Student Placements & Internships

The SWDTP Placement Scheme offers you the opportunity to get work experience of up to six months in a relevant UK based 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, Molly Conisbee.

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.

Due to budgetary constraints, placements can only take place in the UK. Please contact the SWDTP Collaboration Facilitator if you had been considering an overseas/non-UK placement, to discuss possible alternative options.  

“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:

Institute for Fiscal Studies logo

PhD Enrichment Scheme with IFS

The Enrichment scheme offers students currently enrolled on a doctoral programme within the ESRC DTP network the opportunity to join us for up to 12 months at the ESRC Institute for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Students continue their PhD in conjunction with their current supervisor, while enriching their research and making new collaborations during their time at the Institute.

The scheme has been designed to give students the opportunity to enhance, refresh, and broaden their research by accessing the opportunities available at IFS. The placement should support and enhance the current work towards the PhD thesis and be supported by the student’s supervisor. Students will usually join us in their second or third years to further the work they are undertaking for their research project. There is no ‘typical’ Enrichment student and we welcome students from a broad range of disciplines.

Application deadline: 21 January 2022

Click here for more information

3 Month Placement with the Cabinet Office’s Open Innovation Team

We are inviting PhD Students to join our team on placement for three to six months to help us deliver projects on health, welfare reform, industrial strategy, digital transformation and various other priority areas.

Responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing evidence ​to inform policy discussions and help scope out projects
  • Generating analysis and policy ideas​ ​working alongside officials and outside experts
  • Developing project plans​ ​to ensure projects remain on track
  • Pitching new projects​ ​to Whitehall departments and non-government partners
  • Managing stakeholders​ ​inside and outside Whitehall
  • Organising engagement activity, ​including arranging meetings, university visits and Whitehall policy seminars

The placement will provide an excellent opportunity to:  

  • Understand more about how Whitehall works​ ​and how policy is developed  
  • Hone writing and communication skills​ ​for non-expert audiences  
  • Develop networks in government​,​ including the Cabinet Office and other departments  
  • Build knowledge of new policy areas  

The Cabinet Office cannot take unpaid interns but SWDTP students can apply for funding and an associated extension through the SWDTP Placement’s Scheme – please contact Molly ( from the SWDTP for advice on accessing these funds. In addition, for anyone living outside of London, the Cabinet Office will provide up to £3000 for carefully justified placement-linked accommodation/travel costs. Further information can be found via the buttons below.

Applications are Open on a Rolling Basis. All Queries about applying to be sent to

UKRI Policy Internship Scheme

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 2022.

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.

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.

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 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