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.
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.
Background and all documents relating to the application process can be found here
The Policy Internships Scheme is being coordinated by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) on behalf of all Research Councils. Questions about the internships should be addressed to the NERC Research Careers Team.
The applicant guidance found on the UKRI page is the main source of information relating to the scheme. However, the FAQs below provide some additional information, specifically for EPSRC grant holders and students supported by EPSRC training grants.
Are EngD students eligible for the scheme?
Yes, the scheme is open to doctoral students supported by EPSRC, regardless of the type of doctoral qualification being pursued (PhD, EngD, DPhil etc.).
Are Masters students eligible for the scheme?
Students currently undertaking a Masters as their first year at an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training are eligible to apply, provided they intend to complete the full 4-year CDT course. As internships must start within a student’s funded period, students who leave the course after the Masters year will not be able to take up an internship. Students must have been registered against the CDT grant by their institution in the Je-S student details.
Students following any other Masters course are ineligible.
Are CDT incorporated students eligible for the scheme?
Yes, CDT incorporated students are eligible (although there may be some restrictions for international students – please see the applicant guidance on the main page). Incorporated students are part of the CDT cohort and may receive funding from the grant for centre delivery costs, but their studentship costs (stipend, fees, support costs) are wholly funded from another source. They should be registered against the CDT grant in the Je-S student details.
CDT aligned students are not eligible (unless otherwise funded by UKRI). These are students with an award that is not reliant on CDT funding but who are nonetheless benefitting from CDT activities. They are not registered against the CDT grant in Je-S.
If there is insufficient funding on the grant to cover the costs of the Policy Internship, can additional costs be requested from EPSRC?
No, costs must be covered by the student’s existing training grant. The grant holder must approve all applications before they are submitted.
If there is insufficient funding on the existing grant to cover the costs of the Policy Internship, can funds be drawn from a different training grant?
No, costs must be covered by the student’s existing training grant. EXCEPTION: if required, a DTP student may be transferred onto a subsequent DTP grant and the costs may be drawn from the later grant (in line with the training grant T&Cs). The grant holder must approve all applications before they are submitted.
Will the studentship be extended to accommodate the internship?
Yes, students will continue to receive their stipend throughout the internship and will receive a 3-month funded extension to accommodate the internship (funded through their existing training grant). The grant holder must approve all applications before they are submitted to indicate their agreement.