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by Sam Starkey 12 Jun, 2017

The University of Exeter’s College of Life and Environmental Sciences, in partnership with Clinton Devon Estates, is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship titled: Can productive agriculture also enhance natural capital? Exploring catchment scale approaches to progressive land management .

Starting in September 2017, or as soon as possible thereafter,  the PhD will explore progressive ways in which land management can be delivered. The aim will be to find uncover ways  to minimise negative forces such as flooding, diffuse pollution, soil erosion and losses of biodiversity, whilst also maintaining, if not enhancing productivity, alongside other sources of income to farmland.

The successful student will work with Prof. Richard Brazier (Geography, University of Exeter), a leading expert in the holistic, environmental understanding of intensive agriculture, and Prof. Ian Bateman(Politics, University of Exeter), an environmental economist, who has pioneered the Natural Capital Approach to valuing changes in land use and land management.

This fully-funded studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £14,553 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro-rata for part-time study. The student would be based in Geography in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter, and will also spend significant proportions of their time at Clinton Devon Estates, at their Rolle Estate Office in Devon.

The deadline for applications is 3rd July 2017 . For more information, or to apply online, please visit:

by Sam Starkey 27 Apr, 2017

The Natural Capital Committee (NCC) is an independent advisory committee that provides advice to the government on the sustainable use of natural capital - that is, our natural assets including forests, rivers, land, minerals and oceans.

The NCC has recently published a practical guide for anyone looking to adopt natural capital approaches in making decisions about the natural environment.

How to do it: a natural capital workbook  can support planners, communities and landowners, but has particular relevance for place-based decisions. The guide supports decision-makers to look after the environment and make the most of opportunities to protect and improve it.

How to do it: a natural capital workbook  can be downloaded from the NCC webpages, where you will also find links to further reading, including the NCC Natural Capital Valuation  paper, which lays out the types of decisions for which natural capital values might be useful, and some principles to guide the choice of approaches to valuation.

by Sam Starkey 03 Apr, 2017

South West Partnership for Environment and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) is a partnership of three research institutions (Plymouth University, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, and led by the University of Exeter), funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), to deliver economic and community benefits whilst also protecting and enhancing the South West's natural resources.

SWEEP brings together academic, business and policy sectors to address the fundamental challenge of translating academic research into business, government and community impact. It will co-create bespoke solutions and tools targeted at the better integration of the natural environment into decision-making and management.   This will drive sustainable economic growth, help create new products and services, safeguard jobs and create new employment, improve policies, and enhance the health and wellbeing of people living in the South West.


We are seeking a highly skilled and experienced applicant to join the team.   The purpose of the post is to coordinate, facilitate and evaluate the University's delivery of impact from the SWEEP Programme. The post holder will provide insight and expertise to enhance institutional capability and performance on economic and societal impact, its creation, capture and evaluation. They will work with and support the SWEEP team, including colleagues at Plymouth University and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, as well as external partners based throughout the South West region (Devon, Cornwall and Somerset) to support the delivery of impact.

The role is a part-time post, offered at 0.5FTE on a 5 year fixed term basis. It will be based at the University of Exeter within the Directorate of Innovation, Impact and Business. The closing date for applications is 10 April 2017 .

For more information, please visit the job profile on the University of Exeter website .

by Sam Starkey 20 Mar, 2017

As well as delivering a wide range of pioneering impact projects, SWEEP will also co-fund 13 PhD studentships to conduct new and targeted research studies with the potential to make a real-world change.

The studentships will be based with partners across the region to help deliver environmental, business and community impact, and build on strong existing connections with businesses, policy makers and other organisations.

The students will work alongside academic and partner colleagues, and have access to the SWEEP network of Impact Fellows who can share their experience of embedding research into action.

South West Water is one of the first partners to commit to the scheme. Their investment is a 50% contribution to the full cost of one studentship over four years, with SWEEP funding the other 50%. The study will begin in September 2017, and will develop methods to support and inform decisions around investing in the region’s natural capital.

Professor Ian Bateman, SWEEP Project Lead , welcomed the commitment, saying: 

“I’m delighted to be able to announce this first joint-funding arrangement which demonstrates clearly the strength of commitment from a key SWEEP partner – it’s a great way to kick off the programme and fantastic to see this agreed so early on in the development of the programme. But of course, it’s more than just a financial agreement – what I find really exciting is the commitment to practical involvement in the research that South West Water and other partners are making: SWEEP is above all about impact and about making real-world changes which will improve the sustainability of the region’s economy and help safeguard its natural capital.”

A further PhD studentship has also been confirmed with Clinton Devon Estate. The study will support their work in developing new approaches to land management and intensive agriculture that can help preserve natural resources.

We are now looking to develop further co-funded PhD studentships with SWEEP partners. If you are interested in this opportunity please contact the SWEEP Programme Manager, Dawn Scott, , 01392 725474 .

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