Student Placements & Internships

The SWDTP Placement Scheme offers you the opportunity to get work experience of up to six months in a relevant partner organisation. This can benefit your research as well as helping to enhance your CV and future employment prospects.  All SWDTP-funded doctoral students are eligible to take part. It is not usually possible to arrange a placement during an MRes year.

If you are interested in doing a placement, it is best to speak to your supervisor in the first instance, and arrange an informal discussion with the SWDTP Collaboration Facilitator, Jude Hill.

Full-time placements are usually between one and six months although we recommend a minimum of six weeks.  Part-time placements can be longer subject to a cap on total working hours. Subject to agreement with your supervisor, placements can start at any point during your studies, but not within the first three months and must start, at the very latest, before the last three months of a studentship.

“I feel that my PhD research and academic responsibilities within the university have benefited from my three months away (on placement). I have returned to my studies fresh and revitalised, with new ideas and a new enthusiasm for my work… I would highly recommend this scheme to other students in terms of its academic, career and personal benefits.”

– Comment from a former PhD student

Funding your placement

If your placement request is approved by the Academic Advisory Board you will be given the relevant extension to your ESRC award and completion/submission date.

The Collaboration Facilitator will help you develop your application, as well as approaching external organisations and developing a formal placement agreement on your behalf.  You are also required to complete an end of placement report and work with the Collaboration Facilitator to produce a feature or case study which may be used by the SWDTP for promotion and impact reporting purposes.

Further information and all relevant documents are here:

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) is offering 25 internships as part of The UKRI Policy Internships Scheme. This scheme provides the opportunity for doctoral students funded by the research councils of UK Research and Innovation to work for three months in a highly influential policy organisation.

The call for applications is currently closed, though we anticipate another call in 2020.

The Policy Internships Scheme allows candidates from all research councils to get invaluable policy experience, with an organisation of their choice. If POST is your first host choice and you’d like the opportunity to contribute to one of our POSTnotes, please make that clear in your application.

While fellows typically help us with the production of a POSTnote or POSTbrief, this unique opportunity to view the epicentre of policy-making from the inside may also include a secondment to a Select Committee or to the House of Commons or House of Lords Libraries.

Fellows at POST will have the opportunity to produce their own POSTnote from start to finish. This includes scoping the topic, conducting interviews with the senior stakeholders from across academia, government, industry and the not-for-profit sector, drafting and editing.

By the end of their time at POST, our fellows will have learnt how to write for policy makers with balance, impartiality and succinctness. They will also have developed a unique understanding of Westminster, forged important relationships with key stakeholders, and delved into a novel and exciting topic of research. Internships are available with a number of parliamentary departments, government departments and non-governmental bodies, learned societies and other organisations.

Welsh Government Logo

Exciting opportunities for placements with Welsh Government!

Students will be placed within the within the Engagement and Analysis Team of the EU Exit and Strategy division of Welsh Government.   The team is responsible for the co-ordination of engagement and analysis of evidence with policy leads and stakeholder from across the Energy, Environment and Rural Affairs (EERA) portfolio in relation of the impacts Brexit.   The team works cross-departmentally, supporting policy teams to consider and capture the evidence needs, issues and tasks required for the negotiations and the future in a post-EU Wales.

Purpose of the post

Working within the evidence team the overarching purpose of the placement is to: provide support in identifying evidence, data collation and working with stakeholders on a range of EU exit issues; and provide analytical support and technical input to assist Welsh policy makers, with a primary focus on EU exit implications, risks and opportunities across EERA’s policy portfolio. 

Normally placements will be for a 3-month period, although longer placements would be considered. 

To find out more, click the button below:

The Natural History Consortium has a placement opportunity available for a DTP student interested in environmental communication, professional networks, inter-disciplinary approaches to societal challenges and connecting with our members’ work.

The placement focuses on our sector facing work, in particular, Communicate the annual conference for environmental communication professionals. The conference brings together representatives of media, conservation, policy and business together with environmental scientists and social scientists. Each year the event reviews the current learning about behaviour change, communication techniques, and best practice in a multi-sector environment.

The Natural History Consortium, based in Bristol, is a charitable collaboration of 13 organisations, which are:

We are inviting a PhD student to join our team on placement for a minimum of 3 months to help us better understand, support and build collaboration within the Communicate community.

This will include regular meetings with members of the NHC network, working with a small team, building skills in media archives, creation of online materials, and analysing collaboration between social scientists and the wider environmental sector.

We would be pleased to speak further to any students interested in finding out more about this opportunity, please contact Savita Willmott, BNHC Director, on 0117 9325 3931 or at

For more information on the Consortium, please click below



Interested in gaining some work experience in the private sector? 

If so a PhD Innovation Placement might be for you……….. 

The SWDTP has been allocated additional funding by the ESRC under the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) for PhD Innovation Placements and is specifically for placements with business or industry partners.

The ESRC says “in addition to providing students with an opportunity to enhance their research skills by undertaking a period  of  substantive research with  a business partner, we hope these placements will support a cohort of talented individuals with transferable skills that will aid their  mobility between Higher Education and industry sectors and  enhance their  employability”

Which sectors?
Including but not limited to….
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Healthcare
  • Financial Services
  • Consumer and Retail
  • Media, Tech and Telecoms  
  • Leisure & Tourism
  • Manufacturing
  • Logistics
  • Transport

Who is eligible?

Eligibility extends to the following:

  • Current ESRC-funded students
  • Recently completed ESRC-funded students
  • Non-ESRC students
  • ESRC-funded postdoctoral fellows

They are also allowing some flexibility to encourage new or innovative placement models that are tailored to the business environment. SWDTP is currently in discussion with a few private sector organisations about possible opportunities but in the meantime if you have an idea, a potential industry partner or are just interested in working with a private organisation or business please get in touch with Jude ( for a chat.

Please note this is entirely separate from the standard SWDTP PhD Placement Scheme.

These placements can be of varied durations but must be completed by March 2020.