Gaining experience through internships

Internships provide students with a unique perspective, allowing them to experience a different working environment and helping them to forge important links for their future.

SSCP DTP students have the opportunity to apply for internships during their PhD, usually when they are in their second year. This could be with our partners in the private, NGO, or policy making sectors.

If you would like to host one of our students at your organisation, please contact Alex Gibbs.

Former Internships include:-

Archelon; Assimila; Boston Consulting Group; Broadway Initiative; Carbon Infinity; Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy; Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Desolenator; DigitalViews; Eco Health Alliance; Ernst & Young; Google; Government Office for Science; IEA; Little Place Lab; Modo Energy; National Informatics Institute, Tokyo; Natural England; Octofin; Oxford Uni/Martin Brasier Collection; Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST); Policy Connect; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Science Media Centre; Square Mile Coffee Roasters; Stanford University; UK Committee on Climate Change; UNFCCC; UN Geneva; Urgentem; World Meteorological Organization; Zoologial Society London

Parliamentary Office for Science & Technology

Internship: Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST)

 "I recently undertook a 3-month post as a Research Fellow with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, where I was seconded to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), one of several select committees operating within Parliament. The role of select committees is to scrutinise Government policy, in this case with relation to the environment. During my Fellowship, I principally led an inquiry, researching a completely novel subject of relevance to policy. Using this research, with the Committee I planned an oral evidence session, where relevant experts from a variety of organisations were invited to share their expertise and advise the Committee. To inform my work I interviewed a variety of experts and government bodies. During my time with the EAC, I most notably learnt how to research for a policy audience – for which the primary sources of information are not academic journals, unlike an academic audience. I also had the opportunity to develop my skills writing a variety of documents for a policy audience and a wide variety of soft transferable skills. Throughout my Fellowship I was consistently supported, and my learning and professional development were made a priority by the whole select committee team. I would highly recommend this Fellowship to anyone interested in applying science to policy – it was thoroughly enjoyable and has not only helped me develop my plans after my PhD, but has also definitely made me a better PhD student. Working in the House of Commons and having access to behind-the-scenes rooms and staff events was also rather incredible!

Mahika Dixit, SSCP DTP Cohort 8

Internship: Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST)

“I immensely enjoyed my three months as a Research Fellow with the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST). I was assigned the task of preparing a short form briefing, known as a POSTnote, on the topic of ‘just sustainable transitions’ – which explores justice issues related to economic and social transitions to meet sustainability goals. This was a tough topic to dissect – as it is very broad and stakeholder opinions vary widely, but it was fantastic to be able to spend the time focused on different research to my PhD, and delving into a super interesting and lively topic. As part of my research, I interviewed 47 experts – from academia, business, NGOs, and government – for their perspectives, and it was a brilliant opportunity for me to meet new people and pick the brains of some of the world’s foremost authorities. Coupled to that was the experience of having Westminster as your workplace – complete with access-all-areas Parliamentary pass and brushing shoulders with some of the country’s most famous faces – overall an unforgettable and hugely valuable time with an unrivalled insight into the policy world. I’m very grateful to the DTP and NERC for supporting me to be able to have this experience. My POSTnote research briefing was published in October 2023, looking at justice principles for achieving a fair transition to net zero carbon and halting biodiversity loss. Henry looked at examples from changes in the UK, and the UK’s international commitments to produce case studies for the work."

Henry Grub, Cohort 8

Broadway Initiative

2 internships: Cool Farm Alliance & Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations

“During my PhD journey, I had the privilege of completing two enriching placements, each spanning three months. The initial placement, facilitated through a CASE partnership via the SSCP DTP, was UK-based with the Cool Farm Alliance. The second placement took me to Bangkok, collaborating with the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations. In both instances, my focus centered on enhancing the representation of local crop dynamics within modeling endeavors of diverse complexities. Integral to the success of these experiences was the unwavering support of my PhD mentor. Their encouragement allowed me the autonomy to carve a unique PhD path aligned with my personal interests and ambitions. Additionally, the SSCP DTP played a pivotal role in facilitating my international placement in Bangkok, extending both financial and administrative support.”

Jordie Buckley, Cohort 8

"In the third year of my PhD, I completed a three-month internship with Natural England through the UKRI scheme. Joining the Hen harrier team, I worked on a unique project that was different to my PhD research. I was able to use a lot of the skills I’d learnt from my PhD for the role, but the data analysis and statistical methods were new to me, providing a development opportunity that I might otherwise not have gained. I also enjoyed experience of working on scientific research within a large team, which was a refreshing shift from the solo focus of my research and the usual PhD routine. 

The internship not only broadened my awareness of non-academic roles in science, opening up new career horizons post-PhD, but also provided firsthand experience of the direct impact of academic research on policy decisions. Understanding how our work contributes to advice that might shape policies was particularly eye-opening and rewarding. Stepping back from my PhD for a few months and learning from others helped me gain fresh insights that improved my own research. Overall, the experience was positive, and I'd recommend it to anyone considering such opportunities. It's a chance to explore, learn, and maybe even reshape your career path. 

Verity Miles, Cohort 7