Innovation Internship Evaluations

Using BirdLife data holdings to promote global bird conservation

Internship Details

Host Organisation: BirdLife International
Department: Science, Policy and Information
Supervisor: Dr Paul F Donald
Student: Fiona Spooner
Objectives:

1. To undertake an assessment of the distribution of Key Biodiversity Areas in the Caribbean Biodiversity Hotspot by creating and intersecting maps of Extent of Suitable Habitat for all threatened species, and to overlay the results on existing KBAs and Protected Areas
2. To undertake a re-assessment of the world’s biome-restricted bird species to improve the current system and to identify new biome-restricted species following a major taxonomic revision of birds

Host Evaluation

How did you hear about this internship scheme?

Fiona/UCL contacted us

What was your experience of hosting an Innovation Internship, overall?

Excellent. Fiona was a real joy to work with, and she helped us enormously. She came to us at a time when we were very pressured with work, and calmly jumped in and helped out with good humour. A number of our core projects are now in much better shape thanks to Fiona’s hard work. We were all genuinely sad when her internship came to an end, and we very much hope she stays in touch.

Would you be interested in hosting future internships? Yes

Outcomes and Benefits
Please describe the main research outputs that resulted from the internship:

1. A map of new candidate KBAs in the Caribbean Hotspot, intersected with existing KBAs and protected areas, and candidate new KBAs identified
2. ESH maps for all of the world’s biome-restricted species and underlying analyses of their occurrence in different ecoregions

Please describe the benefits to the student that resulted from the internship:

I hope that Fiona learned quite a lot about the use of spatial data in conservation, and about the work of a global conservation NGO. She will also have learned quite a lot about spatial analysis in Arc and about scripting code in the Python language. More generally, I hope she will have had an insight into the way a conservation NGO works and about the problems such organisations need to deal with.

Natural Capital Assessment in the South Atlantic

Internship Details

Host Organisation: South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute
Department:
Supervisor: Tara Pelembe
Student: Dan Bayley
Objectives:

Support the South Atlantic NCA project
Develop a discrete valuation research project to be delivered by the end of the internship

Host Evaluation

How did you hear about this internship scheme?

Through the NERC DTP partnership

What was your experience of hosting an Innovation Internship, overall?

It was great to have Dan with us. He was a very capable, mature student and was an asset to the project.

Would you be interested in hosting future internships? Yes

Outcomes and Benefits
Please describe the main research outputs that resulted from the internship:

Dan has produced a research report entitled: ‘Giant kelp ‘Blue carbon’ storage and sequestration value in the Falkland Islands’ this is the first study of this kind to be done in the Falklands and is a useful contribution to a wider regional Natural Capital Assessment Project.

Please describe the benefits to the student that resulted from the internship:

Dan was able to come to the Falkland Islands and work with us in our offices there. He met new people, worked in a different working environment, scuba-dived in a new natural environment, and undertook a research project that built on his existing skills, and developed new areas of study for him i.e. economic valuation of the natural environment. He also had the opportunity to help facilitate workshops and provide input into the co-ordination of the wider regional Natural Capital Assessment Project.

Provisional title of Dan’s PhD “Conservation of the white-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes in the face of invasive non-native species pressures”

Internship Details

Host Organisation: PBA Applied Ecology Ltd
Department:
Supervisor: Paul Bradley
Student: Dan Chadwick
Objectives:

Dan’s internship objectives were:
• Integration within our multidisciplinary team, engaging first hand with a broad range of specialist and applied techniques.
• Data acquisition through survey work, and the analysis and presentation of data through report writing.
• Experience in protected species works and stakeholder engagement would be provided, under the supervision of the director.
• Shadow the company director at meetings and client discussions allowing the intern to gain first hand experience at the interface between science, industry and commerce.
• Accompany staff members on a variety of field and site visits to gain further experience and skills in protected species survey and mitigation works.
• Provide experience in the key technical, applied and analytical skills required for contemporary ecological consultancy work.
• Influence research to have the furthest reach and utility through viewing environmental data from a commercial standpoint as well as academic.

Host Evaluation

How did you hear about this internship scheme?

Carl Sayer

What was your experience of hosting an Innovation Internship, overall?

Both parties have benefitted from the experience, and will continue to collaborate going forward. It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to host this internship, and we would be delighted to consider hosting future interns from The London NERC DTP.

