enviroSPRINT 2024 was a 3-day online hack event for postgraduate researchers (PGRs) from the NERC Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) ACCE, ARIES, C-CLEAR, CENTA, INSPIRE and QUADRAT.

During enviroSPRINT, interdisciplinary Teams of PGRs from universities across the UK developed innovative solutions to some of the pressing needs of policy makers, industry and third sector organisations in the environmental sciences.

"It was honestly brilliant, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole event (including the socials), felt like I gained a lot from it, and the break from thinking about my PhD project to engage in something else academic was actually useful and refreshing. The engagement from both the participants and organisers was amazing and the whole event was run incredibly well." - enviroSPRINT 2021 participant

What did we do?

Over the course of three days, Teams rapidly investigated one of our Challenge areas, identified a key problem and innovated potential solutions.

Each Team included a PGR Facilitator and a PGR Communicator who received additional training and guidance to support their Teams.

Experts from a number of nationally important organisations contributed their time and knowledge to provide background information, insights and advice to the Teams.

On the final afternoon, Teams demonstrated a prototype of their solution to a panel of expert judges who assessed the novelty and feasibility of the concept, along with the quality of the presentation, before selecting a winner.

"It was incredibly engaging and rewarding to come together like a well oiled machine to come up with a project to address an aspect of sustainability we all felt passionate about." - enviroSPRINT 2021 participant

The teams addressed 5 Challenge areas:

How might we communicate the importance, value and impact of the marine microbiome?

with Marine Biological Association

Team 1A - WINNER

Team 1B

How might the Eden Project Wildflower Bank enable biodiversity net gain and nature recovery across the UK?

with Eden Project Wildflower Bank and Earlham Institute

Team 2A

Team 2B

How might we stop microplastics entering and spreading in the environment?

with Environment Agency

Team 3A

Team 3B

How might we design, implement or apply a digital ocean twin for the benefit of society and the environment?

with National Oceanographic Centre


Team 4B

Accessing drinking water: Is there enough (ground water) for future supply? How do we know and how do we get it?

with British Geological Society

Team 5A

Team 5B


Key benefits and outcomes

Innovative solutions

Interdisciplinary thinking

Partnership working

Communication skills


Professional development