In addition to our standard studentship awards, there are many excellent opportunities for training and development that you may be eligible for.

Overseas institutional visits

The Overseas Institutional Visits (OIV) scheme is to support and encourage the international engagement of ESRC-funded students. The scheme has now been devolved to our doctoral training network, which is provided with funding to administer and award their own schemes. 

Funds should be used to provide financial support and time for students to:

  • undertake additional specialist research training not available on the UK
  • develop language skills
  • establish research links that will be beneficial to their current or future academic career
  • disseminate early research findings
  • attend and participate in seminars where directly relevant to their research.

The doctoral training network has been given considerable flexibility in administering the scheme. If you would like to find out more about OIVs you should contact your DTP, CDT or DTC.

ESRC-funded students who are based at research organisations outside of the network are no longer able to access OIV funds.

Policy internships

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Policy Internships scheme provides ESRC-funded PhD students with the chance to spend three months with a highly influential non-academic policy organisation where they can work as part of a team involved with policy or practice development. Internships are awarded to a number of parliamentary, government departments and non-governmental bodies, learned societies and organisations. 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.

The internship scheme provides students with experience of, and insights into, different professional cultures and the opportunity to network within the policy arena. It is an excellent professional development opportunity for careers in academia or in other sectors.

If you are a current ESRC-funded PhD student and are interested in setting up your own internship, please speak to your DTC, DTP or CDT contact who will be able to advise you on how to arrange your own internship.

If you are a non-academic organisation who would like to host an ESRC PhD student for an internship, please contact a DTC, DTP or CDT directly.

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) fellowships

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) Fellowship is an opportunity for ESRC-funded postgraduate students to be seconded to POST to assist in producing independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public policy issues for parliamentarians.

International Placement Scheme: Library of Congress Washington

ESRC-funded students are able to undertake short-term placements at the Library of Congress in Washington as part of the AHRC-ESRC International Placement Scheme (IPS). IPS fellows can spend up to six months at the Library of Congress, with access to their internationally renowned collections, resources, facilities and staff expertise. IPS fellowships also provide opportunities for fellows to network and meet potential research collaborators.

Transferable skills training

We think it's important for PhD students to receive training in career development and transferable skills as well as in research.

Research organisations are expected to encourage and support students in developing their career options and that the provision of professional and transferable skills will form a fundamental part of doctoral training.

Universities have flexibility in the use of research training grants and are expected to draw on these to cover the costs of providing professional development opportunities appropriate for the individual postgraduate researchers whose training is funded through that grant.

Vitae runs a national programme of courses and events for doctoral researchers and research staff.