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:

Library of Congress Logo

Fantastic Opportunity to Work at the Library of Congress with ESRC International Placement Scheme!

The opportunity for ESRC-funded students to undertake a placement at the Library of Congress under the AHRC/ESRC International Placement Scheme is now open.

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Due to the vast breadth and depth of their collections, the LoC is not limited to those researching American Studies. The collection of more than 168 million items includes more than 39 million catalogued books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 72 million manuscripts and the world’s largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings. With 10,000 new items added daily, researchers in all fields are sure to find relevant materials.

Please click the button below for further details about this opportunity, including guidance on how to complete the application form.

Deadline: 4pm Thursday 6 February 2020. (Apply through Je-S)

Welsh Government Logo

Exciting opportunities for placements with Welsh Government!

We have an internship opportunity available starting in March 2020, open to ESRC Wales DTP and South West DTP funded students.

Successful applicants will receive a fully funded 3 month extension to their PhD. This is an opportunity to work outside your university to develop a range of transferable skills, enhance your employability and gain invaluable experience of working alongside social researchers, statisticians and policy officials on analysis within government. If you are interested, you should first discuss the opportunity with your supervisor.

Further details are available in the attached document, together with contact details.

Please note that this internship is open to any ESRC Wales DTP or South West DTP funded PhD student (except those within 3 months of the start or end of their studentship).

Please submit your completed application form to by 4pm on the day of the deadline.

DEADLINE: 17th February 2020

National Productivity Innovation Fund

New Placement Opportunity in the Private Sector!

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

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 (collaboration facilitator) at the SWDTP 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 end of September 2020.

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

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.

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