Training and development opportunities

In addition to your standard ESRC studentship award, there are other opportunities for training and development that you may be eligible for as an ESRC-funded student.

Overseas institutional visits (OIV)

The overseas institutional visits (OIV) scheme supports and encourages the international engagement of ESRC-funded students.

The scheme has been devolved to the doctoral training network, which is funded to administer and award their own schemes.

Funds should be used to provide financial support and time for students to:

  • undertake additional specialist research training not available on the UK
  • develop language skills
  • establish research links that will be beneficial to their current or future academic career
  • share early research findings
  • attend and participate in seminars where directly relevant to their research.

The doctoral training network has flexibility in administering the scheme.

ESRC-funded students who are based at research organisations outside of the doctoral training network cannot access OIV funds.

Policy internships

The UKRI policy internships scheme provides ESRC-funded PhD students with the chance to spend three months within a highly influential non-academic policy organisation where they can work as part of a team involved with policy or practice development.

Internships are awarded to a number of parliamentary, government departments and non-governmental bodies, learned societies and organisations.

The student is expected to produce at least one briefing paper, to participate in a policy inquiry and to organise a policy event, or produce an equivalent piece of work.

The scheme provides students with experience of, and insights into, different professional cultures and the opportunity to network within the policy arena. It is an excellent professional development opportunity for careers in academia or in other sectors.

If you are an ESRC-funded PhD student interested in setting up your own internship, speak to your CDT, DTC or DTP contact who will be able to advise you on how to arrange your own internship.

Parliamentary office of science and technology (POST) fellowships

This fellowship is an opportunity for ESRC-funded postgraduate students to be seconded to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) to assist in producing independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public policy issues for parliamentarians.

Find out more about the POST fellowships on the Parliament website.

International placement scheme: Library of Congress Washington

ESRC-funded students can do short-term placements at the Library of Congress in Washington as part of the AHRC-ESRC International Placement Scheme (IPS).

IPS fellows can spend up to six months at the Library of Congress, with access to their internationally renowned collections, resources, facilities and staff expertise.

IPS fellowships also provide opportunities for fellows to network and meet potential research collaborators.

Transferable skills training

It’s important for PhD students to receive training in career development and transferable skills as well as in research.

Research organisations are expected to encourage and support students in developing their career options and that the provision of professional and transferable skills will form a fundamental part of doctoral training.

Universities have flexibility in the use of research training grants and are expected to draw on these to cover the costs of providing professional development opportunities appropriate for the individual postgraduate researchers whose training is funded through that grant.

Vitae runs a national programme of courses and events for doctoral researchers and research staff.

Last updated: 12 September 2023

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