Imperial College London

Climate change innovation internship: Where can innovation make a difference?


Undaunted Greenhouse logo on pale yellow and blue background

Are you a postdoc within 12 months of finishing your PhD, interested in climate change innovation?

Undaunted, Imperial College London’s centre for climate innovation, is offering a four to five-month placement to a postdoctoral researcher. The internship is an opportunity for the postdoc to get an insight into the climate innovation world, meet entrepreneurs developing new and exciting solutions to the climate change challenge, and join our events and activities connecting innovators, investors and corporates trying to tackle climate change. In doing so, the intern will also have the chance to make a tangible contribution to our work to build and nurture a flourishing climate change innovation community in London and the UK.


Undaunted (formerly the Centre for Climate Change Innovation) is a hub for the UK’s climate change innovation community based in the heart of London, led by Imperial’s Grantham Institute and the Royal Institution.

Undaunted activities stimulate dialogue and relationship-building between innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, academics, and the public, with a common purpose: enabling solutions that tackle the climate crisis to scale-up and commercialise at pace and in a just and sustainable way.

In doing so we contribute towards strengthening London’s – and the UK’s – resilience, with interventions that directly address the capital’s environmental priorities. Our solutions can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, for example, or help us adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change; they can improve energy efficiency, lower carbon transport, reduce waste, improve air quality and more. In parallel, these activities create new business growth and employment and encourage upskilling and talent development.

Our accelerator programme, The Greenhouse, supports early-stage climate innovators from across the UK (the majority with a hardware/deeptech focus) with expert coaching and mentorship. We run a curated internship programme, connecting students with unique, paid placements to apply their learning in commercial environments.

We also provide scaling support to more mature SMEs and work with our corporate members on their climate mitigation and adaptation innovation challenges. Undaunted recently delivered an executive education course on climate innovation and a complimentary master’s course is in planning for next year. We are founding members of cleantech policy advocacy group Cleantech for UK and have a growing programme of advocacy for policy that supports climate innovation. Our regular events stimulate the development and profile of London’s Climate change ecosystem.

We are making London a world-leading nexus for climate innovation in all its guises by co-creating, embedding and showcasing the solutions needed to address the climate emergency and connecting to centres across the UK and internationally.

Project context

Undaunted acts as part of the public goods supporting the development of climate change solutions. Our roots into Imperial College London, and our deep connection to the scientific and academic community is one of the unique aspects of our innovation offering.

Our current programme is broad and the Greenhouse invites applicants with any solution that can tackle climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions or helping us to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. We are increasingly interested in adding a focussed or mission-orientated dimension to our programmes. Given the urgency of the climate change challenge, there is a need to focus our efforts on specific problems where we still have time to find innovative solutions and deploy them with widespread impact.

We would like to have a clearer understanding of what is already available in the public domain in terms of identification of the specific problems and challenges where climate innovation is required. Where possible, we would like to investigate some of the unexplored avenues further and/or develop a plan of how to use existing problem statements to stimulate mission-focussed innovation through Undaunted.

Whilst working on the project, we would also hope that the postdoc would be an active member of the team, contributing to the delivery of our events and wider activities, where possible. The postdoc would also have the opportunity to meet with a range of our collaborators and external partners, including investors and corporations working on climate innovation.


The objective of the project would be to:

  1. Develop a full picture of the existing mapping work available in the public domain, with reference to also what might be happening in the private domain, of detailed needs for climate innovation
  2. Develop a set of options for Undaunted to help support further mapping and/or use the mapping that exists to stimulate and support further climate innovation in the UK and beyond
  3. If time allows, to carry out a deep dive on one of the gap areas in existing mapping identified.


For task 1, we would expect a short, well-referenced report summarising findings as an output of the project. The report would be complemented by a well-organised folder of data collected. These outputs would be prepared for use by the team, rather than for external publication.

For Task 2 the output would be a short PowerPoint-style summary of options and activities for Undaunted. The postdoc would be expected to present this at an internal team meeting for discussion and feedback.

If time permits, then the output for task 3 would be a short, well-referenced mapping document outlining the key problem statements and scientific questions where climate innovation is needed on a specific challenge area.

Funding arrangements

The successful applicant will be employed by the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment whilst undertaking the placement. They will be paid £26.54 per hour inclusive of holiday pay (equivalent to spine point 17).

Working arrangements

The candidate will be able to work full time or part time (min 0.6FTE) at Undaunted for the employment period. Staff are expected to be at the Undaunted office, based at the Royal Institution, or at the South Kensington Imperial campus at least 50% of the time, and can be based in a home-working environment at other times, but to be agreed with the line manager.


This opportunity is open to recent PhD graduates, who have ideally completed of their PhD within the last 12 months, but there may be some flexibility. The candidate’s PhD should ideally have been in environmental sciences or related area.

Application process

Candidate should submit a CV and cover letter to apply for this position. Applications need to be submitted to by 5pm, Thursday 20 April 2023.

The selected applicant would be expected to start between 1 May and 1 June 2023, with the project to be completed by 30 September 2023.

Undaunted is a partnership between The Royal Institution and Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment.

Logos: Royal Institution, Imperial College London, Grantham Institute

Undaunted is co-funded by the 2014 to 2020 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme, the Greater London Authority and HSBC UK.



Claudia Cannon

Claudia Cannon
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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Internships, Climate-change, Enterprise, Imperial-Innovations, Postdoctoral-researchers
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