Social Sciences DTC | The Careers Service Social Sciences DTC – Oxford University Careers Service
Oxford logo
About the Doctoral Internship Programme

The Doctoral Internship Programme enables University of Oxford doctoral students to undertake internships for up to 3 months during the course of their DPhil. It is managed by the Internship Office, who are equipped with trained advisors to guide and support doctoral students towards appropriate placements.

The programme was established in 2012 and was initially part of a BBSRC funded PIPS scheme (Professional Internships for PhD Students), however the ongoing success has seen the programme develop and it now supports 3 doctoral training centres and 3 different funding councils.

Why do an internship

There are many positive reasons for doctoral students to undertake internships. Whether staying in academia or aiming for a non-academic role, employers are increasingly looking for postgraduates with a well rounded skill set. An internship can provide evidence to use on CVs and in interviews to demonstrate a broad range of skills and experiences which are not solely related to a narrow area of research. An internship can be an opportunity for postgraduates to understand their research in a wider context and consider new career ideas. They can also be a chance to travel, experience different cultures and trial living in new areas of the country/world.

A key component of an ESRC funded internship is to engage in knowledge exchange. Placements are within a professional environment where doctoral students can build bridges between academia and external organisations to influence policy and practice. Ultimately an ESRC funded internship will embody a two-way flow of information that provides benefit to both parties.

Some sectors to consider:

  • Law
  • Government and Policy
  • Finance
  • Education
  • Publishing
  • Media and Advertising
  • Arts and Heritage
  • Communications and Marketing
  • International Development and Charities
  • Natural Resources and the Environment
Finding an internship

All students who enter the Doctoral Internship Programme are eligible to receive assistance in finding an internship. We can help students find the right organisation and project to suit their exact needs, but applicants may also want to consider the following options:

  • The Internship Programme provides access to hundreds of internship opportunities in the UK and abroad which are open exclusively to University of Oxford students
  • Internships offered by national and international corporations for students from all universities; many of these are listed onCareerConnect

ESRC guidelines

Only students funded by the ESRC are able to join the Social Sciences DTC Doctoral Internship Programme. Both full award and fees-only students can apply.

Students are able to undertake an internship at any time during their DPhil studies, but the internship must start at least three months prior to the official DPhil funding end date. Students following a 1+3 or 2+2 Masters/MPhil followed by a DPhil may undertake the internship during the summer before their DPhil starts.

Internships can last from 1 – 3 months; they can be done on a full or part-time basis, and with more than one placement provider.

Due to the knowledge sharing component of this internship programme, students cannot undertake a placement within a university or research institute. However, approval may be given for internships that aim to increase the impact of the research, for example through communication and policy-related activities. It is important that students source placements that are relevant to their DPhil subject, so that a demonstrable level of knowledge exchange can take place.

Internship funding

Students can apply for funding to do an internship at any point during their DPhil but it is not a compulsory requirement.

Students will receive an extension to their studentship for the same duration as their internship. Students who are holders of a fees-only studentship would be entitled to a fees-only extension.

Travel and accommodation expenses can be claimed during their internship, up to a maximum of £1000 per month. All claims for expenses must be supported by appropriate documentation. Students can request an advance payment of predicted expenses by completing the Expenses Advance Form and submitting this to the Internship Office with the Internship Plan (see below).

Please see the university finance pages for information on claiming mileage expenses.

How to enter the programme

In order for a student to receive internship funding they have to enter the Doctoral Internship Programme.  Applications are accepted for the Doctoral Internship Programme throughout the year; however, we recommend applying at least 4 months before the internship would be due to start.

  1. It is imperative to start considering the type of opportunity you are seeking before entering the scheme. Many students undertake internships to gain insights into a particular career. If you want to explore ideas around what area to do your internship in why not book an appointment with a Careers Adviser.
  2. The Internship Office need to have an up-to-date copy of your CV in order to contact different organisations on your behalf. We are fortunate to have a wide range of services available at the Careers Service to help you prepare your CV.
  3. When you have some ideas about the type of organisations you would like to intern with and are happy with your CV, please complete the Application Form and email this to:
  4. The internship team can then arrange further discussion where necessary to aid us as we contact potential organisations on your behalf.

During this process it is vitally important that you speak with your supervisor about suitable times to undertake an internship, they may even have ideas or contacts you can use.

  1. Once a placement has been found you will need to get a Letter of Support signed by your supervisor. This must highlight that there are no objections to you spending up to 12 weeks as an intern during the specified period.
  2. You will then need to work with your placement provider to create an Internship Plan which will be signed by you and the employer.  The form will be reviewed by the DTC Director before funding is approved.

If you have already secured a placement independently all you need to do is email your Application Form, Letter of Support and Internship Plan to so we can get the placement application considered for funding.

CV support

Having an up-to-date CV is a vital starting point in securing an internship. If you are applying for internships through the Doctoral Internship Programme then we require a one or two page CV.

