November 19, 2020, by Postgraduate Placements Nottingham

Keeping postgraduate talent within the county

This week’s blog comes from placement host Mike Burgass at Biodiversify: a conservation consultancy which advises a range of private, public and third sector clients who want to act for nature.

At Biodiversify we are passionate about saving nature and passionate about the role of the private sector in helping nature recover. We help a range of clients across a multitude of sectors understand and improve their relationship with nature. This is mostly with large companies who have the greatest impact and are exposed to the greatest amount of risk but often true innovation and progress comes from small companies with the passion and energy to make a difference.

In this instance we really connected with a new company, Aspect Climate Projects, who had spent a huge amount of time on designing and sourcing materials for a vegan and low carbon shoe. They wanted an independent assessment of the biodiversity and climate impacts of their shoe but as they hadn’t gone in to production didn’t have any budget available. I had had the Postgraduate Placements Nottingham programme (PPN) on my radar for a while as a really useful resource for micro companies and this presented a great opportunity to start the connection.

Biodiversify company logo

~ conservation consultancy

The project involved a postgraduate researcher undertaking a climate and nature audit of Aspect’s shoe, guided by us and our inhouse methodologies. The PPN recruitment process was a breeze, involving very little effort on our part in terms of paperwork, and we were presented with a range of different candidates from all different backgrounds. After having conducted interviews and selected our chosen candidate, Daisy Snook, the PPN team took care of all the contracting and we were free to get going.

It’s safe to say the project was a great success and no words can put it better than the feedback we received from Alex at Aspect:

“I think Daisy has done a superb job on this, it’s extremely well researched and written in a detailed yet very approachable way which isn’t an easy balance to achieve. The content and depth of research is excellent and I think it genuinely takes the conversation of “sustainability” etc to a level way beyond what is currently out there. Reading the report, it was enjoyable to see the additional information being built around our decisions and putting it all into an even more considered context. I also appreciate how it genuinely challenges some of the decisions we’ve made and pushes for better solutions, this is really refreshing when a lot of brands are keen on just patting themselves on the back rather than look more deeply into the problems and potential solutions. I really appreciate the effort  that has gone into this and think it reflects extremely well on what you guys are able to offer brands and consumers.”

~ Daisy

We started the process with a single project in mind but it quickly became apparent how well Daisy was able to work independently. We felt we had to keep Daisy’s skills within the company and offered her a job at the end of the placement.

In such worrying and hard times, gaining employment is likely to be challenging even for the most well qualified postgraduates. Ensuring we keep the talent the universities are generating within the county is incredibly important and the PPN presents a great opportunity to do this. Not only does it come at zero cost to the company, you are really giving a leg up into the world of business for those who need it and in our experience, you are quite likely to find a future leader right on your doorstep.


  • Biodiversify is a conservation consultancy which advises a range of private, public and third sector clients who want to act for nature. We work at the cutting-edge of scientific research to employ creative and disruptive techniques to challenge the status-quo of how biodiversity is managed in practice.
  • Aspect Climate Projects (Website going live soon)

If you are a business interested in offering a postgraduate placement please visit our webpage for more information.

Posted in Placements