BES Policy Fellowship

Applications for the 2021 Policy fellowship will open shortly

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

About the Fellowship

The BES works with government departments across the UK to offer fellowships  to ecologists.  Details for 2021 are being confirmed but in 2020, the BES funded one fellowship and due to the high quality of the candidates a further 2 fellowships were funded by the host (DAERA)

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.


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, with the exact start date to be agreed between the host, 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 the host, the Fellow and the Fellow’s home institution.

Applications Process

Applications will be via the grants portal on the BES website.  Applications will open in due course

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

Interviews are held with a panel consisting of members of the BES Policy Committee, BES personnel and DAERA personnel will assess the applications.