External Placement Schemes

We support our postgraduate researchers in securing high-quality external placement opportunities, nationally and internationally.

During the year we might advertise projects that are initiatied by our strategic and/or other project partners as part of the Partner-Led strand of our Placement Scheme, to which researchers can apply onnline by the deadline advertised with each specific call.

In addition, as a NWCDTP-funded researcher you will also be able to access a variety of opportunities advertised as part of external National and International placement schemes. These usually require a direct application to the external organisation offering the placement. If you intend to apply to any of the following schemes (or any other external schemes), you can send your application to the PPO in advance of the deadline for bespoke advice and specific feedback on your draft application before submitting it, which should maximise your chances of success. 

If successful in securing a place, applicants will be required to complete an online PGR Placement Application Form – selecting ‘National and International Placement scheme’ at the beginning of the form – in order to secure funding, since most of these schemes require a scholarship extension from your DTP for funding your place.

Please see the NWCDTP Placement Scheme Guidance Document for more information, including reporting requirements.


AHRC International Placement Scheme

The AHRC’s International Placement Scheme (IPS) funds short-term fellowships at prestigious international research institutions for UK doctoral level research assistants and AHRC/ESRC funded doctoral students. The scheme is run annually, with places available across a number of different host institutions including: 

  • Harry RansomCenter, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • The Huntington Library, California, USA
  • Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA1
  • National Institutes for the Humanities, Japan
  • Shanghai Theatre Academy, Shanghai, China
  • Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA
  • YaleCenterfor British Art, Connecticut, USA 
  • National Museum Institute, New Delhi, India 

Placements will last three to six months. Participants will receive £1,000 for travel and visa costs and £1,750 for each month of the fellowship. 

Application opens in November and closes in February every year. For 2022, applicants should complete and submit their application using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system by 16:00 on Thursday, 24 February 2022

To apply, your School or Supervisor will need to submit an application via the IPS/AHRC scheme. Please check the IPS page on the AHRC’s website for details. 

See here AHRC Guidance on filling the application, which includes criteria for the grading scale

You can send your application to the PPO in advance of the deadline for specific feedback on your draft application before submitting it, which should maximise your chances of success. 


British Library Placement Scheme

BL runs an internal PhD Placement Scheme that aims to provide an opportunity to PhD researchers to experience research in a different environment to that of a university, to engage with a range of research users and audiences, to gain insights into different potential postdoctoral career paths, and to make a tangible contribution to the purposes and programmes of a national library and major cultural organisation.

A broad range of opportunities to work with different collections are made available every year for projects of 3 months or part-time equivalent, to be undertaken from June 2022 onwards. Many of the projects are suitable for partial or full remote working.

A list of all available placement projects and full details of how to apply are available on their website here: https://www.bl.uk/news/2022/january/2022-phd-placement-opportunities

Deadline: 5pm on Friday 25 February 2022.

Examples of previous BL PhD research placements and their outcomes.

Applications to the BL Placement Scheme are made to BL directly. Funding is provided through the NWCDTP/AHRC scholarship extension mechanism, that researchers will need to request to NWCDTP once their direct application to BL has been successful.

BL offers free webinars and open events to explore their collections with expert staff. The complete programme, and links to register, can be found here.


Cabinet Office Placement Scheme

The Cabinet Office’s new Open Innovation Team has been established to generate analysis and ideas for priority projects by helping officials collaborate more intensively with outside experts. 

Placements are for a minimum of 3 months to work on projects on health, welfare reform, industrial strategy, digital transformation and other priority areas.

This scheme will require PhD researchers to secure additional funding from the DTP in order to take up the opportunity. 

To apply, you will need to submit an application via the Cabinet Office website. The Scheme opens for applications in September each year for placements starting in the following year. We will publish the Call here when it is live. 

Read from previous PhD Placement holders and their experience here and here

Please send your draft application to the PPO in advance of the deadline for internal review and feedback.

Royal Institution PhD Science Presenter Internship

The Ri provides science education and heritage activities for people of all ages and backgrounds across the UK and around the world. 

This internship is an opportunity for PhD researchers to build your confidence in presenting to a group of young people in an engaging educational environment, to receive regular feedback and training in science communication and to design content for use on Ri social media.  The internship is from May to July 2022 with some flexibility. The successful intern will:

  • Present hands-on science workshops to young people in the LYSC.
  • Research and develop hands-on science experiments for Ri social media content.
  • Work with the YSC team to develop content for other Ri activities.

The closing date for receipt of applications has been extended to 9am Tuesday 12 April 2022. 

For more information and to apply: https://www.rigb.org/about-us/work-with-us/science-presenter-phd-intern

See more opportunities for PhD internships at the RI: https://www.rigb.org/about-us/work-with-us

UKRI Policy Internship 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, 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 available in a number of parliamentary departments, government departments and non-governmental bodies, learned societies and other organisations. For more information and the Full Guidance document please visit https://www.ukri.org/skills/policy-internships-scheme/

See the Guidance for applicants here.

The UKRI Policy Internships Scheme opens for applications in October each year. 

You can send your draft application to the PPO in advance of the deadline for detailed feedback and internal review.