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Undergraduate tree research placement: Paid undergraduate opportunity to understand the effects of weather on planted tree survival at Gair Wood


Pay: Placements are paid at University of Leeds Grade 3 level.
Duration: 6 weeks full time starting in June/July/August
Eligibility: UK citizens and people with a pre-existing right to work in the UK, undertaking their first degree (undergraduate or integrated masters) at any UK university.
Accessibility: One additional placement available as ringfenced for UK Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates. All placements are paid above the national living wage. Unfortunately, travel costs to our Leeds site are unable to be reimbursed. Project specifics can be tailored to suit applicant accessibility requirements.
Application Deadline: 5pm on Wednesday 31st May 2023 (Apply here)

Seedlings in tree guards in a sunny field

As part of the NERC Experience Placements program, we are advertising for a UK-based undergraduate to join us in establishing our new research woodland in Leeds.

In 2023 the University of Leeds created Gair Wood, a new broadleaf-dominated, native woodland of 66,000 trees for the city of Leeds. As well as improving biodiversity and capturing carbon, the woodland will be a site for research, including a large experiment of ~5,800 trees examining the effects of varying species diversity.

As part of this REP you will be assessing how well these experimental trees have survived their first year in the site. You will also be collating weather information from the planting period to detect any possible impacts on tree survival, and to create a resource for future researchers on the site. Ultimately you will use this data to complete a short report on the success of tree establishment on the site.

This is an opportunity to contribute to the start of a significant long-term experiment, and enthusiastic candidates will also have opportunities to build field skills by contributing to the program of ongoing monitoring on site. You will join the UBoC-supported team in the School of Earth and Environment and be part of the Leeds Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest (LEAF) centre at the University of Leeds, and will have the opportunity to attend seminars and relevant research meetings.

This project will include fieldwork at a location in Leeds so the student would need to be living locally during the summer; hybrid or remote working will be considered outside of field times.

For informal enquiries, please email the project supervisors: Dr Tom Sloan ( or Dr Cat Scott (

A blog from last year's placement student, Ben Hodgson, can be found here, explaining his work to help create baseline data before we planted Gair Wood. We look forward to welcoming another placement student this year!

Application forms and complete instructions are available here.