UKRI Policy Internships Scheme Now Open


UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Policy Internships provide an opportunity for PhD students funded by all the UK research councils to work for three months in a highly influential policy organisation.

Internships are available with a number of parliamentary departments, government departments, non-governmental bodies, learned societies and other organisations. The initiative is coordinated by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) on behalf of all the research councils.

The host partners for the 2020/21 competition round are:

  • Committee on Climate Change
  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Department for Education
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • Food Standards Agency
  • Government Office for Science (GO-Science)
  • Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS)
  • HM Courts and Tribunals Services
  • Home Office
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)
  • Senedd Research
  • National Archives
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Natural England
  • Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service (RaISe)
  • Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)
  • Public Health England
  • Royal Society
  • Royal Society of Biology
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe)
  • Select Committees, House of Commons
  • Sentencing Council
  • WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme)

Students funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) are eligible to apply to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and the Government Office for Science only.

Successful applicants have the opportunity to work on one or more policy topics of interest to both the student and the host organisation, by producing at least one briefing paper, participating in a policy inquiry and/or organising a policy event, or equivalent piece of work.

This scheme is open to research council funded PhD students. Eligible research councils are AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC (plus UKRI Centres for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence). Students on Tier 4 visas must check their eligibility to undertake a studentship placement. Some internships are only open to UK citizens or non-UK EU citizens who have resided in the UK for three to five years. Applications from part-time registered students are welcomed.

For the 2020/21 competition round, there are approximately 126 internships available. Internships are financially supported by the research councils and host partners. For all students, PhD stipend and fees should continue to be paid by the research organisation throughout the three month internship period. Students can claim for eligible travel and accommodation costs incurred during the internship up to a maximum limit of £2,400 per student.

Placements are expected to take place within the 2021 calendar year, with the earliest starting in January 2021. It is recognised that organising work placements may be difficult due to COVID-19 and that arrangements such as remote working may be necessary.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 10 September 2020 (16:00).


More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.