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Academic fellowships

Parliament offers fellowships in which academics come and conduct projects at Parliament. There are opportunities for academic researchers at any stage of their career.

POST’s Parliamentary Thematic Research Leads

In 2023, new pilot thematic policy hubs will be created in Parliament to bring together experts from select committees, library staff and POST (Parliamentary Office of Scince and Techonology). These hubs will allow parliamentary staff to share and develop expertise to inform scrutiny, legislation and debate which addresses key economic and societal challenges.

POST and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) will pilot the creation of a network of Thematic Research Leads (TRLs) in support of this work. TRLs will be mid-career researchers embedded part-time in the hubs, bringing their academic expertise and experience of working with research evidence to the policy, research and analysis work which is carried out across Parliament.

POST is collaborating with the ESRC to appoint three university researchers to three pilot Thematic Research Lead roles at the end of 2022. These TRLs will take up their roles from January 2023.

Find out more about POST’s Parliamentary Thematic Research Leads here.

POST's Parliamentary Academic Fellowship Scheme

In the Parliamentary Academic Fellowship Scheme, researchers use their knowledge and skills to carry out projects in UK Parliament. The Knowledge Exchange Unit in Parliament organise the scheme.

The scheme first began in 2016 and has two strands. In the Directed Call of the scheme, academics work on projects issued by Parliament. The Directed Call of the scheme last opened for applications Monday 31 January  - Sunday 13 March 2022. The Directed Call gives university-based researchers and staff working in knowledge exchange the opportunity to participate in a fellowship project with an office in UK Parliament, put forward by that office. For more information, please see the Directed Call webpage.
 
In the Open Call of the scheme, academics propose projects they would like to conduct in Parliament. The Open Call last opened for applications during 2020 and is currently closed.

Researchers bring their skills and knowledge to offices across Parliament. They work closely with parliamentary staff in their host team, and some will also have direct contact with Members of Parliament. A fellowship project might support core work of an office in Parliament, or fill a gap in expertise. It could help to grow Parliament's academic networks, or inform parliamentary scrutiny. It might analyse and evaluate parliamentary practices, or build staff capacity and skills.
 
Applications are open to all UK-based university researchers who already have a PhD and are employed on an academic contract. Exceptionally, they are also open to those who don't have a PhD but have equivalent experience of a PhD and are employed on an academic contract. They are also open to university staff working in impact or knowledge exchange (including staff working in university libraries). People applying for fellowships must also be eligible for a parliamentary pass.
 
In the fellowship application process, Parliamentary Academic Fellows complete an application and attend an interview. Applicants source funding for the fellowships from their institutions or research organisations/ funders.
 
Academics remain employed by their university whilst they carry out fellowships. They have the status of Parliamentary Academic Fellows for the duration of their fellowships.

Fellowships generate impact for Parliament, the fellow and the fellow’s home institution. In Parliament, for example, fellowships can raise awareness around topics, inform scrutiny and support changes in processes. They allow fellows to increase their knowledge of Parliament, build networks for themselves and their home institution, and develop new skills. They can lead to research impact and can enable opportunities for fellows to publish, and develop their teaching.

An overview of some of the fellows currently participating in the scheme, including their institution, their host office in Parliament and their fellowship project, can be found below:
 
Fellow name Fellow institution Host office in UK Parliament Fellowship project
Dr Maria Barrett University of Warwick

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, House of Commons Select Committee Team

Widening the Pool: Engaging with more diverse expertise in the cultural field in a Covid and post-Covid environment

Dr Patrick Butchard

Edge Hill University

International Affairs and Defence Section, House of Commons Library

Supporting the delivery of international law policy research for the House of Commons Library

Dr Elinor Carmi

University of Liverpool Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, House of Commons Select Committee Team Digital Literacies for a Healthy Democracy
Professor Tony Dobbins University of Birmingham Business and Transport Section, House of Commons Library Collaborating in knowledge exchange with the research team in the House of Commons library (employment, labour market) to enhance understanding of the post-Covid future of work context
 
The KEU conduct ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the Parliamentary Academic Scheme, which informs developments in the scheme. This includes to ensure that the scheme and recruitment process are inclusive. You can read a long evaluation of the pilot scheme, which ran between 2016 and 2019 here. It includes a review of the scheme, details of projects conducted and their impacts, and five case studies. You can read a short summary of the pilot scheme here.
 
If you would like to find out more about the scheme, please contact the Knowledge Exchange Unit on keu@parliament.uk.
 

POST PhD Fellowships

POST offers fellowships in which sponsored PhD students can work at POST for (usually) three months.

Some fellowships are also open to post-doctoral researchers in academia and industry. POST runs this scheme with Research Councils, learned societies and charities. Find out more about POST PhD Fellowships.

 

Discover how the Knowledge Exchange Unit supports researchers and Parliament to work together.