• Applications for 2020–2021 now open to doctoral students funded by the research councils of UK Research and Innovation (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC).
  • Applications close at 16:00 on 10 September 2020
  • POST will be recruiting 25 students in collaboration with the other Parliamentary hosts.

With all the research councils now under the umbrella of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), POST has restructured its individual Fellowship schemes and substituted them with an overarching opportunity called the Policy Internships Scheme. The scheme provides the opportunity for doctoral students funded by the research councils of UKRI to work for three months in a policy organisation.

About the scheme

The Policy Internships Scheme allows candidates from the research councils of UK Research and Innovation to get invaluable policy experience, with an organisation of their choice. If POST is your first host choice and you’d like the opportunity to contribute to one of our POSTnotes, please make that clear in your application.

While fellows typically help us with the production of a POSTnote or POSTbrief, this unique opportunity to view the epicentre of policy-making from the inside may also include a secondment to a select committee or to the House of Commons or House of Lords Libraries.

Fellows at POST will have the opportunity to produce their own POSTnote from start to finish. This includes scoping the topic, conducting interviews with senior stakeholders from across academia, government, industry and the not-for-profit sector, drafting and editing.

By the end of their time at POST, our fellows will have learned how to write for policy-makers with balance, impartiality and succinctness. They will also have developed a unique understanding of Westminster, forged important relationships with key stakeholders, and delved into a novel and exciting topic of research.

To see the full list of hosts which include parliamentary departments, government departments and non-governmental bodies, learned societies and other organisations, visit the UKRI website.

COVID-19 and frequently asked questions

Due to COVID-19, interviews are likely to take place remotely. While we hope Fellows will be able to join us at Parliament during their time at POST, we understand this may not be possible. We will be looking at a phased return to working in the office from September, but also have full
capacity for work to be carried out remotely.

For more information on POST fellowships, please see our frequently asked questions page.

In the case that Fellows prefer or have to work remotely, we aim to provide them with all the support and learning opportunities they would have access to on the Parliamentary estate.

Who is eligible to apply

This scheme is open to doctoral students funded by the Research Councils of UK Research and Innovation (AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC). Internships will take place during 2021 and students must be able to start their internship before the end of their funded period of study.


Internships are financially supported by the research councils and other sources. Doctoral stipends and fees should continue to be paid by the research organisation throughout the three month internship period. Where necessary, students can also claim for eligible travel and accommodation costs incurred during the internship up to a maximum limit of £2,400 per student. The funding details for each research council are detailed in Annex A of the Applicant Guidance below.

How to apply

Applicants should complete the online application form. Applicants must also upload two documents as part of their application:

  • a signed funding and permissions form (see below)
  • a policy briefing.
  • For further information, applicants are advised to read the guidance and host partner information documents provided below.

Assessment of applications is a two stage process: there will be an assessment of the written application and applicants successful at this stage will be invited to interview. The application process will be completed at both stages by POST in association with the other Parliamentary hosts.

Please note, only one application can be submitted by each applicant. The applicant must specify within their application which host partner they wish to undertake an internship with and bear in mind any organisation specific guidance available in the applicant guidance document when preparing their application.

Download documents and forms

Research Councils


The Policy Internships Scheme is being coordinated by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) on behalf of all Research Councils. Questions about the scheme should be addressed to the NERC Research Careers Team: researchcareers@nerc.ukri.org.