British Ecological Society-Natural Resources Wales Policy Fellowship

Applications for the 2023 Policy Fellowship in Wales are now open!

The BES Policy Team works with public bodies across the UK to offer fellowships to ecologists looking to expand their knowledge and experience of policy. This year we are working with Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

The BES-NRW Policy Fellowship offers an ecologist the chance to complete a placement embedded within the statutory adviser to the Welsh Government on the natural environment, applying their scientific expertise to a practical policy challenge.

The Fellowship will provide a prestigious opportunity for BES members to gain first-hand experience, 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.

Topic and activities

The focus of the Fellowship will depend on prevailing policy needs as well as the interests and experience of the successful candidate. Applicants should state an area of environmental policy they would be particularly interested in, and they know is relevant in Wales, on their application.

This Fellowship will take place during a crucial period of environmental policy development and decision making in Wales. Important aspects of this include the Agriculture (Wales) Bill, the Sustainable Farming Scheme and the redesign of the Nature Recovery action plan following the Convention on Biological Diversity COP15. The exact topic will be agreed following discussions between the successful candidate and NRW.

The Fellow will work with specialist policy and operational experts within NRW and Welsh Government to produce the desired outputs, which will be set out at the start of the Fellowship. Possible activities that could be included in the Fellow’s work are:

  • Synthesising the evidence base for the benefits and disbenefits of a particular practice or land management
  • Using a system approach to map the benefits and disbenefits (and dynamics/feedback loops) of a particular practice or land management
  • Reporting on the investment needed for the implementation of a particular practice
  • Producing user-specific outputs, such as a brief for policy makers or a practical guide for farmers, to communicate the evidence to stakeholder groups including policy makers, landowners, farmers and NGOs
  • Gathering a set of case studies relevant to Wales
  • Providing a worked example of how organisations like NRW can inform decision making on a specific topic
  • Analysing, interpreting and communicating data provided by NRW to support their ongoing work 


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 are open to anyone who has a PhD or is a 3rd/4th year PhD student who will be affiliated with a Welsh institution (university, research organisation or otherwise) for the entire duration of the Fellowship as a PhD student, post-doctoral researcher, lecturer or in any other academic position. If the applicant is not a BES member, they will be awarded a free BES membership for a year. 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.

Start date and duration

The Fellowship will start around September 2023, with the exact start date to be agreed between NRW, the Fellow, and the Fellow’s home institution.

The precise duration of the placement to be agreed between NRW, the Fellow and the Fellow’s home institution. The placement can be full-time or part-time.

Applications Process



Applications should be made via the online flexigrant portal on the BES website. Questions are listed in English only, but answers can be submitted in English or Cymraeg.


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 Friday 16 June 2023.

Interviews will take place on Wednesday 5 July 2023.


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Welsh Policy Group

Welsh Policy Group

Promoting the value of ecological knowledge in Wales READ MOREABOUT WELSH POLICY GROUP


Daniela Russi

Senior Policy Manager

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