Since 2017/18 ECCI and SAGES - the network that gives organisations, businesses and policy-makers to access geosciences-related expertise from across Scotland - have been teaming up to offer a pioneering career enhancement opportunity for SAGES PhD students.
The programme links students with relevant host organisations and is at the forefront of bringing academia and business together to tackle global environmental challenges. A range of business, third and public sector organisations working in priority areas of interest for SAGES were matched with PhD students to work together on meaningful consultancy projects.
Here we hear from Mariana García Criado about her time at with Scottish Science Advisory Council and the Scottish Government. Mariana is currently a PhD researcher at the Global Change Research Group and the Team Shrub Lab at the School of Geosciences.
Hi Mariana. What did you do and how did you find the experience?
During my placement I gathered available evidence on the current status of geospatial data across Scotland. The aim was to provide recommendations to Scottish Government on how to improve geospatial data accessibility and sharing in the context of the climate emergency.
I thoroughly enjoyed this placement, especially because I worked with a very dynamic team and got to meet many passionate people working on different topics across Scotland.
Did you learn new skills during the internship?
One of the key skills I learnt was to carry out structured interviews with stakeholders. By discussing with different professionals across a variety of sectors, I gained a much better understanding of how different organisations operate, their specific objectives, what their geospatial data context is, and how to improve cross-sector collaboration.
This experience has also expanded my understanding on how the Scottish Government carries out evidence-based decision-making, and on how scientific expertise fits in the policy-making process.
SAGES are currently offering another unique opportunity for a short-term policy placement with the Scottish Science Advisory Council (SSAC) and SAGES for three to six months, part-time. Deadline for applications is Friday 22 October.