BES/DAERA Policy Fellowship

Applications for the 2020 Policy Fellowship are now open.

Northern Ireland Assembly and Government building in Stormont Estate, Belfast. Krzysztof Nahlik/iStock

About the Fellowship

The BES/Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Policy Fellowship offers an ecologist the chance to spend up to six months on a placement, embedded within a Northern Ireland government department or executive agency, applying their scientific expertise to a practical policy challenge. The Fellowship will provide a prestigious opportunity for BES members to gain first-hand experience of working within a Northern Ireland government department, improving their policy knowledge and awareness, developing their science communication skills, and building their professional networks at an exciting and crucial time for environmental policy.

The Fellowship will also help to foster wider links between the ecological and policy communities, and support policy development informed by outstanding science. The placement would ideally be based in DAERA offices in Belfast, with travel to attend meetings and events in Northern Ireland. However, homeworking may be required, due to any COVID-19 restrictions.


A maximum of £20,000 is available from the BES to support the Fellowship. Applicants are asked to specify and justify the amount of funding requested and how it would be spent.


Applications to the BES Policy Fellowship will be open to any BES member with two or more years’ research experience post-PhD. The Fellowship is only open to those who have UK Citizenship or an existing visa to work in the UK for the duration of the Fellowship. See ‘Useful Documentation’ below for full role description.


The Fellowship will ideally begin in November 2020, with the exact start date to be agreed between DAERA, the Fellow, and the Fellow’s home institution. The Fellowship will last between three months (full-time) and six months (part-time), with the precise duration of the placement to be determined between DAERA, the Fellow and the Fellow’s home institution.

Applications Process

Applications will be via the grants portal on the BES website. You will need to register into our online grants system, complete your contact details, and navigate to ‘My Applications’ then select Policy Fellowship 2020.

Alongside the application form, candidates will be asked to provide:

  • A CV.
  • A letter of support from the Head of Department/School at the applicant’s home institution indicating that they agree to the applicant taking time away from their normal duties to complete the Fellowship according to the requirements and conditions set out above.
  • An equality and diversity monitoring form.

EXTENDED: Completed applications and associated materials should be submitted by 23:59 on Sunday 30 August 2020.

Interviews will be held on Thursday 10th of September.

Please note, late applications will not be accepted. A panel consisting of members of the BES Policy Committee, BES personnel and DAERA personnel will assess the applications.