The Careers Service has written an extremely helpful information sheet on CVs which is a great starting point CV Information Sheet. This can be used in conjunction with the CV creator tool which can be found on CareerConnect.

The Careers Service run CV Career Lounges every week during term time, details can be found on CareerConnect or in our term planner. CV Career Lounges are informal group discussions on CVs. They are led by an adviser, but anyone can ask a question and anyone can offer an answer. Career Lounges help you learn things you weren’t aware of from hearing other people’s questions, and the discussion uses the whole knowledge of the group to help answer queries.

Once you have used the resources to create a CV, we advise booking a 15 minute one-to-one appointment to get it checked by a Careers Adviser. Please see below for details on how to book a session.

Career support

You can arrange a 15 minute career or CV discussion via CareerConnect by selecting ‘I want to make an appointment’ and then choose ‘OCS – A short discussion at the Careers Service with a Careers Adviser’.

All Careers Advisers can help you with advice on CVs and industry ideas, however the Careers Advisers each have specialist areas of interest and if you are looking specific advice you might like to talk to a particular adviser. To find the appropriate Careers Adviser read theCareers Advisers’ Profiles and consult the Careers Advisers’ Timetable. Appointments are released 48 hours in advance.

If you have any problems booking an appointment please ring the Careers Service Reception on 01865 274646 and they will be able to find you the next available appointment (there are often last minute cancellations).

After the internship

A condition of receiving ESRC funding is that students provide feedback on their internship experience. Students will be required to give detailed feedback on their placement and demonstrate from a knowledge exchange perspective the skills they gained and shared through the experience. Considerable value is placed on the feedback as it helps to develop and improve the programme.

If you have any queries please contact us:

This information was last updated on 12 January 2017.
Loading... Please wait
Recent blogs about Social Sciences DTC

Oxford Entrepreneurs is recruiting a new president

Blogged by John Gilbert on April 20, 2017.

The application deadline for President of Oxford Entrepreneurs has been extended!

The deadline for applications for the OE Presidential role has been extended to 22:00 on Sunday 30 April 2017. This is a paid role with a fixed term contract for one year. The salary is competitive and includes a performance bonus. To apply, simply send a CV and cover letter to the current President, Chris Williams, via his email –

For more information on the role please read the role description. Successful applicants will be invited to interview in the first week of May. The new President will begin the role on July 1st 2017.

Why should you apply?

The OE President is in an incredibly unique position between Oxford University and the wider entrepreneurship community. You will regularly meet with key figureheads across the University, from the business school and Careers Service, to the heads of university departments and central university administration. You will also regularly meet with extremely successful entrepreneurs, investors and key influencers from across the world, providing you with the network to successfully launch your own business. If you are serious about entrepreneurship and want to learn the right skills and meet the right people to launch your business, then make your application now!

Further questions?

Feel free to email Chris ( He’s more than happy to answer any questions in person, over the phone, or by email.

Global internships: new and expiring soon

Blogged by Sara Bram on April 20, 2017.

Brand new and re-opened internships are now open for applications via the Internship Programme, both here in the UK and around the world. See CareerConnect for the full details and to apply.

Internships with a deadline of Sunday 7 May

NGO promoting targeted education, affordable healthcare, workable start-ups, sustainable development and secured livelihoods in Lebanon, with a community centre and several livelihood and relief projects funded by UN bodies. Interns can take part in local projects empowering host and refugee communities. Projects vary in fields such as education, agriculture, relief, medical and health, and/or microcredit.

A network of 130 organisations working towards an ethical food system for Oxford. GFO aims to guide Oxford’s food vision and strategy, support aligned initiatives to work together, establish shared measurement, build public will, advance policy and mobilise funding. The intern will support Good Food’s progress towards the Sustainable Cities Bronze Food Award by strategizing improvements for Oxford’s sustainable catering and procurement. This will include gathering evidence of best practice in catering and procurement from successful cities, convening a cross-sector food procurement conference, writing and publicising case studies, and making recommendations for future work.

Yangshuo Omeida provides intensive language training to Chinese and overseas students. Yangshuo is a popular global destination for its beautiful scenery, rock climbing, cycling, rivers and culture. Interns will teach English at summer classes and a summer camp, which also involves outdoor activities, BBQs and games nights.

LovVol (‘Love Volunteering’) is a not-for-profit that provides cultural exchange opportunities for university students in China and introduces local Chinese children to the English language and Western culture. After an initial training course, interns will provide a progressive holistic education programme, including English language, cultural education and developing emotional intelligence,  to Chinese children aged 7 – 16.

Museums and archives dedicated to preserving and presenting the artifacts, art and documents that best capture the US Navy’s history and heritage.  The intern would be based in the archive or library, and would complete an individual project contributing to the Command’s work.

Internships with a deadline of Sunday 23 April

There are also three internships closing this Sunday – don’t miss out, apply now!

