Molly Heal

Ecologist, -

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Comment on Hello, World!
Mar 19, 2021

Hi Sanjana!

Thanks for this, it sounds brilliant - I've passed it on to some folks including a university science teacher who teaches science communication; hopefully they'll pass it on to their students.

I've signed up for this weekend as I have no experience of hackathons and am curious to learn more!

Mar 07, 2021


Great idea, thanks very much for posting this, it's is a good reminder for me to get back in to learning R again! I have a whole folder of bookmarked resources I've been meaning to check out: (apparently this one will be "your last ever bookmark") (not sure if this is still an active site, but including incase it starts up again) (small programming puzzles!) (someone's personal coding 'road map')

If you're on Twitter there are some great accounts sharing tips etc., too.

Cheers, and happy coding!


Jan 12, 2021

Hi folks, might be a bit late but if anyone has applied for these jobs I've worked on Skomer and Skokholm before (although not in these posts), so would be happy to chat informally if helpful pre-interview.  

Nov 20, 2020

Thanks for this post - I've just set up a Linkedin!

and I've been trying to use Twitter more, but I'm still getting used to it -

Nov 18, 2020

Hi Kaitlyn, yeah it's very discouraging when you put together a good application, and you don't hear anything back, but if it's any reassurance (it certainly makes me feel better), and as I'm sure you already know, competition can be fierce (200 over-qualified people applying for an unpaid internship, etc. etc.), and lack of job success is not necessarily a reflection of your skillset or suitability for the role. Always worth keeping that in mind for morale purposes (that might just be me though)!

I've never hired anyone so all of this comes from a job-seeker's perspective, but I do think application-ing (especially the restrictions of those awful Word doc forms, as opposed to the relative freedom of a cover letter) is something of a Dark Art, which like any skill takes some time to get good at, and also requires some trial and error. Not to mention! different organizations grade/mark applications using their own criteria and agenda, so it can be reassuring to remember that there's a lot going on 'behind the scenes' that we don't know about (e.g. the organization is legally obligated to advertise the position externally, but there is someone internally who is pretty much expected to get it, e.g. their current intern). 

All that to say! and forgive me if any of this is stating the obvious / repeating any of Samantha's (really great) advice, I recommend:

- if you can, always get someone else to read over the job ad. and then your materials in the context of the specific job (a friend always used to send me applications to read over without any info on the job itself - hard to give much feedback about if they were hitting any of the criteria!)  

- I like to use the criteria/specification of the job ad. as a sort of Q&A template for the structure of a cover letter. I copy and paste all the requirements of the role in a Word doc, then go through and 'answer' each one with an example of how I meet it. They might not all end up in the final letter, but it's a good way to flesh out and start to structure things at the start, and extra examples can be good to read through later as part of interview preparation.

 - as an extension of the above point, be careful not to just list things you've done or can do, but rather clearly set out how your role / actions / results etc. enable you to meet the job criteria (think it's called the STAR approach, to be honest I find it a bit awkward / unnatural, but since I started using it, I've had a lot more success getting to the interview stage)

- Some people recommend asking for feedback if unsuccessful at he application stage, but in my experience (fieldwork) very few places have the time / resources to provide that unless you get to interview (and not always then, either) but it might be better in env. education?

- look up who already works there (and people who used to) on their website and individual Linkedins. Seeing their CV and how they built up their experience can give you an idea of how your experience etc. matches up with people in the same role and where you might want to fill in a knowledge gap - but I also find it really helps remind me a 'real person' will read this application at some point (screening software aside!), vs. loosing motivation as you send another application off in to the unknown.

Only have a little experience of env. education stuff but very happy to read over any past applications and see if there's anything that jumps out! (

Comment on Hello, i'm Kathryn!
Nov 11, 2020

Just saw this, thought it might appeal -