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Fellowship programme

The UCL Policy Fellows programme provides UCL researchers with the opportunity to work directly with policy professionals whilst embedded within a policy environment. Offering an in-depth learning experience for early to mid-career researchers and postgraduate doctors, our tailored partnerships provide an impactful policy engagement opportunity.

UCL Policy Fellowship help researchers build the skills and confidence to engage with the policy community. Fellowships can take place within a wide variety of policy orginastions across the UK.

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


Fellowships 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.

Fellowships 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 opportunities (eg placements, secondments, parlimentary advisory), manage the administration associated, and identify funding where necessary.

> current fellowship opportunities 

Who can apply? 


Applications are open to all UCL registered staff from early-career researchers onwards. This includes those who may have been affected by career interruptions.

However, you must have a valid contract and/or visa. If your contract or visa ends before the end of the Fellowship, or you do not have confirmation of extension before the application deadline closes, then you are not eligible to apply. 

You do not have to have completed your PhD or have any public policy engagement experience. 

You can not apply as a co-applicant. However, if your application was successful, you can collaborate with colleagues.

Fellowships are not currently open to students. 

For more information about fellowship funding please contact Katherine Welch (k.welch@ucl.ac.uk).

Benefits for researchers


Policy Fellowships (eg placements, secondments, parliamentary advisory) enable researchers to work closely with policy professionals and gain direct experience in 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.