Would you be interested in hosting future internships? Yes

Outcomes and Benefits
Please describe the main research outputs that resulted from the internship:

Although distinct from Dan’s primary research, the internship will have helped Dan to gain a better understanding of the context and potential impact of his work. New insights have been gained, which will further inform Dan’s thought process, and his approach to continued research. A number of additional lines of investigation have been highlighted, and Dan’s network of contacts has been further enriched.
Overall, Dan has contributed significantly to PBA’s continued pursuit of evidence-based practice within an applied consultancy environment. This has extended beyond Dan’s strengths in crayfish, to project work with reptiles in particular – where the project team is trialling the recommended approach to removing reptiles from a large development site (up to 90 days’ continuous passive trapping). The value of a well-thought out field strategy has been particularly highlighted; enabling well-informed co-workers and decision-makers, and an adaptive approach to the task at hand.
The internship period coincided with a seminal period at PBA, when the practice moved from its town-centre beginnings to purpose-built premises. Dan will have gained a real insight into the workings of an applied ecology practice, and the practice has also greatly benefitted from Dan’s assistance at this important time.

Please describe the benefits to the student that resulted from the internship:

As we approached the end of the current internship period, we formally reviewed progress with Dan against the original objectives. Dan reports that engagement with project work has enabled significant progress to be made across all seven objectives.
I would also highlight a number of ‘life skills’ that Dan has further developed during the internship period; some of which are outlined below.
Safe Working Practices. Dan has acquired a greater understanding of a broad range of safe working practices. Dan has received formal training and assessment; resulting in the award of a CSCS card enabling access onto construction sites.
Water Safety. Dan was enrolled to join PBA’s formal water safety training and assessment in Snowdonia. As a result, Dan has now received a recognised (Rescue3 Europe) qualification in swift water rescue.
Driving. Before the internship, Dan had very limited driving experience. Dan has now driven thousands of miles in PBA company vehicles, and leaves this internship a confident driver, with new found independence.
Team working. Dan has acquired and further developed a range of ‘soft’ skills, which have enabled him to provide important contributions to team working.

Sustainability on the Thames

Internship Details

Host Organisation: Thames Estuary Partnership
Department: N/A
Supervisor: Pat Fitzsimons
Student: Daniel Mills
Objectives:

Daniel came to TEP to help with a range of projects on the Thames. He worked specifically on two projects: 1) Working with a partnership to finalise a leaflet to guide recreational water users in protecting the environment in a SSSI; 2) Compiling a database of Coastal Partnerships in England to assist TEP in its new role of Chair of the Coastal Partnership Network. Daniel also undertook a number of discrete tasks, such as writing book reviews, researching health and the green environment, attending site visits and representing TEP at a range of events and meetings.

Host Evaluation

How did you hear about this internship scheme?

Through UCL

What was your experience of hosting an Innovation Internship, overall?

It was excellent. These interns come with such a wealth of skills and we are able to provide real-life experience in a fast paced office environment.

Would you be interested in hosting future internships? Yes

Outcomes and Benefits
Please describe the main research outputs that resulted from the internship:

TEP is organising a conference in September 2018 on all the latest information on the Thames. Daniel was tasked with organising the conference, including working with UCL personnel to outline the subject areas, working on UCL publishing a book of the proceedings, organising a call for papers. This provided Daniel with valuable experience in organising an academic conference and provided TEP with badly needed capacity to organise the conference.

Please describe the benefits to the student that resulted from the internship:

Daniel gained valuable experience in working in an office on a multi-disciplinary project. He was always eager to take part, deliver on the projects he was working, meet deadlines and be a good team player. We thoroughly enjoyed having Daniel and he has continued to be involved in our charity since his internship.

Evaluating and projecting functional diversity patterns for use by the IPBES global assessment

Internship Details

Host Organisation: UNEP-WCMC
Department: Science
Supervisor: Michael Harfoot
Student: Tatsiana Barychka
Objectives:

To evaluate model reconstructions of the functional diversity of endotherms in the late Holocene and the present day. The modelled patterns can then be used to estimate the effect of human activities on functional diversity and for making projections about future change in functional diversity that can be used in the IPBES global assessment.

Host Evaluation

How did you hear about this internship scheme?

