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Call for Open Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowships

Opening date on Je-S: 4 February 2016

Closing date on Je-S: 16:00 on 17 March 2016

Interview dates: 8-9 June 2016 in Birmingham

NERC wishes to award a number of Knowledge Exchange (KE) fellowships. KE Fellows work between 20% and 80% of their time on a work plan of their own choosing to generate impact from NERC-funded research in their host institution. The KE Fellowships will cover 100% of the Fellow's salary on a pro-rata basis including superannuation, NI and specific allowances, plus up to £40k for travel and other associated costs. They cover direct costs only and do not include overheads. There is no budget limit for salary costs and applications are particularly welcomed from individuals who are working at a senior level within a department or school. The KE Fellow must be employed by their host institution for the duration of their fellowship.

NERC is likely to be inviting applications for Directed Knowledge Exchange Fellowships as additional opportunities. The details will be added to this page in December 2015 or early January 2016. Directed Knowledge Exchange Fellowships focus on a particular science area, policy requirement or business sector. At this stage it is known that one of these opportunities will be for a KE Fellow to work with the aquaculture industry.

The closing date for applications is 16:00 on 17 March 2016. Guidance on how to complete the Je-S form is available at the bottom of this page (Je-S will open on 4 February 2016).

If selected for interview, the applicant will be asked to give a 10 minute presentation followed by 35 minutes of questions from a panel of up to four people. In addition, the applicant's Head of Department, (or if the Head of Department is the applicant then a more senior individual) is expected to join the interview in person or by telephone to provide a strategic overview of the work. Success rates appear to be the same regardless of whether the supporter appears in person or telephones in.

Focus of the Fellowships

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 businesses, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and 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 solutions.

Applications for KE Fellowships 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.

Successful applicants will be expected to link with other NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellows to share best practice and to participate in the NERC Knowledge Exchange Network, which meets once or twice a year. A mentoring service is also available. Current Knowledge Exchange Fellows are listed in the supporting documentation below. Applicants are welcome to contact Lynne Porter (see contact details below) and other KE Fellows before making their application to discuss their proposed programme of work.

Eligibility for Knowledge Exchange Fellowships (KE Fellowships)

KE Fellowships are based in the institution where their holders are employed. They are open to researchers at any stage of their career. KE Fellowships last for one to three years. Candidates can apply to spend between 20 and 80 per cent of their time on the fellowship.

Applicants must be from a NERC research centre or a Higher Education Institution in receipt of NERC-funded research. Applicants can be from a user or academic background, as long as the academic host institution will be their employer for the duration of the fellowship.


Please send an email to , or alternatively contact:

Lynne Porter
01793 411791

Supporting documentation

Further information on NERC Open Knowledge Exchange Fellowships (PDF, 110KB)

Current KE fellows (PDF, 109KB)

Guidance on submitting a NERC KE fellowship application (PDF, 112KB)