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
  • RCUK Policy Internships
  • – 3 months working at a policy organisation, annual competition
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Bioweb.ie
  • – 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

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