Economic and Social Research Council

The Economic and Social Research Council postgraduate fellowship scheme with POST is closed for applications. Please note that currently ESRC-funded PhD students are able to apply for a placement at POST via the RCUK policy internship scheme.

The scheme provides an opportunity for ESRC-funded postgraduate students to be seconded to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) to assist in producing independent, balanced and accessible analysis of public policy issues for Parliamentarians. ESRC/ POST Fellows may work on a policy topic grounded in the natural sciences or technology, where social science research evidence has a key role to play, or on a more substantive social science topic of relevance to public policy.

Fellows are usually based at POST; however, in some instances, Fellows may also be based for the duration of their fellowship either with a Select Committee or the Library in either the House of Commons or the House of Lords. This will be determined in discussion with the student and be dependent on the work of Parliament.

The scheme is designed to give students first-hand experience of working in science policy and a wide understanding of the work of Parliament. Fellows will be supported by a three month funded extension to their PhD. Additional financial support is available to cover travel or accommodation costs if the successful applicant is usually based outside of London. All eligible candidates will be assessed through a competitive application process.

A selection of recent POSTnote and other briefings written by ESRC funded fellows:

House of Lords Library 2017-0102 - Rehabilitation in Prisons

House of Lords European Union Select Committee - Brexit: Farm animal welfare

POSTnote 532 - Integrating Health and Social Care

POSTnote 524 - Education in Youth Custody

POSTnote 522 - Barriers to Healthy Food

Lords Library Note 2016/0015- European Union: Prime Ministers' Speeches and Party Manifestos since 1970

Lords Library Note 2016/0012 - Diabetes: UK Prevalence and Policy Developments

Lords Library Note 2016/0009 - International Women’s Day 2016

POSTnote 513 - Future of Natural Gas in the UK

Lords Library Note 2015/0035 - Digital Democracy: Political Participation and Citizen Engagement through the Internet

POSTbrief 14 - Body-Worn Video in UK Policing

POSTnote 507 - Trends in Crime and Criminal Justice

POSTnote 506 - Trends in Compulsory Education

POSTnote 498 - Trends in Political Participation

POSTnote 475 - Alternative Currencies

Lords Library Note 2014/027 - Polling Data on the Scottish Independence Referendum

POSTnote 472 - Big and Open Data in Transport

Rowena Bermingham, a recipient of the 2016 ESRC Fellowship has written a blog about her experience at POST.

Further information

Who is eligible to apply?

Any ESRC-funded PhD student in their 2nd or 3rd year (or part time equivalent).

Start date

Please note that the ESRC does not allow third year students to undertake an internship in the last three months of their funding. The start date is to be agreed between the applicant, POST, the applicant's supervisor and University.

Application process

Applicants should read the ESRC/POST 2017/2018 Guidance note prior to submitting the following documents:

  • An application form
  • A two-page CV
  • A summary briefing on a potential POSTnote topic.

The application form and guidance notes are available below.


Any enquiries should be directed to Dr Caroline Kenny at or 020 7219 0743.