ECCI has just launched its successful innovation programme again for 2022/23 - the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Consultancy Innovation programme - and is on the hunt for organisations that could benefit from the top class research and consultancy skills of a NERC PhD student.

The programme is part of the Edinburgh Earth and Environment Doctoral Training Partnership. Based at the University of Edinburgh, NERC E4 DTP brings together 28 partners and more than 200 supervisors. Collectively, their research expertise spans the full spectrum of earth and environmental sciences

Joint delivered by ECCI and NERC, the ECCI Consultancy Innovation 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.

This year, student expertise ranges from seawater chemistry and assessing the extinction risk of plants, to the environmental impacts of food distribution and using AI to monitor sustainable development goals.

Past host organisations include ClimateXChange, Cloudforest, OnGen, SilviBio, Kinetic Hydro, AstroAgency, Environment Systems, Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage Finished, Waterwhelm and Seawater Solutions.

Feedback from the 2021/22 cohort was very positive:

  • The students confirmed that the internship will be useful for their future career and this programme gave them an opportunity that would have been difficult to find elsewhere.
  • The duration and timescale of the placements worked well for them, especially the flexibility to work around their busy study and fieldwork schedules
  • All the companies agreed that the placements added value to their business.
  • Most of the companies registered interest in hosting a placement in the future.

Quotes from students, 2021/22 programme:

“This was an excellent opportunity! I was able to put myself out there and try something I know little about. This was also a great time to do this internship, as now I can look into developing the skills I learned over the next few years to mean that I could pursue a career in this area, something I had not considered before.”

“I enjoyed working on my project a lot. It helped me to make new contacts, learned new skills and gained experience working with a startup company.”

“The NERC Innovation Programme gave me a valuable opportunity to my skills in a new and interesting context and allowed me to engage with policy review for the first time.”

Quotes host organisations, 2021/22 programme:

“Our intern from the NERC Innovation Programme proved to be a real asset to our business by providing specialist knowledge and insight during a large project. They quickly became a valued member of our team and offered a valuable outside perspective on our work.”

“We couldn't have asked for more from our NERC student internship. The project was very easy to setup in the first instance, and when (student) came on-board she worked independently and efficiently and produced work of an excellent quality. The research that she delivered will be of lasting value to the company.”

“Our NERC intern brought fresh eyes and good time management and responsive delivery to our project.”

“The internship programme was a valuable experience that helped de-risk the exploration of novel satellite lidar datasets. The student brought valuable insights to our business, and, in return, we helped them understand how scientific data and knowledge can be utilised outside of academia.”

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?

  • All internships are fully funded, with no cost to the business, and run from November 2022 - May 2023.
  • Placements may be conducted (in parts) remotely.
  • The placement duration is 5 to 10 days over maximum 10 weeks.

Complete the simple online application by Monday 31 October.