Institute for Environmental Futures

Research opportunities

We welcome organisations from policy, environmental practice and industry contacting us to discuss collaboration opportunities. Our transdisciplinary approach means that we co-design and co-deliver much of our research together with partner organisations to ensure that research excellence leads to real-world impact.

The Institute for Environmental Futures is home to a large and vibrant community of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. If you are interested in exploring opportunities to study for a research degree, please email us at ief@leicester.ac.uk. We do not accept job applications by email. Instead, you are advised to apply through the University of Leicester jobs portal.

We operate a Visiting Fellowship Programme to enable visits by researchers with relevant interests and expertise. To find out more, please email us (ief@leicester.ac.uk).

If you are interested in an undergraduate or postgraduate taught degree course, please see our Students' Guide, in particular our Environmental Science BSc or Environmental Futures MSc.

Environmental Futures Visiting Fellowship Scheme

The Institute for Environmental Futures at the University of Leicester is inviting applications for its Visiting Fellowship Scheme.

This scheme aims to attract innovative and creative researchers and professionals from non-academic organisations to the Institute for Environmental Futures at the University of Leicester. We invite applications from any discipline and from academic or non-academic organisations to apply. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • You have a strong interest in research that addresses one of the research challenges of the Institute specified on our website.
  • You want to work closely with stakeholders and non-academic partners as well as researchers in a trans-disciplinary context.
  • You have an innovative and creative idea which research and stakeholder engagement you want to carry out at the University of Leicester during your visit.
  • You wish to work together with one or more members of the Institute for Environmental Futures before, during and after your visit.
  • You wish to spend between one week and three months at the University of Leicester. 

We are seeking applicants who wish to contribute to the academic life in the Institute for Environmental Futures by offering one or more of the following activities during their visit: 

  • Host a training event to exchange knowledge across disciplines on an environmental topic.
  • Work with us to develop a grant application related to one of our research challenges.
  • Co-write an academic publication for submission to a high impact journal, or a monograph/book.
  • Contribute to public outreach and knowledge exchange.
  • Organise a workshop, performance, seminar, exhibition or hold a lecture.
  • Co-produce a podcast, visual material/images, videos or other multimedia material with us on a topic.

Successful Environmental Futures Visiting Fellows will be asked to provide biographical information and a photograph that can be used to promote the visit.

Timeline for this call

Publication of the call

  • Monday 10 October 2022

Submission date for applications

  • Friday 11 November 2022

Selection panel meeting

  • Monday 21 November 2022

Communicating decisions to applicants

  • Tuesday 22 November 2022

Visits to commence

  • After Wednesday 4 January 2023

Visits to end no later than

  • Saturday 15 July 2023

Funding

Applications for a Visiting Fellowship are usually expected to stay with a budget of up to £5,000, although higher costs can be appropriately justified.

All requested funds must be fully justified and in accordance with the financial regulations of the University of Leicester. Applicants will be required to cover most of the costs upfront and will be reimbursed based on an expenses claim and receipts.

All expenditure must be claimed from the University of Leicester before the end of the current financial year, which ends on 31 July. It is the responsibility of the award holder to ensure that expenditure has been appropriately recorded. The Fellow’s host department will be responsible for any over expenditure and/or late claims.

Eligible costs may include

  • Return travel between the Fellow’s home or usual workplace and Leicester, with environmentally friendly mode of transport if available
  • Self-catering accommodation or Bed and Breakfast
  • Visa costs for non-UK applicants where feasible
  • Subsistence for meals and incidental expenses
  • Up to £1,000 for research expenses

Eligibility

The applicant must provide a letter of support from an academic member of the Institute for Environmental Futures at the University of Leicester as the host. The host will be at the University for the duration of the Fellowship, and will:

  • Liaise with the Fellow in the stages prior to submission of the application
  • Help organise the Fellow’s workshops and events
  • Ensure adequate administrative support within the host School to support delivery of the proposed programme

As a Visiting Fellow, you will:

  • Deliver the activities outlined in your application within the allocated time and budget, with the support of the host
  • Write a short blog post for our website towards the end of your visit

The Institute for Environmental Futures will:

  • Arrange the appropriate invitation to support visa applications for non-UK Fellows
  • Provide a University ID card to access the allocated office space, provide a desk and access to a desktop computer
  • Arrange access to University Library resources and a university email account
  • Help the Fellow to get your expenses reimbursed from the Institute budget, as stated in your award letter
  • Provide support with arranging accommodation if required
  • Work with the Fellow and host to implement the activities and engagement plan
  • Provide linkages across University of Leicester schools and where relevant with University senior leadership
  • Provide opportunities for the Fellow to work in a transdisciplinary environment together with other disciplines
  • Support the promotion of the visit on social media and our website

Selection criteria

Research Excellence (40%)

Excellent research achievements or potential of the Fellow as evidenced by the Fellow’s CV.

Innovation (20%)

Creativity and innovation of the proposed inter- or trans-disciplinary approach.

Relevance (20%)

Relevance of the proposed activities to the Institute for Environmental Futures’ priorities and research challenges.

Outputs (20%)

Strength of the planned outputs from the Visiting Fellowship, for example grant applications, publications, stakeholder engagements, methods workshops or innovation activities.

How to submit your application

Please provide: 

  1. Your research proposal (maximum 4 pages of A4):
    • Outline the research activities that you will undertake and describe how they contribute to the vision, mission and research challenges in the Institute for Environmental Futures. Describe explicitly what the innovative and creative methods or elements of your proposed activities are. Suggested headings: 'Background', 'Research questions/Aims and objectives', 'Material and methods', 'Work plan' with specific outputs and outcomes that will be delivered during the visit.
    • Provide confirmation that your employer agrees for you to undertake this fellowship, should you be successful with your application.
    • Ethics self-assessment: Describe briefly whether you see any ethical issues that justify a formal ethical approval. State whether ethics approval has been requested or obtained, and which institution you have submitted this to.
  2. Your justification of the requested budget: See section ‘Funding’ above for detailed guidance. For each requested expenditure item, provide a reasonable estimate of the likely cost based on prices at the time of writing the application. Maximum one page of A4.
  3. Your Curriculum Vitae (CV):
    • Provide your short CV with the most relevant information (maximum 2 pages of A4).
    • Include contact details of 2 referees that you give permission for us to contact to seek a reference.
  4. A cover letter (optional): You may include a cover letter of no more than one page of A4 to provide any other information you feel will help us in assessing your application.
  5. Your Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) questionnaire (optional): To allow us to monitor EDI issues in the awards process of the fellowships, we encourage you to submit the EDI questionnaire for monitoring purposes. This will not be used in the selection process, but we will review the outcomes of the selection process using summary information in anonymised form for internal purposes. We will process your EDI data in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and destroy your data once the selection process is complete. 

Please submit all application documents to ief@le.ac.uk by the stated submission date on this page, with the subject line “Environmental Futures Visiting Fellowship Application”. If you have any queries, you can email us to the same address.

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