The Policy Internship Scheme

The Policy Internships Scheme provides the opportunity for doctoral students funded by the UK Research Councils to work for three months in one of a selected group of highly influential policy organisations.

All information and documents can be found on, and some details have also been copied below.

Next funding opportunity:

  • Call status: Open
  • Call closing date: 16.00 BST 12 August 2019

For an inspiring example of a Policy Internship, and some first-hand information on the application process and what to expect, have a look at Robert Abernethy’s post about his work at the Research Services of the Welsh Assembly:


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:



Current studentship arrangements will remain in place during the internship and, where necessary, students can also apply for support for eligible travel and accommodation costs to be incurred during the internship up to a maximum limit of £2,400 per student.



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 and also upload two documents as part of their application:

1) A signed Funding and Permissions Form – this form requires the signature of the applicant, the applicant's lead supervisor and the training grant holder.

2) A summary policy briefing in the style of a POSTnote– this should not be directly related to the applicant’s doctoral research topic but instead should be relevant to current issues, legislation and/or government policy.


For further information, applicants are advised to read the guidance provided.

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.

All information and documents can be found on , links to the forms can also be found below.

Policy Internships Scheme Online Application Form

Policy Internships Scheme Funding and Permissions Form

Policy Internships Scheme Guidance for Applicants

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