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Policy Internships Scheme

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

Please note this call is now closed. The information provided below is for information purposes only and relates to the last Research Council UK call. The policy may not be representative of UKRI and the scheme format moving forward.  

Next funding opportunity:

  • Call status: Closed
  • Call opening date: June 2018 (to be confirmed)
  • Call closing date: August 2018 (to be confirmed)

Summary 2017/18

The research councils organise internships for current research council-funded PhD students to work at partner host 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 awarded to a number of parliamentary departments, government departments and non-governmental bodies, learned societies and other organisations.

The 23 Hosting Partners for the 2017/18 competition round were:

Further information

Please note this call is now closed.

Further information regarding this scheme is available in the applicant guidance available below, on the individual research council websites, and from hosting partners.



Previous Policy Internships competition rounds

All Policy Interns are required to complete a reporting and feedback form within one month of completing their internship. These forms should be submitted to

Policy internships student feedback form (PDF, 34KB) (MS Word (Word, 68KB))

Opportunities for host partners

The research councils work with a group of highly influential policy organisations who act as host partners for the policy internship scheme. In 2017 the research councils held a call for host partners and 23 organisations joined the scheme for two annual competitions in the first instance.

Organisations that are interested in joining the scheme outside of the normal cycle of a call for host partners can complete an online registration form to express an interest. Expressions of interest will be considered by the research councils and if successful, organisations will be invited to join the scheme for the next annual competition. In order to be considered as a new host partner for the 2018 competition, completed forms must be received by 16:00 on 30 April 2018.

Further information about the scheme and the requirements for host partners is available from the guidance document below.

Guidance document for policy internship host partners (Externally hosted PDF)

NERC currently coordinates the scheme on behalf of the research councils and any enquiries should be directed to the NERC Research Careers team in the first instance.


The 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: