Student Resources

PhD Survival Guide
  • A PhD Survival Guide (2012)
  • – some brief advice for PhD students
  • The Thesis Whisperer
  • – a blog dedicated to helping research students everywhere
  • PhD Life
  • – a blog about the PhD experience
  • What I learned during my PhD
  • – a blog post by palaeontologist Jon Tennant about what he learned during his PhD
  • Advice to get you ready for your next conference
  • – a blog post by ecologist Jeremy Fox about preparing for a conference
  • How to give a science flash talk
  • – a article on SciDev.Net about how to give a great short science talk.
  • Tools and datasets
  • NERC Reserach facilities
  • – a list of all NERC-funded research facilities that are available to PhD students.
  • R Studio
  • – a very highly rated development environment for R, a programming language for statistical computing and graphics.
  • R for fledglings
  • – a short introduction to R and its utility in natural resource management
  • Data Camp – Beginner Statistics
  • – a free online course providing a hands-on introduction to statistics with R
  • Code Academy
  • – free online courses for several major coding languages including HTML, CSS, JQuery and JavaScript
  • iRecord App
  • – record any species on the go
  • Co$ting Nature
  • – a web-based tool for natural capital accounting and analysing the ecosystem services provided by natural environments
  • Water World
  • – a testbed for the development and implementation of land- and water-related policies for sites and regions globally
  • National Biodiversity Network’s Gateway
  • – a repository of biodiversity data from the UK.
  • MPAtlas
  • – a map of the World’s Marine Protected Areas.
  • Brevy
  • – add to a growing repository of summaries of published papers.
  • Training and Internships
  • NERC Research centre training programme
  • – a programme of training courses open to all NERC students.
  • NERC Advanced Training Short Courses
  • – individual training courses hosted across the UK, open to all NERC students.
  • UCL Information Services Division Digital Skills Development Courses
  • UKRI Policy Internships
  • – 3 months working at a policy organisation, annual competition
  • Royal Institution Internships
  • – 3 months working at the Royal Institution, either on The Big Bang Fair or The RI Christmas Lectures.
  • BES POST Fellowship
  • – 3 months working at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.
  • Environment YES
  • – a team of 4 or 5 members work together to devise a business plan for a company based on hypothetical science.
  • Public Engagement
    Get Involved
  • UCL Brightclub
  • – training in public engagement through science comedy.
  • Famelab
  • – science communication competition.
  • PubhD London
  • – science talks in the pub.
  • The Brilliant Club
  • – tutor brilliant school children aged between 10 and 16.
  • I’m a Scientist
  • – online science engagement and outreach activities with children and young people.
  • London SciComm Socials
  • – fun, friendly meet-ups for everyone interested in science communication. .
  • STEMNetwork Ambassadors
  • – activities and events with young people to improve learning and enjoyment of STEM
  • NERC Public Engagement Training
  • Three minute thesis
  • – a competition that celebrates exciting research conducted by PhD students, and tests their ability to communicate concisesly.
  • Science Live
  • – connecting event organisers, volunteers and speakers to put on live science events, brought to you by the British Science Association.
  • List of Science Festivals in the UK (2017)
  • – a useful list of science festivals, which always need volunteers!
  • There may be opportunities to get involved in public engagement activities directly through the DTP, particularly at summer science events (e.g. Royal Society Summer Science, Cheltenham Science Festival, Einstein’s Garden) – please contact the NERC DTP Innovation Officer, Claire Asher for more details.

    Organise Your Own Event
  • UCL Beacon Bursaries
  • – grants of up to £2000, available to UCL staff and students.
  • Train and Engage
  • – grants of up to £1000, available to UCL staff and students after undertaking the training course.
  • Royal Society of Biology Regional Grant Scheme
  • – grants of £200 – £500, two rounds of applications per year in September and March.
  • Biochemical Society Science Outreach Grants
  • – grants of up to £1000, two rounds of applications per year in September and April.
  • British Geophysical Association Outreach Fund
  • – grants of up to £2000
  • Popular Writing

    Tips and Tools

  • The Association of British Science Writers
  • – expert advice, events and training
  • The Open Notebook
  • – expert advice and interviews, pitch database
  • The Writer: Readability Checker
  • – check how readable your writing is
  • EurekAlert
  • – press releases
  • Contribute

  • The Natural Environment Blog
  • – all DTP PhD students are welcome to contribute to our DTP blog
  • Sci Snack
  • – writing improvement for young and early career researchers
  • The Conversation
  • – students and academics can contribute
  • – a place for enthusiasts of environmental, zoological and botanical-related fields to promote their work and themselves
  • Images

    Every good blog post needs images, but it can be hard to find copyright-free images. Here are some great places to start your search!

  • Wikimedia commons
  • – a great source of CC images of almost anything you can think of
  • Flickr commons
  • – make sure you search only the commons for copyright-free images
  • morgueFile
  • – free stock photography
  • Kalyan Varma
  • – beautiful creative commons wildlife photography
  • Phylopic
  • – free silhouette images of animals, plants and other lifeforms
  • NASA Image and Video Library
  • – free images and videos released by NASA
  • Wildscreen Exchange
  • – a global hub for conservation images and media
  • RSS NERC Research News

    • AO: Integration proposals April 16, 2019
      Proposals are invited for the integration call as part of the Understanding of the Impacts of Hydrometeorological Hazards in South East Asia programme, funded by the Economic & Social Research Council and NERC.
    • Workshop April 8, 2019
      NERC invites applications to attend a workshop on 22 May 2019 in Cambridge to introduce the new collaborative partnership between the UK and Chile, the exploration of Subglacial Lake CECs in Antarctica, and the scope of the associated research programme.
    • AO: Constructing a Digital Environment open call April 3, 2019
      NERC is inviting proposals for a second round of feasibility studies costing up to £240,000 at 80% full economic cost, with a maximum duration of 12 months, as part of the Constructing a Digital Environment programme.
    • Scoping group for securing UK forest form, function and ecosystem services March 29, 2019
      NERC invites applications to join a scoping group that will develop the science case for a potential large strategic research programme on 'Securing UK forest form, function and ecosystem services against 21st-century pressures'.
    • Finale meeting March 21, 2019
      The final meeting of the NERC Security of Supply of Mineral Resources programme will celebrate and share its achievements to researchers and stakeholders at the Royal Society in London on 9 May 2019.

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