Need some research?

Are you a local organisation or individual who would like help with some environmental research in Oxfordshire?

If you have a specific area or individual in mind who you would like to contact, one good place to start is to contact agile-ox, and we’ll do our best to make useful connections.

However, researchers are often very busy, so another good option can be to take advantage of the immense opportunity offered by the University’s student population, with many looking for dissertation topics every autumn.

Some tips and ideas:

Accessing student researchers

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Every year, hundreds of graduate students need to find a research topic and location for their dissertation.  Some arrive at the University with a topic in mind, but many do not, and will be looking for interesting ideas and exciting opportunities.

In the School of Georgraphy alone, there are 5 MSc programmes, representing around 200 students, with expertise and interest in a wide range of environmental areas, including biodiversity and conservation, water, environmental change and governance.  You can find out more about the department’s graduate programmes here:

Each year, each student needs to complete a dissertation, which often requires primary research during the summer towards the end of the year.  Students decide what topic they want to work on in the autumn term at the beginning of the academic year, and the School of Geography opens an online ‘dissertation suggestions’ process, through which anyone (local or elsewhere) can suggest a topic.

This is a fantastic opportunity for any local organisation, looking for help with some short term research.

To find out more or take advantage of this opportunity:

Look out for the announcements in the autumn each year on the agile-ox and School of Geography websites, calling for dissertation suggestions.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact agile-ox at any time of the year for advice.


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The Student Consultancy is an initivative run by the Oxford university Careers Service. It matchmakes students looking to help local business and community organisations and develop their skills with Oxfordshire based charities, community organisations, social enterprises, small businesses, City or County council departments, and arts or cultural institutions.

It is a great way to access free consultancy services.

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The Student Consultancy is a programme of learning and development activities that links University of Oxford students to local Oxfordshire businesses and community organisations.

An innovative and unique programme, The Student Consultancy provides employability skills training and work-based experiences to students and an opportunity for local SMEs, charities and community organisations to access free consultancy services.

Students from all disciplines and year levels participate in the programme and work in teams to address a strategic issue or business problem affecting the organisation.

As Clients, your business will:

  • gain an innovative, outside perspective to a business challenge
  • benefit from students’ enthusiasm, creativity, fresh ideas and up-to-date knowledge/skills
  • receive insightful recommendations produced by the students, with the guidance and support of project mentors
  • share your expertise and knowledge about your industry with eager students
  • have no obligation to take action on advice and recommendations
  • provide feedback to students and programme management about the project

Ideally, you will be an Oxfordshire based charity, community organisation, social enterprise, small business, City or County council department, arts or cultural institution and have a particular issue or area you would like a team of consultants to work on. It is a chance to explore areas of marketing, revenue generation, branding, customer awareness or strategy that you may not usually have the time or resources to look at.

While teams will have a business mentor to help them shape their work and provide you with useful recommendations, clients do have to consider that The Student Consultancy is primarily a learning experience for students, and their skill levels will vary.

To find out more or take advantage of this opportunity:

Those seeking research:

Students wanting to know how to get involved:


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If your research request is specifically food focused, the Innovative Food Systems Teaching And Learning Programme (IFSTAL) might represent a good opportunity.

The programme, coordinated at Oxford by Dr Bex White at the Environmental Change Institute, offers an interdisciplinary food systems and security course to graduate students at seven institutions (including the Universities of Oxford, Reading, Warwick, City University London, and three London Colleges– Royal Veterinary College, London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and School of Oriental and African Studies).  As part of its website, it has a research clearing house, highlighting opportunities and ideas for food-related research to its students (NB. Masters students will be thinking about dissertations between September-January each year, PhDs are a little more flexible).

To find out more or take advantage of this opportunity:

For more information, see the website or contact Dr Bex White, Innovative Food Systems Education Coordinator (


Accessing academics

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Isis Innovation Ltd. is the subsidary of the University which manages technology transfer and academic consulting, providing consultancy services to clients around the world.  If you want to access experts and are having no joy via agile-ox, this is a good way in, if you are able to pay for research.

From the website:

‘OUC has access to over 5,000 academic and research staff and we can mobilise experts from across the physical, life, medical and social sciences as well as from the humanities.

We can also arrange access to the state of the art testing and analysis facilities that underpin Oxford’s world class research.

Our aim is to identify the best resources to respond to client needs and to handle all contractual, financial and administrative aspects of the engagement to ensure its success.

To find an Oxford University Expert, please contact Oxford University Consulting.’

To find out more or take advantage of this opportunity:

See the website:

Contact OUC:


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Last but not least: the brand new agile-ox Oxfordshire environmental research clearing house!

agile-ox is in the process of setting up an online research clearing house facility, which will be available to students, researchers and others engaged in Oxfordshire’s environmental scene who are interested in taking advantage of local research opportunities.

If you have an idea for some locally-relevant research at any time of the year and on any environmental topic, get in touch with agile-ox and we can add it to the page.






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About Agile-Ox

Agile ox

Due to lack of funding, the agile-ox project is currently on hold. If you have any queries, please contact

agile-ox is a project based at the Environmental Change Institute, working to connect environmental research(ers) from the University of Oxford with others across Oxfordshire, to increase opportunities for collaboration and maximise our contribution to the county’s environmental futures.