Scottish Government internships for EPSRC funded PhD students

Closing date: 10 September 2010

EPSRC funded PhD students who have completed their first year of study are invited to apply for internship opportunities with the Scottish Government. Applications are invited for Internships under the following headings:

  • Environmental Assessment Analysis
  • Planning Analysis - Appraisals
  • Planning Analysis – Householder Permitted Development

The Scottish Government-EPSRC Internships will all be based in Edinburgh. Interns are provided with a fully funded three month extension to their PhD and with sufficient funds to support relocating or commuting to Edinburgh. All internships are to be commenced by the end of 2010.

Background: The Scottish Government and Science

The devolved Government for Scotland is responsible for most of the issues of day-to-day concern to the people of Scotland, including health, education, justice, rural affairs, and transport. Research plays an important role in shaping the policies of the Scottish Government. It helps us to think about new and better ways of doing things and provides new understandings and discoveries that benefit our society.

Within Government, Government Social Researchers, Government Economists, Government Statisticians, and Government Scientists and Engineers provide high quality research-based evidence and advice for Ministers and Scottish Government officials to inform policy development, policy delivery and policy evaluation. Their core functions include:

  • The interpretation of evidence and the provision of research and science based advice.
  • Engaging with the academic and wider research community to bring expert knowledge into the policy making process.
  • Commissioning external research projects.
  • Undertaking research such as reviews of the existing evidence base.
  • Disseminating research findings and encouraging their wider use.

In 2007, Scottish Government established an Internship scheme with the Economic and Social Research Council to offer second or third year Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded PhD students the opportunity to undertake three month internships in Scottish Government. In both 2008 and 2009 Scottish Government deployed 15 interns across Government Directorates to engage in work with government Analysts. Scottish Government is running a pilot of four internships for NERC funded PhD students in 2010. Scottish Government now wishes to further extend internship opportunities to other UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funded PhD students and will be running this initial pilot of three internships for EPSRC funded PhD students in late 2010 – early 2011.

The EPSRC internship pilot will be managed by Aileen McIntosh in the Office of the Chief Researcher.

Options for applying for Scottish Government Internships for EPSRC Funded PhD Students

EPSRC funded PhD Students meeting the eligibility requirements may apply for:

  • An internship in a Directorate from the list of projects described on the description of opportunities page; and/or
  • Inclusion in a Pool of PhD students who are willing to consider Internships suitable for EPSRC interns which may arise in late 2010 – early 2011

Applicants are free to apply for more than one internship and to apply for the pool to maximise their chances of obtaining an internship with the Scottish Government.

For details of the internship opportunities available see the description of opportunities page.

Application Process

Students should complete the Scottish Government Internships for EPSRC-funded PhD students application form (available to download), and indicate which of the above options they are applying for.

Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss their applications and areas of interest by telephone with Aileen McIntosh in the Office of the Chief Researcher; and then with the Scottish Government Analytical Service Division Sponsor contact (identified on the description of opportunities page) in advance of submitting their application. Lengthy email requests for information are not encouraged – if Aileen McIntosh is not available when applicants call, please call Dr Vivian Leacock or email a telephone number they can reach you on and one of them will call back.

Potential applicants are encouraged to carefully consider the information requested in the application form, and to pay particular attention to setting out their expertise and skills. Applicants are not expected to have policy knowledge and should focus on setting out their academic skills and abilities in the application form.

The deadline for applications is 10 September 2010.

Please print out your completed application form, ask your Supervisor or Head of Department to sign it. Then send a scanned copy of the completed application form to Aileen McIntosh at the Scottish Government, copying the email to Alex Hulkes and the relevant Health Effects Institute (HEI) Head of Department.

Selection Process

Interns will be selected by the Scottish Government on the basis of their written application. Scottish Government Science or Policy Sponsors may also wish to have an informal telephone discussion with applicants, before final allocation of Internships. Successful applicants will be contacted in late September/October by EPSRC and the Scottish Government. Students must confirm their availability, agree dates for their internship, and commit to the internship shortly afterwards.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply, students must have completed their first year of PhD study, and be full time registered and in receipt of their EPSRC stipend at the time of undertaking the internship. Students must commence their internship prior to receiving their final stipend payment. All internships must be completed by March 2011 i.e. have commenced by 31 December 2010. Successful candidates are expected to attend an induction day at the Scottish Government during October 2010 and will be entitled to two days annual leave per month (taken individually or as a block) during their internship.


The Scottish Government lead contacts for this pilot are:

Aileen McIntosh (0131 244 8232)

Dr Vivian Leacock (0131 244 2123

The EPSRC lead contact for this pilot is Dr Alex Hulkes (01793 444116), who is available to discuss general aspects of the scheme, from an EPSRC perspective.

Further Information

For more information about analytical services and science in the Scottish Government see the research in Scotland area on the Scottish Government website.