PhD Internships

Deadline 29 October 2021
Location Cardiff

This is the second year of our PhD Internship Scheme which provides opportunities for ESRC funded PhD students located on Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) pathways within the Wales DTP institutions, to spend three months in the Centre to apply and develop their research skills and techniques to real-world issues with high topicality. These internships will provide an excellent opportunity for a PhD student to gain practical experience of undertaking research in an organisation that works at the interface of research and policymaking. You will work alongside staff who have gained PhD’s and currently work with policy makers and practitioners in providing evidence to improve policy-making and public service outcomes in Wales. The experience of previous PhD students is summarised here.

The internship will improve the candidates’ understanding of policymaking in Wales as well as improve their research skills (e.g., literature searching/reviewing, designing a research plan). You will also have the chance to develop a wide range of practical skills (e.g. report writing, communication, time management, team working, developing impact strategies) that will be crucial for your future career. The internship will also allow the candidate to extend their network amongst academics, policy makers and practitioners in Wales and beyond.

We have outlined three topics for students to consider alongside an open call for a student-determined topic:

  • The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015: Implementation and evaluation
  • The role of evidence in policymaking
  • The use of policy tools in Wales in implementing change

Alternatively, students may propose a topic of their own choice, applying their research interests and expertise to a policy area within which WCPP has conducted work. If you are considering proposing your own topic, please contact Dr Andrew Connell at an early stage to discuss the scope and shape of any proposal before you submit it.

Student specification

For each internship, we would expect the student to have:

  • Strong research and analytical skills including experience of undertaking literature reviews and qualitative methods (e.g. semi-structured interviews).
  • Experience of analytical work in the areas of social or public policy.
  • The ability to produce concise, well-written documents in an accessible format.

The WCPP and the ESRC Wales DTP are committed to supporting and promoting equality, diversity, and an inclusive research environment. We value the indispensable contribution made by researchers of all backgrounds to our work. We warmly welcome applications for these internships from currently underrepresented groups, including Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities.

Anticipated project outcomes

Each internship will include the following outcomes:

  • A short report (approx. 12 pages) summarising the approach taken and outlining the findings. This should be presented in an accessible way to help to ensure that the research is used.
  • A blog summarising the research to be included on the Centre’s website.
  • Possibly an event designed by the student to present the findings of the research or a podcast.
Length and start date of the internship

The internship would last for a period of three months and be based in the Wales Centre for Public Policy at Cardiff University. We would prefer for the internship to be conducted by the student attending our offices (depending on the latest advice re Covid-19, but it will also be possible to be conducted remotely. For students registered on a part-time studentship, the internships are available on a part-time basis, and this will need to be negotiated with the project lead.

We are flexible on the start date of the internship as this will depend on individual circumstances, but we anticipate a start date in January 2022.

Funding and costs

The successful applicant will get a paid extension of three months to their PhD at an indicative monthly rate of £1,500 per month (fees and stipend costs).


For further information about the proposed projects, and details of how to apply, visit the Wales DTP website.