I was contacted by the student.

What was your experience of hosting an Innovation Internship, overall?

The experience was excellent. The student worked very diligently and was committed to achieving the objectives of the project. The organisation of the internship by UCL was superb and made working with the student very easy.

Would you be interested in hosting future internships? Yes

Outcomes and Benefits
Please describe the main research outputs that resulted from the internship:

The internship resulted in a draft scientific paper, that shows the modelled functional diversity patterns are generally consistent with empirical patterns. The paper also shows the regions where functional diversity has been most affect by human actions. This output has the benefit of improving the evidence base for the performance of general ecosystem models, and for the change the state of biodiversity over the last several thousand years.

Please describe the benefits to the student that resulted from the internship:

Tania learnt substantially about fields she was otherwise not exposed to, functional diversity, macroecological patterns, spatial statistical analysis and IPBES. Tania also learnt more about running the Madingley general ecosystem model, which she is planning to use for a later study in her thesis. Tania also met and interacted with a wide variety of staff at WCMC working at the science-policy interface, so she has gained a set of contacts that she can draw upon as her career progresses.

Internship in Migration, Environment and Climate Change Division

Internship Details

Host Organisation: International Organization for Migration
Department: Department of Migration Management
Supervisor: Sieun Lee
Student: Rebecca Parrish
Objectives:

Under the supervision of the MECC Programme Officer, and in accordance with the overall direction of the Head of Migration, Environment and Climate Change Division, the Intern had the following duties and responsibilities:

1. Assist in preparing background papers and presentations for meetings, conferences, or training workshops on the topic

2. Carry out research on various thematic areas within the work of the MECC Division such as human rights, sustainable development goals, etc. where needed

3. Contribute to and support the editing of the MECC Policy Brief Series

4. Assist with maintenance and update of the Environmental Migration Portal, its Newsletter, and social media campaigns

5. Assist with communication with IOM missions and logistical preparations for meetings, training workshops, etc.

Host Evaluation

How did you hear about this internship scheme?

Through Rebecca who reached out to us.

What was your experience of hosting an Innovation Internship, overall?

The team was grateful to have Rebecca as an intern. She was extremely motivated and was able to meet our needs and deadlines. She quickly adapted to the team and the working environment; was highly efficient and produced high-quality research. We would be pleased to host a London NERC DTP intern in the future.

Would you be interested in hosting future internships? Yes

Outcomes and Benefits
Please describe the main research outputs that resulted from the internship:

Rebecca provided background research in preparation for a capacity building workshop in Ethiopia. In addition, she wrote a blog piece on the links between science and policy on environmental migration, and the need to better link the two domains, which will soon be published through the IOM blog. In addition, Rebecca also provided support to an IOM led UNFCCC event in Geneva. She also contributed to an infosheet on the links between health, migration and climate change.

Please describe the benefits to the student that resulted from the internship:

The student was integrated into the team from the beginning and was given the responsibility to carry out tasks individually but also in coordination with the team. She gained exposure to UN processes such as the UNFCCC as well as IOM’s working environment and processes. She learned to balance evidence and policy, and the importance of linking data to policymaking and was exposed to a range of events held in IOM Headquarters as well as other UN and NGO events relevant to her interest.

Support to our Sustainable River Management team

Internship Details

Host Organisation: Atkins
Department: Water Management Consultancy
Supervisor: Dr Kevin Skinner
Student: Eleanore Heasley
Objectives:

To support our Sustainable River Management team in the wide range of activities and projects that we undertake. In addition, we used Eleanore to support in reviewing the efficacy of new tools that we are developing.

Host Evaluation

How did you hear about this internship scheme?

Through contacts at the Environment Agency

What was your experience of hosting an Innovation Internship, overall?

It was great. It really well worked well for us.

Would you be interested in hosting future internships? Yes

Outcomes and Benefits
Please describe the main research outputs that resulted from the internship:

Eleanore helped support our team look at new tools to support our activities. She also supported some of work in catchment management and also wetland design.

Please describe the benefits to the student that resulted from the internship:

Eleanore gained experience in consultancy and it appeared to be something that she enjoyed.