Absolute Antibody was founded with the vision that all antibody users should be able to use recombinant antibodies which are absolutely defined by their amino acid sequence. Scientific Data Internship: collecting and summarising a range of technical data about particular antibodies for the website and marketing resources. The intern will also help gather and analyse protein sequences of interest to the company.

Leading non-profit preservation and history organization in Annapolis, with a mission to preserve and protect the heritage of Maryland’s capital city. Seeking four Oxford interns to work in curatorial and collections management, research, education and programmes, and architectural preservation. Interns will pursue a special project reflecting their professional interests, and could have the opportunity to work on an exciting forthcoming museum exhibition and the creation of a new tour.

Leading social development consulting company in the natural resource extraction and infrastructure sectors. They are offering a Consulting Internship, working in three main areas: Projects, Research & Development and Operational Administration.

New Graduate Scheme – Trainee Youth Advocate

Posted on behalf of Just for Kids Law. Blogged by Juliet Tomlinson on April 20, 2017.

Are you ready to commit to a life-changing challenge and gain legal experience, and valuable personal and leadership skills in the process?

Do you want to be part of an award-winning and law-changing organisation advocating for some of the most under-supported young people in London?

Just for Kids Law (JfKL) provides holistic support, representation and legal advice to under-supported and often isolated children and young people.  Last year they launched Advocacy Year, their graduate scheme based loosely on other professional graduate schemes, to expand their holistic model of support into East London.  Advocacy Year recruits recent graduates, who may be considering legal or youth related careers, to serve a year working as community-based Trainee Youth Advocates.  Trainee Youth Advocates will:

  • Work in the community directly supporting young people in difficulty.
  • Formally advocate for young people in legal and quasi legal proceedings such as Looked After Child reviews, Social Services assessments, school reintegration meetings, governor body meetings and school exclusion hearings.
  • Be supervised by our team of in-house lawyers to ensure that young people are adequately supported across all their issues.
  • Complete an intensive training and immersion programme covering:
    • Advocacy style;
    • Child safeguarding;
    • Legal knowledge in social welfare, education, youth justice and immigration; and
    • An ongoing Leadership programme.

Key dates

  • Closing dates for applications: Tuesday 2 May, 9.00
  • Date of Interviews: Week commencing 15 May
  • Start Date: Monday 4 September

For more details you can see this opportunity on CareerConnect (Vacancy ID 41377) or on the Just for Kids Law website.

‘Insight into Academia’ – events for Trinity Term

Blogged by Bekki Shaw on April 20, 2017.

“Insight Into Academia” is a series of informal seminars, exploring opportunities for an academic career within and beyond the UK, important decisions along the way, and what it takes to thrive as an academic.

Week 2: Tuesday 2 May

  • Insight into Academia: Academic CVs with Impact

This seminar will focus on how to create an effective CV for early and mid-career academic posts. We will consider how to organise and present your qualifications and experience, in ways that meet current criteria for recruitment and the foreseeable priorities of academic departments.

Week 5: Tuesday 23 May

  • Insight into Academia: Coping with a Sense of Academic Failure

This informal seminar aims to open up discussion on feelings that can trouble many early career academics. The aim is to understand where these feelings might come from, how they can affect us, what we can learn from them, and how to move on in healthy ways that do not limit us. We will introduce some new resources developed in collaboration with postdocs and professionals from the University. All questions and contributions will be kept confidential.

To reserve a place, please go to CareerConnect.

Trinity Term Micro-Internship Programme now open!

Blogged by Rachel Sene on April 19, 2017.

“An exciting week which provided me with the opportunity to build on my confidence, gain business insights, and to explore Oxfordshire further.”Micro-Intern, Wildman Environmental Learning

Applications are now open for this term’s Micro-Internship Programme. Micro-internships will be taking place in 9th week of Trinity Term (Monday 19 – Friday 23 June, 2017) and are open to all full-time, matriculated students. Deadline for all applications is Sunday 7 May, 2017.

Why take part in the Micro-Internship Programme?

  • Stand out from the crowd in future job applications with unique industry experience
  • Get a concise insight into a particular sector or type of organisation
  • Increase your existing employability through acquiring new skills
  • Enhance your commercial awareness
  • Improve your self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Build a network of industry contacts

Micro-Internships are placements based in Oxfordshire and Greater London that last 2-5 days and present a specific, cohesive work project to be tackled. Placements can be research-based or professional, with projects this term ranging from event management for a mental-health charity, to production with an up-and-coming podcast in London, to research for the National Trust!

To learn more about the programme including detailed instructions on how to apply, visit our website or email us at To view all vacancies and apply, visit CareerConnect.

Get some guidance with your application?

Micro-internship applicants are welcome to come and receive advice on your CV and personal statement through booking a place on one of our Application Support Sessions.

This page displays current related blog posts. If none display, you can still stay up-to-date with our newsletter sent regularly to all Oxford students.

Older posts can be found in our archive of past blogs.