Dr Emma Ferranti, NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship

Emma FerrantiWhich independent fellowship do you hold and what is your main research goal?

I hold a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowship. The purpose of Knowledge Exchange fellowships is to improve data-sharing between academic and non-academic partners. My particular fellowship aims to improve the scientific evidence base for green infrastructure.

What was your academic background prior to the award?

I gained my PhD in 2011. Between 2012-2013, then 2014-2015, I held two postdoctoral positions. Both positions had external stakeholders (Environment Agency, Network Rail, contractors at Scunthorpe Steelworks). I also have earlier experience (pre-PhD) working for an environmental consultancy.

What attracted you to your fellowship?

I have good connections and experience with industry, which is important for Knowledge Exchange fellowships.  The success rate was good (around 30%). I knew I was probably a little early career-wise for a more ‘prestigious’ fellowship. I wanted to a have a fellowship (of any kind) so I could set my own research agenda.

What notable outcomes have arisen from your fellowship so far?

I’m only one year in, however my networks have grown immensely. I have another two years left and I anticipate these will deliver impact (as I have the networks and ideas in place).

Do you have any advice for fellowship applicants? 

You have to be in it to win it! Be prepared to fail (again and again…) but never give up! You get better every application.  Surround yourself with supportive colleagues. The Research Support Office (RSO) in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences (LES) are AMAZING! Use them as much as you can.