Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Impact & Innovation Training

Delivering real impact from research requires effective engagement with both the public sector and with businesses, from start-ups to multi-national corporations.

Are you looking for ways to engage end users in industry and policy-makers with research projects? On the hunt for opportunities such as internships, training, events and workshops?

Get the knowhow

Check out SAGES’ online guide to Impact and Innovation Training in Scotland.

University-led impact and innovation courses

SAGES and NERC Training

Opportunities open to SAGES graduate school members, running from November to April each academic year.

  • Innovation and Business Skills Training for NERC DTP students

At some point in your PhD/Career you will have to research real world problems, ask someone for money, write about the ‘impact’ of your work and summarise your work for a non-academic audience. Learn how to do this successfully.

  • Impactful & effective CVs: How to communicate your academic skills to business & policy audiences

A CV is often your first opportunity to tell an employer what you can do – it’s a vital part of your job hunt. This workshop is for PhD students who would like to write an impactful CV that is relevant for recruiters from business and policy

  • How to build your professional brand on LinkedIn & ECCI Spring Social

LinkedIn has been considered a revolutionary social media platform, as it is business and employment orientated and is home to the worlds largest professional network with around 500 million users. It is very popular with employers, as more and more are turning to LinkedIn to help them find a suitable candidate for a job role.

  • Making Your Research Matter Workshop

An interactive workshop for SAGES members interested in working with the public sector, policy makers and Government – some of the key priority areas for research funding and for delivering real impact.

External Providers

  • Fast Track Impact

Fast Track Impact courses were recommended by Dr Andrew Cross, Impact Coordinator for the School of Geosciences, and Lesley Kelly, Knowledge Exchange and Communication Co-ordinator at the Usher Institute.

  • BioSS – Training for Scientists

BioSS provide training courses with the aim of giving scientists the confidence in analysing their own data and to enable them to know when to consult a statistician. The courses are timetabled around the Christmas and Easter Holidays and are held between November and June.

  • National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement

The NCCPE works to inspire and support universities to engage with the public. They offer a range of training opportunities to support the development of high quality engagement work and work with institutions and organisations to deliver on-site training for groups of up to 40.


AQMEN, based in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, offers data science training for social research, business and industry. Their training covers a broad range of topics including data preparation, data analytics, and data visualisation.

  • Making and Measuring Impact

Recommended for running great impact training courses by Dr Andrew Cross, Dr Sarah Morton used to work for the University of Edinburgh and ran a course called ‘Making and Measuring Impact’ with Lesley Kelly. For further information please contact Dr Sarah Morton:

  • KKI Associates

KKI delivers commercial skills training for scientists and technologists and financial literacy training. The former training is aimed at inspiring and motivating scientists to become interested in starting spin-out companies. The workshops are demanding and rooted in practicality.

  • Vitae

Developers of the Research Development Framework and referred to by several universities, Vitae offer bespoke packages of training to organisations.

  • VOXcoaching

VOXcoaching offer “bespoke communication skills training” and university designed courses. The courses cover areas such as public engagement and networking confidence.

  • British Geological Survey

BGS offer a range of courses from Geoscience Modelling to Statistics for Geoscientists. The courses run to an annual schedule provided there is sufficient demand. Courses can be specifically configured to the capability and experience of the participants.

Free Training Resources

Writing and Literature

  • The Royal Literary Fund

The Royal Literary Fund offers free, one-on-one training on campuses across the UK. The RLF Writing Fellows are professional writers who offer appointments for students to discuss all aspects of their writing.

  • Elsevier Research Academy

The Research Academy provides free access to e-learning resources designed to support researchers on every step of their research journey. Topics include Funding, Technical writings skills, Ethics, and Social impact.

Public Engagement and Research Impact

  • Fast Track Impact

FastTrack Impact offer a number of free online resources including Impact Podcasts, research impact templates and online training courses.

  • Research and Knowledge Exchange

The Research and Knowledge Exchange is part of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Edinburgh and provides access to a number of useful resources and events, from ‘How to…Write a research briefing’ to ‘How to …Commercialise your research’.

  • National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement

The NCCPE works to inspire and support universities to engage with the public. Visit the resource hub to access information and support for high quality engagement across multiple subject areas.

  • Vitae

Vitae membership includes access to online training material and access to Vitae events. Staff and students at all the SAGES affiliated universities will automatically have membership through their institutions.

Other Resources and events

  • Scottish Graduate School of Social Science – Working with business

SGSSS have started a new training initiative for social science PhDs: Working with business. The training programme is directed around working with industry, business and the private sector. Applications are open to PhD students from any Scottish university and any discipline, as long as their PhD has a social science foundation to it. The Oil and Gas Technology Centre – Tech20

Tech20 is a social showcase for speakers presenting technology focused topics in 20minutes or less.

  • Social Responsibility and Sustainability – University of Edinburgh

Visions for Change run a series of events examining changes being made in society in order to create a more sustainable future. Each event is free and University staff, students and the general public are welcome to attend. Visit their website to find upcoming events.

Our Changing World run a series of public lectures examining global challenges facing society, and the role of academia in meeting these challenges. See their website to find upcoming events. Past lectures can be watched by clicking here.

  • Global Environment and Society Academy – University of Edinburgh

Global environment and society academy run a series of lectures on Environment and Health in conjuncture with the Global Health Academy.


AQMEN offers data science training for social research, business and industry.

  • The Royal Society

The Royal Society host three Writing and Media Skills courses. All three are located in southern England in October and November.

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