BES Scottish Government RESAS Policy Fellowships

This Fellowship follows on from successful positions at Defra, DAERA and NatureScot over the past few years and is an amazing opportunity for a PhD student or a postdoc who is interested in the science-policy interface and how ecological evidence is translated into policy. 

The Fellowship provides a prestigious opportunity for the fellow to gain first-hand experience of working at the science-policy interface, improve their policy knowledge and awareness, develop their science – communication skills, and build 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 fellowship will be focused around one of the topics below. In the application rank the topics you would be willing to work on with number one being your preference. 

  1. Regenerative agriculture 
  2. Actions for biodiversity in agriculture


The Fellowship will ideally start between August and September 2023, but there is some flexibility in terms of the start date, which will be agreed between the Scottish Government, the Fellow, and the Fellow’s home institution. The fellowship must be completed by 15th March 2024.  The placement can be full-time or part-time. 


A maximum of £20,000 is available from the BES to support the Fellowship, including salary, accommodation and other costs. Applicants are asked to specify and justify the amount of funding requested and how it would be spent. This budget needs to include some funding to travel to and attend meetings including subsistence costs. 

The Fellow will remain employed by their home institution for the duration of the placement. 


Applications to the BES Policy Fellowship will be open to any PhD student in their 3rd or 4th year or postdoc who is affiliated with a Scottish institution (university, research organisation or otherwise). The applicant does not have to be affiliated with the institution when they submit their application, but if they are not then the letter they submit from a Head of Department/School must explicitly state that the institution agrees to host the applicant as an employee for the duration of the Fellowship. Further details are in the role description. 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. 

Applications Process


Applications should be made via the online flexigrant portal on the BES website.


Register/log into our online flexigrant system, complete your contact details, and navigate to ‘Your Applications’.

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

  • A CV
  • A letter of support from the Head of Department/School at the applicant’s home institution, or an institution that agrees to host the applicant during the fellowship. This should indicate that they agree to the applicant taking time away from their normal duties to complete the Fellowship and/or that they agree to host the applicant as an employee for the duration of the Fellowship. Further details can be found in the role description
  • An equality and diversity monitoring form

Applications will close 23:59 Sunday 23 July 2023.

Interviews will take place on the 2nd or the 9th August 2023.

If you have any questions about the Fellowship or application process, please get in touch with Daniela Russi, BES Senior Policy Manager,