Skills & careers

Research council policy internships

The Policy Internships Scheme provides the opportunity for PhD students funded by the research councils of UK Research and Innovation 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: 2019
  • Call closing date: 2019


The research councils organise the Policy Internships Scheme for current research council-funded PhD students to work at host partner 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 available with a number of parliamentary departments, government departments and non-governmental bodies, learned societies and other organisations.

The host partners for the 2018/19 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 councils of UK Research and Innovation, including MRC. MRC-eligible students are those who receive at least 50% of their funding from MRC and have been registered as MRC-funded students on Je-S by their research organisation.

Internships will take place during 2019 and students must be able to start their internship before the end of their funded period of study.

How to apply

Full details of how to apply, including links to the online application form and guidance documents are available through the UK Research and Innovation policy internships page.

Previous policy internships competition rounds

All policy interns are required to complete a reporting and feedback form within one month of completing their internship. These forms should be submitted to


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: