UK Research and Innovation Policy Internships Scheme

By 27th July 2020 September 3rd, 2021 No Comments

We are pleased to announce that the 2021/22 call for the UKRI Policy Internships Scheme is now open.

The Policy Internships Scheme provides the opportunity for ESRC funded PhD students 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. Hosting Partners are listed on the UKRI website page along with further information on the scheme, documentation and guidance for applicants.


This scheme is open to doctoral students funded by the Research Councils of UK Research and Innovation (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC). Internships will take place during 2022 and students must be able to start their internship before the end of their funded period of study.

The UKRI Policy Internships Scheme is being coordinated by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) on behalf of all Research Councils. Questions about the internship should be addressed to the NERC Research Careers Team:


Internships are financially supported by the research councils and host partners. Doctoral stipend and fees should 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.

How to apply

  • STEP 1: Submit your Funding and Permissions 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) : 12:00 noon, Tuesday 28 September 2021. The WRDTP Manager will then assess all expressions of interest.
  • STEP 2: The WRDTP will email you the outcome of your request by : 12:00 noon, Thursday 30 September 2021 – 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 4.00pm on Monday 4 October 2021.

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

Please note, only one application can be submitted by each applicant. The applicant must specify within their application which host partner they wish to undertake an internship with and bear in mind any organisation specific guidance available in the applicant guidance document when preparing their application.

All required documentation can be found in the links at the top of this page.