Environment YES

environmentyesThe Natural Environment Research Council is offering an exciting opportunity for doctoral level environmental scientists (that’s PhDs and early career research staff) to develop their employability skills, learn about putting a business idea into practice, and add evidence of that elusive “commercial awareness” to their CVs.

The competition is FREE to enter – travel, accommodation and meals are provided and the winning team take home £1,000.

How it Works

  • Participants form teams of 4 or 5, with each member assuming the role of director in a company (such as operations director).
  • The team devises a business plan for a company based on hypothetical science.
  • The team present their ideas to a panel of investors who assess its commercial potential.
  • There’s a half day briefing (18th August in Nottingham), 3 day residential (14-16th October in Oxford) where you get to hear from leading industry figures on topics such as intellectual property, investment and commercial evaluation of ideas, and a national final (14th December in London) – if you get all the way through.


  • Obtain an insight into the environmental sector
  • Develop your knowledge of technology transfer
  • Increase your commercial awareness skills
  • Network with industry professionals
  • Improve your negotiation and team-building skills

It’s run on the same model as the BiotechnologyYES programme which is well established (and also has a closing date this year of 17th June – contact Sarah Ashworth in FLS if you’re interested, as teams are already forming).

That means, yes, you do have to get all suited and booted to present a business plan – and you’ve got a lot to live up to, after our life scientists walked off with a prize for their business plan presentation in last year’s BiotechnologyYES competition. See their presentation linked from my previous post on Commercial Awareness, and use that as your inspiration.

For further information and to apply please go to www.nerc.ac.uk/environmentyes

The closing date for applications is 17 June 2009.

(And thanks to Martine Storey, one of our careers information specialists for pointing this out and putting together a blog post for me – ta, Martine!)