Innovation placements

Call opens: 13 April 2017

Call closes: 16:00 on 29 June 2017

NERC wishes to award a number of Open Innovation Placements. Placements will work within a host organisation, on a specified project or one of their choosing, which is organised independently of NERC. Researchers will explore and demonstrate how partner organisations can make use of scientific knowledge, data, models or other tools to understand and manage their impacts and/or dependencies on the environment. NERC will cover 100% of the placement's salary on a pro-rata basis, including superannuation, National Insurance and specific allowances, plus travel and other associated costs. Placements cover direct costs only and do not include overheads.

Focus of the placements

NERC science can make an important contribution to economic growth and quality of life. For the UK to remain competitive in a global economy, we need to ensure that scientific advances are translated swiftly into a form that is useful to stakeholders including business, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the government. These stakeholders use NERC research for many purposes, including:

  • providing the scientific evidence necessary to inform public policy and business strategy as our environment alters
  • protecting people and minimising costs through better forecasting of environmental hazards
  • creating wealth by providing business with the starting point for new or improved products, services and solution.

Applications for placements should focus on accelerating and amplifying economic impact and improvements in quality of life from NERC-funded research, by working with business, NGOs or government bodies. This could include:

  • strengthening existing partnerships
  • developing new relationships that lead to collaborative projects
  • researching new market opportunities
  • providing case studies of knowledge exchange from NERC-funded research
  • providing briefings and reports suitable for policymakers.


Partners gain from having a placement undertake a focused piece of work which aims to benefit their specific organisation. NERC has received the following placement opportunities' specifications that may be of interest to applicants:

British Trust of Ornithology Innovation Placement (PDF, 102KB)

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water specification (PDF, 145KB)

EDF Energy Innovation Placement (PDF, 104KB)

Field Studies Council (FSC) Placement specification (PDF, 808KB)

Forestry Commission Placement specification (PDF, 111KB)

Global Facility for Disaster Reduction & Recovery Innovation Placement opportunity (PDF, 58KB)

Joint Nature Conservation Committee Innovation Placements (PDF, 35KB)

Marine Scotland - Marine Acoustics Placement (Based in Aberdeen) (PDF, 254KB)

Marine Scotland - Marine Planning and Policy Placement (Based in Edinburgh) (PDF, 297KB)

National Physical Laboratory Innovation Placements (PDF, 92KB)

National Trust specification (PDF, 384KB)

Office for Nuclear Regulation Innovation Placement (PDF, 79KB)

NERC also welcomes applications that propose working with other hosts. All applicants are advised to discuss their application with the host organisation at the earliest possible opportunity.


Standard RCUK eligibility rules - external link for NERC apply to this call. Applicants must be resident in the UK and be employed by an eligible UK research organisation. Eligible applicants include:

  • PhD students (providing they are at least in their second year of research) are eligible providing they are working within the NERC remit. Their studentships do not need to be directly funded by NERC.
  • Researchers, at any career stage, who can demonstrate how NERC funded research could be used to make a real difference to non-academic organisations.

Applying for an placement

Guidance on how to apply for the placement can be found in the following document:

NERC Innovation Placements Open Call Announcement of Opportunity (PDF, 171KB)

How to apply

Applications should be submitted through the Je-S system - external link. Applications must be made through the academic partner.

Please note that this call is not part of, nor linked to, the NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowships call.

For further information please contact:

Tessa Edgecombe
Senior Programme Manager (Innovation)
01793 442610