Steps to organising your placement

The placement needs to be mutually beneficial for the host organisation and the student, providing contribution to the organisation’s goals, and to the student’s learning. The placement does not have to necessarily be directly linked to your PhD thesis. It needs to utilise your PhD-level skills, and be related to your research interests and career development.

Students are generally expected to suspend their studies for the duration of the placement (depending on length). To be compatible with the DTP Placement Scheme, it can be between 1 and 3 months in length, and needs to be supported by your PhD supervisor. You can apply for financial support if the placement is unpaid and in most cases you will receive an extension to your funding.

For full details and to see whether you are eligible for the placement scheme, please check:


Find a placement

There are three options for setting up your PhD placement:


Apply for an existing opportunity organised by the university

  • Opportunities specifically developed for Grand Union DTP students will be advertised on the GU DTP website. Further opportunities can may be found on your institution’s respective Careers portals: see here for Oxford, Brunel and the OU

Apply for an existing external internship/placement scheme

  • A number of organisations run their own internship/placement schemes. Please check the website of the organisations you are interested in to see if they have a scheme for post-graduate or PhD students, and follow their application process. Examples of external schemes of high relevance may be promoted via the GUDTP website as well.

Design your own placement

  • You can approach an organisation you would like to collaborate with to express interest in their work and check if they would be interested in having you complete a placement project with them. The placement can be co-created with the host organisation and can cover a variety of activities, e.g. research and analysis, project work, policy and data reviews, development of resources, toolkits, briefings etc. The organisations can range from private, public, intergovernmental to NGOs etc. and can be located in the UK and abroad.


If you need to discuss what organisations might be suitable for your area of research and how to present your profile and interests in a way that matches their needs, please feel free to contact the Grand Union DTP Office at:


Check administrative and financial practicalities

Once you have applied for a placement and you have been successful in your application, please review the GUDTP placement scheme and see if you are eligible to apply for a facilitation grant.