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ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Social Sciences

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Internships, external placements and research collaborations are available for all doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers with the University of Cambridge and are encouraged as a part of their Personal Career Development.

Opportunities and funding can be arranged for candidates from any research background, though please note that ESRC-DTP students will be given priority.

ESRC DTP PhD Students please note

  • ESRC DTP students in an MPhil year are not eligible to apply for 'real-world' engagement opportunities.
  • Internships must not commence within the first three months of your doctoral period. 
  • In order to be eligible for financial support from the Discretionary Fund, your internship must be completed at least one month before the end date of your award.
  • Support from the Discretionary Fund can only be offered for one internship (of up to 6 months) during the course of your studentship. 
  • Your studentship and thesis submission date will usually be extended to take the duration of your internship into account.  This means that students in receipt of a full award (maintenance and fees) will have their award extended by the length of their internship (up to a maximum of 6 months) and will also receive their stipend (maintenance) payments during their internship. Fees-only students (who by definition do not receive maintenance) will receive a 'time-only' extension.
  • You can only receive one extension to your award and thesis submission date during the course of your studentship as a result of undertaking an internship.

Funding for Internships:

Internships are considered an integral element of ESRC DTP students' training.  The Management Executive Group has agreed that the following policy should apply in relation to payment from external partners.

  1. Fully funded ESRC studentships (i.e. stipend and fees):   ESRC DTP students in receipt of a full award will be eligible for one extension of their PhD studies for the duration of the internship and will continue to receive their stipend over the course of their internship.  However, if the internship is paid, the additional payment from the external partner will be taken into account and the student’s stipend will be adjusted so that the RCUK minimum stipend level is maintained.  ESRC students in receipt of a full award will not be supported for living costs through the Discretionary Fund but are eligible to apply for assistance towards the direct costs of undertaking an internship.
  2. Fees-only ESRC studentships: ESRC DTP students who are not fully funded and in receipt of a fees-only award (usually EU students) are eligible to apply to the discretionary fund for assistance towards the direct costs of undertaking an internship.  Fees-only students may also access a research allowance to offset the costs to their research project of engaging in an internship - the online application form is available here.
  3. Non – ESRC funded studentships. The Cambridge ESRC DTP opens all internship opportunities to the wider group of Cambridge social science PhD students. Non ESRC applicants are not eligible for any financial support through the DTP and should explore relevant options through their colleges, departments etc.

Information for Successful Applicants

If your internship application is successful, the ESRC DTP requires a formal record of your plans and the steps outlined below must be completed in order to trigger an extension to your ESRC DTP Studentship and your thesis submission date:

1. You must apply for intermission for the duration of your internship. Please apply promptly following your acceptance of an internship offer as it can take some time for intermission applications to be approved

2. Complete a Discretionary Fund application form for collaboration available here and upload the required documents, which includes a statement of support from your Supervisor (you may upload the relevant page from your internship application) and a letter from the host organisation confirming your internship.

Please be aware that this is a requirement even if you do not wish to apply to the Discretionary Fund for support with the direct costs of undertaking your internship. If you do not wish to make an application to the Discretionary Fund, please enter £0 in the "Budget breakdown" and "Other sources of funding" sections on the form.

After Your Engagement Activity

Once you have completed your collaborative activity, you must provide a case study and a short report to be posted on this website.