The Scholars Programme internship

Internship Details

Host Organisation: The Brilliant Club
Department: The Scholars Programme
Supervisor: Dr Andy Fleming
Student: Matilda Brindle
Objectives:

Opportunity for the candidate to gain experience in public engagement, university access, and working in the non-profit sector through a placement with The Brilliant Club’s Scholars Programme team (https://thebrilliantclub.org/the-brilliant-club-for-schools/our-work).

The Brilliant Club is an award-winning charity that support progress for pupils from under-represented backgrounds to highly-selective universities. On The Scholars Programme, pupils take part in seven university-style tutorials led by a researcher, and two university trips.

Host Evaluation

How did you hear about this internship scheme?

We run similar internship schemes with a number of other DTPs, such as M4C, CHASE, and SeNSS.

What was your experience of hosting an Innovation Internship, overall?

Mattie’s placement with us was a really positive experience. She brought a great deal to the team, both in terms of her research expertise (her feedback on curriculum design for the predesigned course she delivered was invaluable) and her day-to-day contributions as part of a busy but intensely collaborative team. Outcomes for the pupils we worked with that would have been lessened without Mattie’s presence, not just through those she directly taught, but through her presence on launch and graduation trips and the contributions she made to recruiting and training new tutors throughout the placement.

Would you be interested in hosting future internships? Yes

Outcomes and Benefits
Please describe the main research outputs that resulted from the internship:

Mattie supported the delivery of The Scholars Programme during her internship in several ways. She delivered the predesigned course ‘Disease Detectives’ to two groups of Y7 & Y8 pupils at Eastbury Community School and Raine’s Foundation School, and led on a review of the course handbook, producing a set of recommendations that were implemented in the subsequent term.

She also designed a taster lecture on her PhD research for delivery at Scholars Programme launch and graduation trips, which she delivered to 500+ pupils at multiple universities. Mattie also contributed to the day-to-day work of the charity by staffing information and recruitment events and Assessment Centres for new PhD tutors, and assisting members of the team with the smooth running of placements.

Please describe the benefits to the student that resulted from the internship:

Before starting her work as as PhD tutor, Mattie attended our two-day training weekend, which is designed to introduce new tutors to the principles of pedagogy in a way that is transferable to undergraduate teaching. She then had the opportunity to develop her teaching practice through her two placements.

Designing her taster lecture, and working on the predesigned course ‘Disease Detectives’, also gave Mattie the opportunity to design strategies for making her research accessible to non-experts. Working in The Brilliant Club’s offices, as part of a line management structure, also gave Mattie professional experience very different to that of a research environment, and an insight into a career in the non-profit and public engagement sectors.

Analysing the US green economy at the state level

Internship Details

Host Organisation: KMATRIX DATA SERVICES LIMITED
Department:
Supervisor: Sarah Howard
Student: Lucien Georgeson
Objectives:

The objective was to analyse the LCEGSS Dataset at the subnational level within the US, exploring regional trends in the green economy and to better understand potential uses of the dataset.

Host Evaluation

How did you hear about this internship scheme?

From Professor Mark Maslin at UCL.

What was your experience of hosting an Innovation Internship, overall?

We found hosting an intern a very valuable bilateral learning experience, offering novel thinking and helping develop ideas in new areas

Would you be interested in hosting future internships? Yes

Outcomes and Benefits
Please describe the main research outputs that resulted from the internship:

Main research outputs included a new dataset, analysis of the US at the sub-national level and the potential for future publications.

Please describe the benefits to the student that resulted from the internship:

The student was involved and contributed to new avenues of research, gaining greater experience of collaborating with the private sector/beyond university partners. He also developed a greater understanding of how research is used in business and developed new skills in data analysis.

Methods for the Pre-Treatment and Destruction of Persistent Organic Pollutants

Internship Details

Host Organisation: Defra
Department: Chemicals, Pesticides and Hazardous Waste Division – POPs, and Chemicals in Waste Team
Supervisor: Liz Lawton (and Max Folkett)
Student: Rosie Williams
Objectives:

