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Skills & careers

RCUK policy internships for MRC students

RCUK policy internships provide an opportunity for MRC-funded PhD students to work for three months in one of a selected group of highly influential policy organisations.

Next funding opportunity:
•    Call status: Closed
•    Call opening date: 19 June 2017
•    Call closing date: 10 August 2017


RCUK policy internships provide an opportunity for current MRC-funded PhD students to work at partner host organisations on one or more policy topics relevant to both the student and the host. The student will be expected to produce at least one briefing paper, participate in a policy inquiry and/or organise a policy event, or equivalent piece of work.

Internships are awarded to a number of Parliamentary, Government Departments and Non-Governmental Bodies, Learned societies organisations.

The 23 Hosting Partners for the 2017/18 competition round are:


For MRC students, the required costs (stipend extension, travel and accommodation where required) should be provided through the local MRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) Supplement or other funds. No further supplements will be provided by MRC to support successful internships.

For successful applicants, the Research Organisation should extend the studentship duration by three months to accommodate this internship.


Internships are available to all current Research Council funded PhD students. MRC-eligible students are those who receive at least 50% of their funding from MRC and have been registered as MRC-funded students on JeS by their Research Organisation.

Internships must start before the end of the funded period of the studentship.

How to apply

Applicants should complete the online application form. Applicants must also upload three documents before submitting their application; (i) A CV, (ii) A signed Funding and Permissions Form (see below) and (iii) A policy briefing. For further information, applicants are advised to read the guidance and host partner information documents provided below.

If you are having trouble accessing the online application form, please contact the NERC Research Careers Team for an alternative version of this form.

Assessment of applications is a two stage process: there will be an assessment of the written application and applicants successful at this stage will be invited to interview. Both stages of the assessment process will be undertaken by the host organisation.

Please note, only one application can be submitted by each applicant. The applicant must specify within their application which host organisation they wish to undertake an internship with and bear in mind any organisation specific guidance provided when preparing their application.

Further information

Further information regarding this scheme is available in the applicant guidance available below, and from hosting partners.


Previous Policy Internships Competition Rounds

  • All RCUK Policy Interns are required to complete a reporting and feedback form within one month of completing their internship.These forms should be submitted to

Policy internships student feedback form (MS Word)


The Research Council policy internships are being coordinated by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) on behalf of all Research Councils. Questions about the internship should be addressed to the NERC Research Careers Team: