Internship Research Opportunities

28th July 2015

Transforming UK Tertiary Education towards a Sustainable Future


Social, economic and environmental sustainability in further and higher education is now a critical agenda to the long term value and viability of the Tertiary Education sector. The EAUC is the lead body in this field in the UK. The EAUC is a membership organisation linking 5300 staff and students to lead change towards a more sustainable sector. To support our efforts, we are looking for one or more student interns or researchers who are passionate about working at the crossroads of sustainability, education and communication. This is a unique opportunity for a student preparing a career in this field, as they will have the chance to engage with and learn from EAUC Board and staff as well as  staff and students at some of our Member institutions. The output from this work will be profiled both nationally and internationally.


This opportunity offers you the chance to become engaged in and analysing one of three critical developments in the sector. It is your choice which opportunity(ies) you decide to focus on.
  1. Sustainability Mapping. There is now a confusing plethora of sustainability related tools, standards and systems etc. available to improve the sustainability performance of Tertiary Education. You will collate, analyse, review and map sustainability initiatives focused at education, research, operations, governance, students and wider community within the UK tertiary education system. The EAUC will then use this mapping to help our Members understand how the initiatives relate to each other, where there is duplication and what sets some apart. You will develop a matrix and route map to help universities and colleges make sense and prioritise their sustainability response. It can also be used to develop the EAUC’s collaboration and alliance building agenda. You will write a summary paper and Guidebook of your findings and at the end, you will organise an EAUC dissemination event to present and discuss the results of this mapping exercise with key stakeholders working on sustainability in UK Tertiary Education. The results of the mapping exercise and analysis will be made publicly available.
  2. Organisational Models. Across the UK and internationally pioneer universities and colleges are developing new organisational models to lead and implement their sustainability ambitions. Historically activity has been environmentally focussed based in Estates and Facilities Departments. Increasingly a number of institutions wish to better develop the learning, research, social, economic, leadership and governance aspects of a whole institution approach to sustainability. You will visit and collect data and insight to the business case, strategy and governance ambitions of the institutions which are trialling new organisational models. This will be reviewed and critiqued and a position paper developed to help other institutions learn from others experience and chart their own route. The report will be publicly available and a dissemination event hosted and recommendations made on how the learning and output can be build into the EAUC CPD offer. There will be international interest in this work.
  3. Tomorrows Sustainability Professional. Sustainability is slowly progressing through every element of our universities and colleges. Roles vary a lot but while some specialise in an aspect of environmental management others are progressing in policy, strategic planning leadership and governance. We wish to better understand this and create one or more profiles and models of tomorrow’s professional sustainability leaders – their positions, challenges, opportunities and needs. You will collect, critique and review new and existing survey data on university and college based environmental and sustainability professionals. You will interview in and out of sector sustainability professionals, executive leaders and professional and chartered bodies. You will produce a publicly available report and organise an EAUC dissemination event. Finally you will make recommendations to EAUC on how the Association can ensure its products and services facilitate and support next generation sustainability professionals.


Reporting directly to the EAUC Chief Executive, you will benefit from developing your project management, planning & organising, time management, research, copywriting and presentation skills. Not forgetting you will gain a unique insight into UK and international education and sustainability issues.


• Flexible: a 3-4 month period is envisaged for each of the three research tasks


• Be a Masters or Doctorate student, currently enrolled at an EAUC Member university
• Interest and enthusiasm for transformative learning, education for sustainable development and sustainability in higher education
• Be a proactive initiative taker, an adaptive thinker, creative and reflective
• Have outstanding written and verbal communication skills
• Be able to manage a project independently


• Internship/Research can be EAUC office (Cheltenham or Edinburgh) or part home-based with regular contact with EAUC – expenses will be covered in accordance with our sustainability policies
• Full time or part-time work is acceptable
• Modest stipend available - Living Wage equivalent


If you would like to apply, please send us an application consisting of:

  • A one page cover letter in which you please answer three questions:
  1. Which task do you propose to research?
  2. Why do you wish to do this?
  3. What qualifies you for this position?
  • No more than two page CV including University grades and contacts for two  referees

Please send all these documents in one pdf file to In case that you are successful in the initial selection, we will invite you for a short interview at our expense.

For any questions about the internship or the application procedure, please email to

This is an ongoing research opportunity with no set timescales although we anticipate all research tasks being completed by August 2016.

The deadline for applications is 31 August 2015


The EAUC is the lead sustainability body for UK universities and colleges.
With a Membership of well over 230 Further and Higher Education institutions, we are leading the way in integrating sustainability and environmental management into universities and colleges in the UK.

A key role for us is the information and best practice sharing amongst the wealth of experience and skill within our Membership. In addition we identify and deliver sustainability staff development and work with sector funders, governors, suppliers and professional bodies to drive sustainability deeper into all aspects of our universities and colleges.

The EAUC was established by and is run for its Members. As a charity we are self-financing and use our funds for the benefit of our Membership and the achievement of our Vision and Mission.

Our Vision

Our vision is a tertiary education sector where the principles and values of environmental, economic and social sustainability are embedded.

Our Mission

The EAUC will lead, inspire and support Members and stakeholders with a shared vision, knowledge and the tools they need to embed sustainability and facilitate whole institution change through the involvement of everyone in the institution.
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