The Government has committed, in their 25 Year Environment Plan for England, to increase the amount of POPs material that is being destroyed, to ensure environmental emissions are negligible by 2030.9 In addition to this commitment, the number of chemicals classed as POPs is increasing and efforts are being made by industry to improve identification in the waste stream. Legacy products that contain chemicals that are now classified as POPs are entering the waste stream when they reach the end of their life. Consequently, the amount of POPs waste that requires destruction is also increasing.
Determining the current UK capacity for POPs disposal is a challenging task. First, capacity estimates are dependent on the type of POPs waste that requires disposal. Second, several facilities in the UK may be capable of destroying POPs but would require increased monitoring of emissions and residues. Third, certain types of POPs waste are exported to facilities abroad so are not included in domestic capacity estimates.
It is also difficult to accurately estimate and predict the current and future demand for POPs destruction in the UK. Defra has commissioned a project that has attempted to estimate the current quantities of three POPs (PCBs, HBCDD, DecaBDE) in use in products and equipment and the quantities that will be sent for destruction. The project has also predicted how the quantities in use are expected to change up to 2030, based on current policy and rates of destruction.
At present, the most readily available technique for the destruction of POPs is incineration therefore, increasing quantities of waste will need to be incinerated. This has raised several possible issues:
• The incineration capacity in the UK is volatile and subject to multiple domestic and international pressures. At present it is under significant demand and may not have the capacity to cope with the increased volumes of POPs waste.
• Waste that does not contain POPs above destruction thresholds may be incinerated unnecessarily due to inadequate POPs identification and sorting capability.
• Increased volumes of POPs waste in incinerators may increase atmospheric emissions from incineration (though the regulatory system would ensure that no significant impact to the environment or human health would be caused as a result).
• Increased concentrations of POPs in the stream of waste destined for incineration may affect the composition of the bottom ashes and air pollution control residues by increasing concentrations of ash components such as antimony. This could make recovery more challenging as waste classification may be altered.
• Incineration of large quantities of plastic waste, which contain POPs, may cause operational challenges in municipal waste incinerators given the high calorific value (CV) of plastic and the increased boiler corrosion due to halogenated substances. Energy from waste facilities are already operating at their CV limits and so many are unable to accept any more high CV waste.

This evidence statement provides a summary of established and emerging waste separation and POP destruction technologies present in the literature. It should be noted that this evidence statement has excluded some POPs (i.e. PCBs and DDTs) from the analysis based on the existence of well-established destruction techniques and their prominence in the waste stream. More details of the specific pollutants that have been included and excluded are provided in the Method Summary section. This document does not reflect government policy but will help inform policy decisions to ensure that the most effective and environmentally sustainable methods of POPs waste treatment and destruction are being used.

Host Evaluation

How did you hear about this internship scheme?

From the Office of the Chief Scientific Advisor, via Alice Milner

What was your experience of hosting an Innovation Internship, overall?

A great experience and certainly worth the resource and input on our side. We received excellent practical support from our CSA’s office and Alice. The evidence statement is of immediate practical use to our team.

Would you be interested in hosting future internships? Yes

Outcomes and Benefits
Please describe the main research outputs that resulted from the internship:

The main output of the project was the evidence statement itself. This will be published and can thus contribute to our UK evidence base on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), informing our revised UK National Implementation Plan under the Stockholm Convention and informing international guidelines. The statement signals to the waste industry that there is a need for additional infrastructure to manage POPs waste and gives a reference that will support policy discussions and, if necessary, government intervention.
Rosie also delivered a number of teach-ins to Defra policy officials across the Directorate, raising the profile of our work on POPs and chemicals more generally. Rosie’s excellent communication skills and academic experience of engaging others in evidence were a particular asset here.
Finally, Rosie was also able to act as a ‘critical friend’ in our policy discussions, linking the team to new contacts and sources. The value of these less concrete benefits should not be overlooked.

Please describe the benefits to the student that resulted from the internship:

Rosie’s words:
• I was given lots of opportunity to attend meetings and workshops outside of the remit of my evidence statement. This really enriched my experience and allowed me to meet people outside of my team and learn a lot more about the science policy interface
• The steering group was really well managed by Liz and was a great mix of people from different areas. Although some members weren’t as engaged as others I don’t think this impacted the quality of the output as Liz had made sure we had a few extra people to compensate
• It was great that Liz was an expert and had interest in the topic of my evidence statement. (This allowed Liz and I to nerd out on POPs on several occasions)
• It was great that I had an interest in the topic, building up my knowledge on a related by different area than my PhD research has been really beneficial and will be really helpful with the dissemination of my research
• The wider POPs team were really inclusive and I really did feel like a proper member of the team (I’ve heard this isn’t necessarily a given and some interns have had quite different experiences in this regard so thank you!)
o Things like inviting me to team meetings and workshops and including me on team emails make a huge difference and made me feel really welcome and like I had things to contribute
• Similarly, the wider CPHW team have been very welcoming

