Hosting a PhD student on placement

The Grand Union Doctoral Training program runs a placement scheme for Social Sciences PhD students from the University of Oxford, The Open University and Brunel University London. PhD students funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) are encouraged to undertake a placement project with organisations outside academia to enhance their professional skills and apply their knowledge in practice.


Could your organisation benefit from having a PhD student work on your challenges or projects?

The PhD placements enable organisations to access the talent of early career social science researchers to deliver a specific piece of work or contribute to an ongoing activity.

There is flexibility around what the placement/internship activity will involve as students can complete research, project work, policy/program evaluations or produce reports. They can bring a fresh perspective to your organisation and help link practice with the latest academic knowledge. Hosting a PhD student may also be another opportunity to build connections with leading academics, potentially engaging with student’s academic supervisors.


What can the students do?

Our students have secured a highly competitive ESRC scholarship and are at the top of the Social Sciences doctoral cohort. They have broad interests covering a variety of topics within the Social Sciences but what they have in common is an interest in solving socio-economic problems. They have excellent research skills, high-level critical thinking and are able to analyse complex issues. Our students are up and coming experts in their fields, often at the cutting edge, using innovative techniques and with fresh ideas.


How does it work?

• Flexible timing – up to 3 months and any time of the year (higher uptake during summer)

• Facilitation grant provided by the University to enable students to undertake the placement

• The focus of the placement is determined by your organisation

• You can specify the student skills/profile required and select the student/s from applications


To see the profiles and research areas of some of our PhD students, please check: