Policy internships scheme
The Policy Internships Scheme provides the opportunity for doctoral 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
The research councils organise the Policy Internships Scheme for current research council-funded doctoral 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 2019/20 competition round are:
- Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP)
- Committee on Climate Change
- Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
- Department for Education
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
- Department for International Development (DFID)
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
- Food Standards Agency
- Government Office for Science (GO-Science)
- Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)
- HM Courts & Tribunals Services
- Home Office
- Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)
- National Assembly for Wales Research Service
- National Library of Scotland
- Natural England
- Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service (RaISe)
- Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)
- PHG Foundation
- Public Health England
- Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
- Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe)
- Select Committees, House of Commons
- Sentencing Council
- The National Archives
- The Royal Society
- The Royal Society of Biology
- WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme)
Internships are financially supported by the research councils and host partners. Doctoral stipend and fees should continue to be paid by the research organisation throughout the three month internship period. Where necessary, students can also claim for eligible travel and accommodation costs incurred during the internship up to a maximum limit of £2,400 per student. The funding details will depend on the applicant’s research council and the chosen host partner.
This scheme is open to doctoral students funded by the research councils of UK Research and Innovation (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC). Internships will take place during 2020 and students must be able to start their internship before the end of their funded period of study.
How to apply
Applicants should complete the online application form. Applicants must also upload two documents as part of their application:
- a signed Policy Internships Scheme funding and permissions form
- a policy briefing
For further information, applicants are advised to read the Policy Internships Scheme applicant guidance and Policy Internships Scheme host partner information documents.
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. The application process will be completed at both stages by the host partner.
Please note, only one application can be submitted by each applicant. The applicant must specify within their application which host partner they wish to undertake an internship with and bear in mind any organisation specific guidance available in the applicant guidance document when preparing their application.
Further information regarding this scheme is available in the applicant guidance, on the individual research council websites, and from host partners.
- Policy Internships Scheme Host Partner Information (PDF, 1.6MB)
- Policy Internships Funding and Permissions Form (Word, 27KB) (PDF, 73KB)
- Policy Internships Scheme applicant guidance (PDF, 401KB)
- Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Previous policy internships competition rounds
All Policy Interns are required to complete a feedback form within one month of their internship end date. Interns will be provided with a link to an online feedback form once their internship has been confirmed.
The research council policy internships are being coordinated by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) on behalf of all research councils. Questions about the scheme should be addressed to the NERC Talent and Skills Team: firstname.lastname@example.org.