The Scholars Programme South Team Intern

Internship Details

Host Organisation: The Brilliant Club
Department: The Scholars Programme, Sough of England Team
Supervisor: Joanna Pickets
Student: Anna Westland
Objectives:

– Deliver placements on The Scholars Programme
– Support with course design
– Support with developing STEM electives
– Support with assessment centres
– Provide general administrative team support

Host Evaluation

How did you hear about this internship scheme?

Our organisation has previously hosted interns through this scheme.

What was your experience of hosting an Innovation Internship, overall?

This was a really positive and helpful experience. Anna provided us with expertise in the form of her STEM research and teaching experience to develop training sessions for tutors. She also supported with giving feedback on tutors’ course designs, again thanks to her STEM research and pedagogical expertise. She also had an overall positive impact by supporting with capacity in our team to support with administrative tasks. This included helping us to securely store online tutorial recordings onto our organisational cloud. It also included developing and delivering training for external stakeholders from the University of Reading on how to deliver engaging online teaching; we have been able to use this session to build this into our broader training sessions that we offer to our university partners

Would you be interested in hosting future internships? Yes

Outcomes and Benefits
Please describe the main research outputs that resulted from the internship:

– Developed training session for STEM tutors for The Brilliant Club and external student mentors from the University of Reading on how to deliver their teaching to engage pupils – created and followed project plans to achieve this
– Delivered 3 placements on The Scholars Programme, so teaching approximately 36 pupils and supporting them to write a final assignment based on Anna’s own research
– Delivered administrative support for the South Team to facilitate the effective functioning of The Scholars Programme and special projects e.g. moving tutorial recordings to the cloud, compiling videos to teach pupils affiliated with the University of Reading key skills to support them with the EPQ

Please describe the benefits to the student that resulted from the internship:

– Developing pedagogical experience and expertise with virtual delivery
– Developing understanding of STEM research outreach work within the widening participation charity sector
– Understanding the mechanics of how a widening participation charity operates
– Developing transferrable skills and experience e.g. time management, prioritisation, organisation, communication, pedagogy, developing and delivering training for internal/external stakeholders

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To get experience of and develop practical research skills
  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To produce publications
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators

How did you hear about this internship?

Through an email from the DTP

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

I thoroughly enjoyed the innovation internship and feel like it was a very productive process, both in terms of the direct outputs of the internship and for experiencing what a potential future career outside of academia would be like. BirdLife (in particular my line manager Paul Donald) were extremely welcoming and helpful. I think I was already likely to look to a career in science outside of academia after completing my PhD, but now I am more confident in this decision because of my experiences during the innovation internship.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

I would encourage the DTP to make it as clear as possible to both the hosts and the students about which costs incurred by each party will be covered by the funding and this should be done before application stage. I felt quite misled and subsequently very disappointed and unsupported by the DTP in resolving issues I had with this prior to the beginning of the internship and I feel this could have been avoided with clearer communication during the earlier stages (although I appreciate this all happened at very short notice over a busy period). Having said that I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to undertake the internship and this would be my only comment for improving things in future years.

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To get experience of and develop practical research skills
  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To produce publications
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators

How did you hear about this internship?

London DTP’s weekly email

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

Useful experience, overall. Enjoyed working with new people and learning new skills. Also, good experience of working in an NGO.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

Good for learning more about career outside academia.The internship was well-organised and well-communicated. A worthwhile experience.

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To produce publications
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators

How did you hear about this internship?

It was advertised through the DTP

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

I really enjoyed it. I got to develop and conduct some really interesting research, that was directly applicable to a larger project. I was also lucky enough to travel to the Falkland Islands (an incredible opportunity), work with stakeholders there and conduct fieldwork.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

I think they are a great opportunity to expand experience and knowledge and give you a flavour of that field of work. I think it will look great on the CV particularly if I end up aiming for a more applied job outside of academia after the PhD. I also made some good contacts and this should help with job prospects also.

