UKRI Policy Internships Scheme

The UKRI Policy Internships Scheme provides the opportunity for PhD students funded by the research councils of UK Research and Innovation to work for three months in one of a selected group of highly influential policy organisations.

The research councils organise the Policy Internships Scheme for current research council-funded PhD students to work at host partner organisations on one or more policy topics relevant to both the student and the host. The student will be expected to produce at least one briefing paper, participate in a policy inquiry and/or organise a policy event, or equivalent piece of work.

Internships are available with a number of parliamentary departments, government departments and non-governmental bodies, learned societies and other organisations.

The Hosting Partners for this year’s competition round are listed on the UKRI website page along with further information on the scheme, documentation and guidance for applicants.


This scheme is open to PhD students funded by the Research Councils of UK Research and Innovation (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC). Internships will take place during 2024 and students must be able to start their internship before the end of their funded period of study.

NERC currently coordinates the scheme on behalf of UKRI and any enquiries should be directed to the NERC Talent and Skills team at in the first instance.


Internships are financially supported by the research councils and host partners. Doctoral stipend and fees will continue to be paid by the research organisation throughout the three month internship period. Where necessary, students can also claim for eligible travel and accommodation costs incurred during the internship up to a maximum limit of £2,400 per student. The funding details will depend on the applicant’s research council and the chosen host partner.

Application Guidance

For further information, applicants are advised to read the guidance and host partner information documents provided:

How to apply

  • STEP 1: Submit your UKRI Policy Internships: internship and funding permission form (signed by you and your supervisor, the training grant holder signature space should be left blank) via with a covering email explaining why you are applying to your chosen hosting organisation (max 300 words) by : 12pm, Monday 25 September 2023. The WRDTP Manager will then assess all expressions of interest.
  • STEP 2: The WRDTP will email you the outcome of your request by : 12pm, Wednesday 27 September 2023 – if you are successful the Funding and Permissions form will be returned to you with the required Training Grant holder signature.
  • STEP 3: Submit your full application form, signed permissions form and policy briefing (please see Applicant Guidance above for more details on the policy briefing format), online via the UKRI Policy Internships scheme webpage by 4pm on Monday 2 October 2023.

Applications will then be assessed via a 2 stage process: an assessment of the written application and an interview of the shortlisted applicants.

Applicants can apply to only one host partner but are invited to note a second choice on their application. Applicants may be contacted by their second-choice host partner should additional opportunities become available.

Next steps

Please be aware that although it is the responsibility of the WRDTP to fund any successful applicants, we are not involved in the application/interview process or notified if any WRDTP students have been successful in the application process.

Therefore, if you are awarded a UKRI Policy Internship, you must inform the WRDTP of this so we can advise you on the next steps required with your institution before you commence your internship.