National funding schemes facilitate work experience in companies. This is a flexible method of preparing doctoral students for the world of work making them more work-ready and employable.
Collaborative doctoral research programmes
CASE Awards - Collaborative Doctoral Awards. These awards provide opportunities for doctoral students to gain first-hand experience of work outside an academic environment. The support provided by both an academic and non-academic supervisor enhances the employment-related skills and training a research student gains during the course of their award.
EngD - Engineering Doctorate Programmes. The EngD is a 'professional' doctorate, equivalent to a PhD, but with the research engineer (EngD student) pursuing a research project while based within a company, and enjoying an enhanced stipend (tax free in most cases) that is typically £5000 per annum more than for a PhD. The research itself is identified by the sponsoring company and confirmed as appropriate by the university(ies).
Work placements and internships
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Policy internships. These are opportunities for NERC PhD award holders in their second or third year (at time of applying) to undertake a three-month internship with an organisation involved in the scrutiny of government policy.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Knowledge Exchange Opportunities Scheme. The scheme provides the opportunity to apply for funding for knowledge exchange activities at any stage of the research lifecycle, and is aimed at maximising the impact of social science research outside academia. The activity must focus on promoting the application of social science within non-academic communities. It should also help to facilitate the co-production and application of knowledge, and should include public engagement activities. Funding guidelines specifically mention placements hosted by external organisations and applications from businesses are particularly welcomed.
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Placement Fellowship Scheme. A Fellowship of up to one year is offered focusing on ‘belief' in the context of international intercultural dialogue. Through this scheme the Councils encourage researchers to spend time within a partner organisation to undertake policy relevant research and to develop the research skills of partner employees.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Student Internships. The ESRC Student Internship Scheme provides current ESRC funded postgraduate researchers with the opportunity to spend up to six months in a non-academic organisation within the public, civil society (voluntary) or private sector where they can work as part of a team involved with policy/practice development.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Studentships. BBSRC awards studentships, funded through a Doctoral Training Partnership award, which will contain a three month professional internship to be completed within the (four years of the) PhD programme. This element aims to widen experience of types of career in which their research training can have impact and can be with any relevant employer but involving work which should not be directly related to the student's research topic.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), NERC and Technology Strategy Board Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). Knowledge Transfer Partnerships enable PhDs who have completed a collaborative research grant or CASE studentship to apply their research in a commercial environment, managing challenging projects central to the development needs of participating companies.
The Royal Society Industrial Fellowships. This scheme is for academic scientists who want to work on a collaborative project with industry and for scientists in industry who want to work on a collaborative project with an academic organisation. The scheme provides a basic salary for the researcher and a contribution towards research costs.
The Royal Society Pairing Scheme. The scheme aims to help MPs and civil servants establish longstanding links with practising research scientists and to help research scientists understand political decision making and its associated pressures.
Industrial Mathematics Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs). These postgraduate internships offer a new way of putting mathematics to work at the heart of business. The programme places a current UK-based postgraduate researcher into a company for a period of between three and six months, to carry out a stand-alone project that develops or exploits some capability in industrial mathematics.