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To get experience of and develop practical research skills
  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To produce publications
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators
  • Allow time off from PhD to take a step back and refocus

How did you hear about this internship?

Internal emails, and through previous work with the company, so contacted them. They have hosted post-graduate research and work internships regularly.

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

I had a fantastic time throughout my internship, and would recommend the process and PBA Applied Ecology to all current and future cohorts. I gained a fresh perspective on both my own research and on environmental data and their uses in general. The opportunity to engage with a range of projects and clients was fascinating, and allowed me to experience a range of real world ‘problems’ and their practical solutions. The experience has been of real value to my immediate studies for the PhD, as well as helping to influence my career aspirations and future plans. I am hugely thankful to the DTP and NERC for facilitating this internship, and to Paul and everyone at PBA Applied Ecology for making it such a success.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

My internship was made far easier through already having an established relationship with the company. Despite this, there was a huge amount of logistics to sort out prior to starting the internship, in order to make it successful. Travel and accommodation arrangements were overlooked in initial correspondence by the DTP, and can incur large personal expenses which were not supported through the scheme. The £1000 goes very quickly on providing appropriate training and support, before considering the practical costs of additional accommodation (rent, deposit, bills) or daily travel. If the DTP were to offer the internships again, this position should be made clear from the offset, as projects may not be feasible for the students or indeed placement hosts if additional expenses are incurred, and may compromise otherwise excellent internship opportunities.

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To get experience of and develop practical research skills
  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To produce publications
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators
  • It was great to take time out and put the PhD life in better perspective.

How did you hear about this internship?

From the DTP internal advertisments

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

The internship period has been a real highlight of my DTP training and development. The opportunity was far more beneficial to me than I had anticipated, providing providing an excellent opportunity to experience the front line challenges of an environmental management charity. New experiences were plentiful and engaging with a variety of new activities such as grant writing, funding opportunity research, conference calling, database construction, fisheries fieldwork, public engagement, business meetings, policy engagements and professional networking. I am extremely grateful for being given the opportunity to help with such a variety of these things from my Internship team. I have furthermore met several contacts who will be invaluable for the completion of my PhD studies.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

The Thames Estuary Partnership are an great team who I intend to remain friends with. I would recommend a placement with them to any future DTP student with an interest in London freshwater ecology and riverine management.

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators

How did you hear about this internship?

Advertised through London NERC DTP

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

Very positive experience in a friendly scientifically minded team.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators

How did you hear about this internship?

bespoke internship designed between myself, my supervisor and IOM.

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

Highly positive. I learned an awful lot about how science is used and communicated in political institutions (particularly in IOM and in the UN and international policy in a broader sense). I became enthusiastic about my ability to contribute based on my comparatively in-depth knowledge of academia and science that can be of use to the policy arena, as well as many areas of opportunity that I identified, as well as areas that I am keen to learn more about throughout my career.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

This internship was particularly beneficial to me as it was tailor designed, with the IOM’s Division of Migration, Environment and Climate Change and as such was extremely well aligned to my research interests as well as my further career aspirations in science for policy. I would like to thank my supervisory team, Claire Asher and the DTP team, and Sieun Lee and Dina Ionesco from IOM in organising this internship and making it such a beneficial experience.

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness
Industry Understanding

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To get experience of and develop practical research skills
  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me

How did you hear about this internship?

Through PhD supervisor connections

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

It was nice to have a break from PhD research. I liked the opportunity to spend a period conducting very focused analysis with clear expected outcomes.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy After Before

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators

How did you hear about this internship?

Though advertisements on the NERC DTP website

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

Very worth while. It was a fantastic exposure to the work being done by DEFRA and the level of expertise required to enter the civil service as a scientist. It was also a great opportunity to explore a whole new subject area of which I had no prior knowledge of.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

Taking a break from my PhD in my final year was valuable. It was a chance to reset and renew my enthusiasm while still being engaged in science and producing work of value.

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To get experience of and develop practical research skills
  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To get experience to put on my CV

How did you hear about this internship?

Through the DTP emails, and communication with my advisor (Alice Milner)

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

It was brilliant, really useful for my understanding of how government organisations run, and the day-to-day activities of different departments, but also how academics can engage and interact with Defra. It was a really good experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators

How did you hear about this internship?

Through the NERC London DTP opportunities email newsletter.

