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The RSB annually hosts two policy internship positions for current PhD students who are funded by AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, and NERC

 

The successful applicants each spend three months working at the RSB within our education or science policy teams. Start and end dates can be negotiated as appropriate.

The RSB has two positions available for three-month policy internships within our science or education policy teams, in 2025. Interns will work fully remotely, with the opportunity for funded travel to join in-person events.

For information on how to apply for internships in 2025, go to the UKRI Policy Internships Scheme webpage.

 

About RSB policy work

RSB policy activity encompasses the work of our education and science policy teams across the biological sciences.

The Society’s policy teams work to support and guide the development of policy outputs from the Society. This includes synthesising and communicating evidence-based advice from our community to decision- and policy-makers, as well as developing knowledge exchange workshops, events and policy communications such as our weekly Science Policy Newsletter, which has several thousand subscribers.

Our policy work spans the biological sciences. Our education policy work focuses on the 5-19 curriculum and qualifications across the UK, teacher training, recruitment and retention, and subject-specific CPD for teachers. Our science policy work focuses on policy issues relevant across animal, biomedical, plant and environmental sciences, such as the use of genetic technologies, climate change and biodiversity loss, or biological security. Our policy work also has a focus on knowledge exchange and advice to support development of research culture, equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and the research landscape (research funding, infrastructure, workforce and communication).

We regularly reply to government and national level consultations and inquiries and engage pro-actively with policy development through the work of our Fellows, Committees and Groups. Our individual members and Member Organisations represent a valuable network of expertise and policy interest.

Find out more about the impact of our policy activity.

What does a policy internship at the RSB involve?

An internship with the Society will involve the combination of a specific project to be substantially delivered within the period of the placement, along with involvement in ongoing projects and activities of the RSB team. This may involve background research and working with our staff team and members to generate a response to a government or Parliamentary consultation, or the development of one of our policy events, for example.

Opportunities will also be available to get involved in other policy projects and activities (e.g. surveying our membership, assembling one of our newsletters, researching and writing a report, briefing or statement, or organising a workshop) and to join the wider RSB team in organising events such as Voice of the Future and Parliamentary Links Day.

In addition to delivering a defined project, the Society will aim to encourage and support our interns' attendance at relevant Parliamentary and charitable events, as well as participation in appropriate external and internal policy workshops, meetings and discussion groups.

Our interns will also be offered a wide range of opportunities to produce written outputs for publication, such as authoring an RSB news story. The Society has a busy calendar of committee, task force and steering group meetings so some experience of working with networks and committees, preparing papers for discussion, and recording committee proceedings, would also be on offer.

Interns receive guidance, training and help from members of the policy and publications department and across the Society as appropriate to their task. We aim to ensure that internship activity portfolios meet both the interests of the UKRI Research Council applicant and the needs of the Society at the same time.

Though the range of activities available to each intern is often wide and varied, we aim to tailor the programme to the skills-set, aims and interests of the individual. We take particular care to ensure that interns maintain a balance across their activities and feel well supported by the team during their time with us.

Testimonials from our past policy interns

“I have really enjoyed my internship with the RSB. They made me feel totally part of the team, and I was able to work on projects spanning my interests. The team were very responsive in allowing me to take on some additional projects that I was excited about, and I have developed skills outside of those I could have worked on during my PhD!” Rosie Mundy, 2024.

“My internship at the RSB has been a wonderful experience both from a professional, learning, viewpoint and from a personal perspective. I have been involved in a vast range of work within education policy, ranging from aiding during group meetings to mapping party manifestos to RSB guidelines before the 2024 elections. This has given me a broad and comprehensive view of the education policy work that RSB does with some insights into other aspects of policy work the RSB conducts as well, such as the science policy group and some outreach work that is ongoing. It has, overall, been eye-opening in allowing me to understand more comprehensively the work going on to influence policy and impact the public.” Mikah Katay-Fodor, 2024

“Working at the RSB has been a great opportunity to get involved in lots of different aspects of both science and education policy work. I’ve been involved in writing summary briefings of policy developments, responding to government consultations, collating articles for a newsletter as well as attending lots of different meetings of RSB groups, giving me chance to learn about lots of exciting projects happening across the wider RSB network. It’s been really interesting to learn about the work that goes on behind the scenes to influence policy, as well as gaining more of an understanding of how policy decisions impact research and science education as well as wider society.” Katie Pickup, 2023.

“I can’t recommend the RSB policy internship enough, it helped me to understand the critically important task of engaging government and the public on the way that the biological sciences can help us secure a more sustainable future. The team were really supportive and provided a range of interesting projects where you can learn a lot and see the impact of your work.” Adam McCarthy, 2022. Read Adam's blog for NWSSDTP and UKRI.

"The internship has been amazing, I was given the opportunity to work on so many different projects, from a governmental consultation to a science communication article which have allowed me to develop my writing, and communication skills. The team has been so helpful and supportive throughout the whole process and made me feel so welcome. Coming out of this internship I feel like I have a grasp of what policy work entails and how important it is as link between science and society." Karendeep Sidhu, 2022. Read Karendeep's interview in The Biologist.

How will we be recruiting?

To apply in autumn 2024 for internships in 2025, go to the UKRI Policy Internships Scheme webpage.

The post will be advertised through website and social media channels. Interviews will be held virtually via Zoom.

The Royal Society of Biology integrates equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) as an important part of our business plan, and continued engagement from our Board of Trustees, staff and members reflects the importance of these values.

The Royal Society of Biology is committed to embedding and communicating EDI strategies throughout the organisation and its activities. We acknowledge the importance of diversity at all learning and career stages to ensure equal opportunities and create an inclusive environment that welcomes, attracts and benefits from a variety of experiences, skills, qualities and perspectives. We strive to tackle barriers and create a life science community that is representative of the wider society we serve. We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Working arrangements and location

Royal Society of Biology, 1 Naoroji Street, London WC1X 0GB

Interns will work standard hours (9am – 5pm), and we can accommodate part time, flexible, hybrid and fully remote working upon agreement. Our office building is in Central London, close to Kings Cross, Exmouth Market and several green spaces and parks. In 2024, we anticipate that staff will continue hybrid working – both at the office and from home. The Society has remained fully-operational through home working throughout the pandemic and we are able to continue to accommodate such an arrangement.

Contact

For more information, please contact: Laura Marshall (head of science policy) or Lauren McLeod (head of education policy).