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Policy Internships

Copyright: University of Cambridge, Department of Plant Sciences

Call status: Closed


This is a 3-month internship opportunity for Research Council-funded PhD students to work in one of a selected group of highly influential science policy organisations. Typically, students on these internships will be expected to:

  • produce a briefing paper
  • participate in a policy inquiry, and/or
  • organise a policy event.

Funding arrangements

Successful BBSRC applicants on four-year Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) studentships will use this as their Professional Internship for PhD Students (PIPS). Successful BBSRC applicants from other grants (for example CASE, Research Technology Clubs, Advanced Training Partnerships, Strategic Longer and Larger awards) must undertake their three-month internship during their four-year period of PhD funding.


Open to all BBSRC-funded PhD students.

How to apply

For full details of how to apply, including links to the online application form and guidance documents see: UK Research and Innovation: Policy Internships Scheme.

Case study

Catriona Manville
Catriona Manville. Copyright: British Library/Catriona Manville

Fresh from finishing her PhD, Catriona Manville recently completed a three-month policy placement in the British Library’s Science team.

During her placement, Catriona was responsible for organising TalkScience, a quarterly event run by the British Library, which brought together the different perspectives from across the research community to debate the impact agenda.

After working in an academic lab at Newcastle University, Catriona found her three months were packed full of new experiences. During her time at the British Library, Catriona interviewed some big names from academia and learned societies, wrote an article for the Cheltenham Science Festival, spent two days in Parliament and organised the whole TalkScience event from defining the scope of the topic and deciding on speakers to designing and marketing the event.

Catriona said: "This placement provided an invaluable opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the science landscape beyond academia and to fully appreciate the opportunities available to me to use my skills in a variety of contexts. My work at the Library also allowed me to clearly demonstrate I have the skills that future employers require."

Catriona Manville with the panel of speakers she arranged as part of her Talkscience event looking at the ‘impact agenda’. Image: British Library/Catriona Manville
Catriona Manville with the panel of speakers she arranged as part of her Talkscience event looking at the 'impact agenda'. Copyright: British Library/Catriona Manville

Catriona has since secured a permanent position at a Cambridge-based contract research house, working as an analyst in their innovation and technology policy team. Catriona is delighted with her new job and said: "Working at the British Library, as part of the BBSRC-funded policy placement scheme, gave me confidence to apply for this appointment."

Related calls: people policy