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

My experience was excellent, my understanding of the science policy interface and has been greatly enhanced. As a result I believe my research will have more impact as I’m aware of how information is used and accessed to inform policy.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

The team I worked with at Defra were fantastic and very supportive.

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators

How did you hear about this internship?

colleagues

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work in a business environment yet doing actual research without being distracted by too much day to day business. The work I’ve done laid the foundation of some potential future collaboration

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To get experience of and develop practical research skills
  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To produce publications

How did you hear about this internship?

Twitter

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

A very positive opportunity to broaden my experiences and understanding of different research environments immediately following on from my PhD. It has helped me to consider the different ways in which data and research can be applied to solving problems in different environments.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills
Fieldwork Skills
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills
Science Policy Understanding
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment

How did you hear about this internship?

DTP Email

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

I had a great experience at The Brilliant Club. It was great to work with such an enthusiastic team and gain a feel for work outside of academia. The internship really allowed me to develop both my teaching and public speaking skills.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To get experience of and develop practical research skills
  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators

How did you hear about this internship?

DTP newsletter

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

Really positive and worthwhile. It let me step back from my PhD while remaining in a related field and provided the experience I hoped it would. I understand how policy works and I think it will be really usefully for my future career, what ever I decide to do.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *
Literature review skills *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research Before After
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To get experience of and develop practical research skills
  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To produce publications
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators

How did you hear about this internship?

Through the London DTP ” This week’s events & opportunities for PhD students” weekly email.

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

My experience at DEFRA was a positive one throughout; even better than what I expected.
I was part of a very active team within the Systems Research Programme, part of the Chief Scientific Adviser’s Office. It felt great to be a team member. My work entailed attending team meetings, workshops and a conference (as a DEFRA representative), and the development of an extensive systematic review of the literature.

Working at DEFRA has broadened my understanding of how crucial the role of scientists is in supporting each step of the policy-making process. It was great to be able to contribute to their important work with my skills, knowledge and dedication. I also made valuable professional contacts at DEFRA and will continue to participate in some of their initiatives as a contributor in the future.

I will certainly consider applying for relevant job positions at DEFRA after I complete my PhD or enter the Civil Service Fast Stream scheme.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

I believe this experience will enhance my CV and employability prospects. I am therefore extremely grateful to the London NERC DTP for making this great opportunity possible.

Thank you!

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research After Before
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To get experience of and develop practical research skills
  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment

How did you hear about this internship?

From the DTP office and more specifically from Kate Moore

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

I came into the internship with an intention of only pursuing a career in academia but now, after experiencing a career in Defra and being ecposed to other businesses in the private sector, I fully intend on applying for both academic and non-academic positions in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the futures team of the CSA’s office in Defra. Although Defra itself was great and the people were very welcoming, what made the internship great was my immersive experience into the world of futures work that was only made possible by my fantastic manager Phil Tovey. If anyone else is thinking of doing an internship in Defra I can’t recommend the CSA’s office enough and for those who enjoy out of the box thinking definitely look into the Futures team.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research After Before
Science Business Before After
Industry
Science Policy

Student Evaluation

Why did you choose to undertake an internship?

  • To learn more about what it is like to work in non-academic environment
  • To learn more about an industry of interest to me
  • To get experience to put on my CV
  • To meet potential future employers / collaborators

How did you hear about this internship?

Word of mouth from another DTP student who did a similar internship last year.

What was your experience of undertaking an Innovation Internship, overall?

Very positive. I was able to focus on my interests but also to get experience across the organisation.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your innovation internship?

Outcomes and Benefits
To what extent, if any, did your internship help you to develop each of the following skills?

Skill Not at all A small amount A reasonable amount Extensively
Practical Lab Skills *
Fieldwork Skills *
Data Management / Statistical Analysis Skills *
Project / Time Management Skills *
Teamwork / Collaboration Skills *
Communication Skills *
Science Policy Understanding *
Commercial or Entrepreneurial Awareness *
Industry Understanding *
Teaching *

Career Plans
How has the internship influenced your likelihood to pursue a career in academic research?

Likelihood of pursuing a career in…

Skill Not at all likely Somewhat likely Neither likely nor unlikely Likely Very likely
Research After Before
Science Business Before After
Industry Before After
Science Policy Before After

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