Policy internships for NERC-funded PhD students
The closing date for 2013 is to be confirmed.
These are opportunities for NERC PhD award holders in their second or third year (at time of applying) to undertake a three-month internship with an organisation involved in policy making and research.
Internships are available at one of four partner organisations:
- Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology (POST) - London
- Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) - Edinburgh
- The Research Service (RS, National Assembly for Wales) - Cardiff
- The Centre for Science & Policy (CSaP) - Cambridge
For further information on how to apply, eligibility, timing and duration of internships, funding and working arrangements see the current competition information page.
Information on Parliamentary and National Assembly information offices: POST, SPICe and RS
The UK and Scottish Parliaments and the National Assembly for Wales pass laws, scrutinise Government and act as a forum for debate on issues of concern. Science-based issues permeate all these areas of work. Most parliamentarians and Assembly Members (AMs) do not have a background in science or technology and look to others for specialist advice and information.
POST is an office of the two UK Houses of Parliament (Commons and Lords), which provides balanced and independent analyses of science and technology-based issues which are relevant to Parliament. POST regularly publishes short briefing papers called POSTnotes and longer reports giving parliamentarians a broad overview of the background to an issue and an analysis of the policy implications.
POST works very closely with a wide range of select committees in both Houses of the UK Parliament. Interns to POST - or NERC/POST Fellows as they are called by POST - should expect to produce a POSTnote, contribute to a longer report, assist a select committee in a current inquiry, and/or carry out related activities. The POST Board set the POST work programme, depending on the relevance and timeliness to Parliament.
Read about the activities of a former NERC funded POST Fellow in a Planet Earth Spring 2007 article: Soiled: degradation in the mother of all parliaments (287KB).
SPICe is an office of the Scottish Parliament and provides impartial research to support Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), committees and staff of the Scottish Parliament. SPICe briefings give MSPs an overview of a subject, or analyse the detail of, for example, primary legislation being considered by the Parliament. In addition, SPICe corresponds with individual MSPs and their staff and provides support to a range of committees through a combination of written and oral briefings, and a current awareness intranet-based service.
Interns to SPICe will be fully integrated within the team and can expect to write a formal SPICe briefing, to contribute to briefings for committees, and to answer enquiries from MSPs. They are also likely to find themselves involved in other activities, such as attending cross-party-group and internal meetings and interacting with interested parties outside Parliament. It is likely the intern will work with the Health, Environment & Europe Research Unit.
You can read about the activities of a former SPICe intern .
RS provides impartial research and briefing to support the 60 Members of the National Assembly for Wales. Interns will have the opportunity to fully engage with AMs, committees, stakeholders and the parliamentary process, and are expected to produce an RS Pro-active Research Output for publication. They will also help to answer enquiries on environmental and agricultural issues from individual Members and their staff. Depending on the timing of the placement, they may also be asked to assist with a Scrutiny Committee Inquiry.
Interns will join the Environment & Transport Team and will focus on topical environment, planning and countryside issues of interest to AMs in Wales. The Assembly also has its own law making powers and there is an opportunity to be involved in briefing Members to influence the development of distinctive Welsh legislation.
Read about the activities of a former RS intern .
Information on the Centre for Science & Policy (CSaP)
CSaP at the University of Cambridge promotes relationships between policy professionals and experts in the sciences and engineering.
- Knowledge sharing: CSaP provides policy professionals with access to the best academic thinking in engineering, science, computing, mathematics, social sciences, law and philosophy, and provides an arena in which those interested in the policy implications of the sciences and technology, and the relationship between research expertise and public policy, can discuss and develop fresh ideas.
- Training: It provides training, support and opportunities for researchers to engage with policy makers.
- Research: It conducts research on the relationship between science and policy.
CSaP operates within seven themes, spanning a wide range of academic disciplines and policy issues. The themes give focus to its programmes and provide a context in which relationships between researchers and policy makers can develop and prove useful. Key programmes for building connections between researchers and policy makers include:
- Policy Fellowships bring policy makers from government and industry to the university to meet academics. Each Fellowship lasts two years, kick-started by an emersion week of intensive one-on-one meetings in which the Policy Fellow (ie the policy maker) will meet with leading researchers from a wide range of disciplines.
- Policy Workshops bring groups of researchers down to London to meet policy makers. These events provide a neutral platform upon which decision makers and academics can share knowledge and develop new thinking.
- Distinguished Lectures bring the wider CSaP network together. The lectures air important issues that span both the sciences and engineering on the one hand and policy in government and industry on the other.
Policy internships - current competition information
For information on the current competition including eligibility, how to apply, timing and duration of internships, and funding and working arrangements, please see the current competition information page.
Tel: 01793 442594