UKRI Policy Internships Scheme Now Open

This opportunity is funded by the UK research councils to enable PhD students to work for three months in an influential policy organisation.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Policy Internships provide an opportunity for PhD students funded by all the UK research councils to work for three months in an influential policy organisation.

Internships are available with a number of parliamentary departments, government departments, non-governmental bodies, learned societies and other organisations. The initiative is coordinated by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) on behalf of all the research councils.

The host partners for the 2021/22 competition round are:

  • Department for Education (DfE)
  • Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)
  • Department for Work & Pensions (DWP)
  • Food Standards Agency (FSA)
  • Government Office for Science (GO-Science)
  • Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS)
  • HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS)
  • Home Office
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Natural England
  • Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service (RaISe)
  • Office of the Sentencing Council (OSC)
  • Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST, UK Parliament)
  • Royal Society
  • Royal Society of Biology (RSB)
  • Public Health England and UK Health Security Agency
  • Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe)
  • Select Committees, House of Commons
  • Senedd Research/Ymchwil y Senedd
  • The National Archives (TNA)
  • WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme)

Students funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) are eligible to apply to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and the Government Office for Science only.

Successful applicants have the opportunity to work on one or more policy topics of interest to both the student and the host organisation, by producing at least one briefing paper, participating in a policy inquiry and/or organising a policy event, or equivalent piece of work.

This scheme is open to research council funded PhD students. Eligible research councils are AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC (plus UKRI Centres for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence). Applicants must state their research council on the application form.

Students on Tier 4 visas must check their eligibility to undertake a studentship placement. Some host partners have security vetting requirements for interns placed within their organisations. Applications from part-time registered students are welcomed.

For the 2021/22 competition round, there are approximately 126 three-month internships available. Internships are financially supported by the research councils and host partners. Most host partners provide a co-funding contribution to meet eligible travel and accommodation costs arising from the internship up to a maximum limit of £2,400. Accommodation costs can only be claimed where it is necessary to relocate in order to undertake the internship.

Placements are expected to take place within the 2022 calendar year, with the earliest starting in January 2022. It is recognised that organising work placements may be difficult due to COVID-19 and that arrangements such as remote working may be necessary.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 4 October 2021 (16:00 BST).

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)