UCL Public Policy


UCL Policy Fellows

The UCL Policy Fellows programme provides UCL researchers with the opportunity to work directly with policy professionals whilst embedded within a policy environment.

Current opportunities

Other opportunities - managed directly by policy organisations

Current opportunities

Greater London Assembly - Research Associate Secondment (Higher Education and Innovation)

The strength of London’s world-class Higher Education and research base is key to the productivity of London, and the UK as a whole.  The Mayor of London’s response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy supports the need for research and business collaboration so that London businesses, universities and research organisations can continue to work together to preserve and promote economic success, locally and nationally. The main purpose of the role is to ensure that Higher Education is centre stage of the Mayor of London’s Industrial Strategy and to identify practical ways in which university-business collaboration can be increased to maximise innovation and business growth across London’s key sectors.

Department for Transport - Transport Infrastructure Placement

Placement opportunity is available in the Transport Infrastructure Team at the Department for Transport. This high-profile role will offer researcher significant exposure to senior leaders across Whitehall, in its arm length bodies and across the DfT client organisations, such as HS2, Highways England, Network Rail, TfL and East West Rail, as well as to DfT Ministers, working on the delivery of the Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy (TIES) 6-month benchmarking start-up programme.

Camden Council - Strategy and Change

UCL is pleased to be working with Camden Council to offer this opportunity to experience working within local government in the home borough of UCL. Camden Council is looking for an enthusiastic and engaged researcher to support the Strategy and Change function. The policy fellow will work on a range of short-term projects in the strategic priority areas of reducing social isolation, improving health outcomes, increasing community participation and the pilot of our new neighbourhood approach to the delivery of health and care services. 


For more information or to have an informal discussion about the above opportunities please contact Helen Tsui (helen.tsui@ucl.ac.uk).

Other opportunities - managed directly by policy organisations

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - PhD Secondment Opportunities

A range of PhD secondment opportunities are availale in DWP, to commence in Autumn 2019.  DWP offers a unique opportunity to experience an organisation that is directly responsible for both the design and the frontline delivery of its policies and services. A DWP secondment will support the development of a broad range of analytical, presentational and professional skills, as well as wider professional development from e.g. in-house seminars. To fnd out more about the role please download the poster (.pdf) and the zipped file containing full details of the scheme and application forms. Application closing date: 26 May 2019


Note: This scheme is managed directly by DWP, not UCL Public Policy. For any queries, please contact DWP's Evidence Strategy Team (email: evidence.strategyteam@dwp.gov.uk).

POST Fellowship with Institute of Food Science and Technology - PhD Secondment Opportunity

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) is offering a three-month Fellowships to to enable PhD students to spend a three-month period in the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, working on science-based project(s) with the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFTS). Applicants should be in the second or third year of their PhD studies, undertaking research studies related to Food Science and Technology at a UK university. Students who are writing up their theses but have not yet graduated are eligible to apply. Membership of IFST is preferable but not essential. Application closing date: 24 May 2019

Click here for more details on how to apply

Note: This placement is managed directly by IFTS, not UCL Public Policy. For any queries, please contact Kiu Sum (Education and Careers Coordinator) at IFTS.

POST Fellowship with The Royal Society of Chemistry - PhD Secondment Opportunities

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) is offering two three-month Fellowships to members of the Royal Society of Chemistry who are undertaking a PhD or have completed a PhD within the last 6 months. This opportunity is funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry on a continuing basis. Successful applicants will be expected to produce a POSTnote or POSTbrief (Parliamentary briefing documents), contribute to a longer report, assist a select committee in a current inquiry, and/or carry out related activities on an area of public policy. Fellows may also be placed directly with select committees or with the House of Commons or House of Lords Libraries. Fellows are typically based in London, although POST is happy to consider flexible working arrangements if a successful applicant would not otherwise be able to take up the Fellowship. Application closing date: 17 June 2019

Click here for more details on how to apply 

Note: This placement is managed directly by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), not UCL Public Policy. For any queries, please contact Phoebe Rountree, Public Affairs Advisor, Royal Society of Chemistry, at rountreep@rsc.org.

About the programme

The UCL Policy Fellows programme aims to:

  • Facilitate engagement between academics and policymakers by:
    • improving the exchange of information (of the latest research and of policy priorities)
    • developing networks between academics and policymakers
    • contributing UCL academic expertise to policy-relevant activity.
  • Enhance mutual understanding of academic research, the development of policy, and the workings of Government.
  • Assist in the development of a culture in which policy implications and influence are considered throughout the research process, and engagement with policy by researchers is encouraged, facilitated and rewarded.
  • Enable the contribution of academic expertise to specific policy activities in the host organisation.

How it works

Placements are offered on a flexible (often part-time) basis, generally for 3-6 months in the first instance (with the possibility of extension), to suit the circumstances of both researchers and host departments. Placements are offered based on matching general expertise, skills and interests to policy needs, rather than necessarily directly matching a specific project. UCL Public Policy provides support to identify placement opportunities, manage the administration of the placement, and identify funding where necessary.


The UCL Policy Fellows programme is funded through an internal grant scheme held by UCL Innovation and Enterprise. Following the confirmation of a placement, candidates must apply for funding through either the Higher Education Innovation Fund (maximum award £15,000) or the UCL EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (maximum award £30,000, additional conditions apply). Funding covers the cost of staff salary (including oncosts but not overheads) for the duration of the placement and will be awarded to the candidates UCL department. Funding is not available for expenses associated with the delivery of the project placement which will be met by the government host department. For more information about placement funding please contact Helen Tsui (helen.tsui@ucl.ac.uk).

Benefits for researchers

Placements enable researchers to work closely with policy professionals and gain direct experience of the process of policy development. As well as developing policy knowledge and the ability to translate research expertise, placements help to develop transferable skills that are useful beyond academia, such as networking, stakeholder engagement, project management, public speaking and negotiating

Benefits for host organisations

Host organisations benefit from the particular skills and expertise of the researcher in helping to inform and shape policy development and have access to some of the latest academic thinking in the relevant area, as well as the researcher’s broader academic networks. Placements also help to develop individual and institutional relationships between academics and policymakers and provide mutual points of contact.

For more information or to have an informal discussion about the programme please contact Helen Tsui (helen.tsui@ucl.ac.uk).