Internships with the Welsh Government

Deadline: Friday 10 November 2023

The Wales DTP is pleased to offer four internship opportunities with the Welsh Government, working on specific projects covering a wide range of topics as detailed in the below project descriptions.

The internships are open to any ESRC Wales DTP funded student (except those within 3 months of the start or end of their studentship). It is anticipated that the internships will be commencing in January 2024, for a period of 3-6 months (full-time or the part-time equivalent). Successful applicants will get an extension to their PhD equivalent to the duration of the internship.

These internships will offer opportunities to create impact by contributing to the work of government, the chance to build relationships outside of academia, as well as the ability to develop research skills in a policy environment.

Full project descriptions are available in the below documents:

Internship Descriptions

Local Government Improvement 
Duration:6 months 
Project:The project will involve carrying out a review of the new statutory self-assessment reports undertaken by Welsh local authorities, (coupled with a series of interviews). The aim will be to consider whether the process of carrying out the self-assessments encourages a culture of continual improvement within those bodies. 
Department: The internship will be based within the Welsh Government’s Knowledge and Analytical Services (KAS). 

Analysis of volunteering data 
Duration:3 months 
Project: This placement will primarily focus on using longitudinal data from a Wales perspective from the UK household longitudinal survey, Understanding Society. To explore long term volunteering trends among protected and associated characteristics (e.g., gender, ethnicity, and age.) 
Department:The internship will be based within the Social Justice Research team who as part of the EPCES Division, provide analytical support to the Communities and Third Sector policy area. 

Analysing childcare use over time using Understanding Society data 
Duration: 3 months 
Project:The focus of the project is to use secondary data from Understanding Society to provide evidence to support ongoing early years policy development. 
Department: The internship will be based within the Equality, Poverty and Children’s Evidence and Support Division (EPCESD). 

Analysing parenting styles over time using the PEACH dataset from Understanding Society 
Duration: 3 months 
Project: The focus of the project is to use secondary data from Understanding Society to provide evidence to support ongoing early years policy development. 
Department: The internship will be based within the Equality, Poverty and Children’s Evidence and Support Division (EPCESD) 

Please submit your completed application form to enquiries@walesdtp.ac.uk by 4pm on the day of the deadline.

National Museum Wales Internship

Deadline: Monday 3 July 2023

The Wales DTP is pleased to offer an internship opportunity with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, working on a project to develop a “Heritage Craft Skills Action Plan”. There is currently no comprehensive policy for heritage craft skills being retained or re-established at Amgueddfa Cymru. There is a risk of skills soon being lost due to staff retirement, and a need to develop an innovative offering to ensure that these valuable skills are passed on.

This is an opportunity for a social sciences PhD researcher with experience in conducting literature reviews, interviews and/or workshops and a professional or personal interest in the heritage sector.

In this research project, a student will have the opportunity to apply their skillset to:

  1. analyse leading sector initiatives
  2. work in collaboration with Amgueddfa Cymru staff and craftspersons to develop and better understand the current training provision to develop policy and a “Heritage Craft Skills Action Plan”.

Internally, this Action Plan will build on existing policies, practice and succession plans to enhance the work of Amgueddfa Cymru, and create a difference, across a variety of Welsh heritage crafts.  Externally, this work will be disseminated through networks such as the Heritage Crafts Association and inform heritage practice within Wales, the UK and Europe.
The internship is open to any ESRC Wales DTP funded student (except those within 3 months of the start or end of their studentship).  It is anticipated that the internship will commence no later than 1st October 2023 for a period of 3 months full-time or the part-time equivalent.

A full project description is provided in the document

Please submit your completed application form to enquiries@walesdtp.ac.uk by 4pm on the day of the deadline.

National Museum Wales Internship

Poster with images of food and text: "GWYL FWYD AMGUEDDFA CYMRU FOOD FESTIVAL"

Deadline: Monday 12 June 2023

The Wales DTP is pleased to offer an internship opportunity with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, working on a project to enhance the sustainability of the annual St Fagans National Museum of History food festival, and other events.

The internship is open to any ESRC Wales DTP funded student (except those within 3 months of the start or end of their studentship).  It is anticipated that the internship will commence on Monday 3 July 2023 for a period of 3 months full-time or the part-time equivalent.

The internship will develop skills reviewing policy and best practice to make recommendations for future Amgueddfa Cymru events and develop an understanding of how to apply research skills in a practical setting.

A full project description is provided in the document Developing the sustainability performance of the Amgueddfa Cymru 2023 Food Festival.

Please submit your completed application form to enquiries@walesdtp.ac.uk by 4pm on the day of the deadline.

Internships with the Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP) 

Deadline: Friday 7 July 2023

The WCPP Internship Scheme provides opportunities for ESRC Wales DTP funded students to spend three months in the Centre to apply and develop their research skills and techniques to real-world issues with high topicality. These internships provide an opportunity to gain practical experience of undertaking research in an organisation that works at the interface of research and policymaking.

There are two types of internships available:

  1. An internship which supports WCPP work with Welsh Government and/or public services.
  2. An internship which examines the role of evidence in policymaking.

Alternatively, students may propose a topic of their own choice, applying their PhD interests and expertise to a policy area within which WCPP has conducted work.

The anticipated internship start date is September 2023.

Further details are available in the attached document, including contact details for the supervisor of each internship.

Please note these internships are open to any ESRC Wales DTP funded student except those within 3 months of the start or end of their studentship.  Successful applicants will receive a fully funded 3 month extension to their PhD. If you are interested, you should first discuss the opportunity with your supervisor.

Please submit your letter of application along with your CV to enquiries@walesdtp.ac.uk by noon on the day of the deadline.

Global Language Based Area Studies Conference 2022

The Global Language Based Area Studies Conference 2022 was held on 6-7 June in Cardiff. Hosted by the School of Modern Languages, with support from the Department of Politics and International Relations, the event brought together doctoral students from the Wales DTP, South Coast DTP and Midlands Graduate School.  The conference included academics with internationally recognised expertise on different research methodologies across a vast interdisciplinary field including African, European, Eurasian, Indian Ocean, North American, Russian and Chinese studies.

As well as showcasing area studies, the event provided a space for doctoral researchers to network with one another, to develop lasting connections and build the area studies cohort as a whole.  Participants presented content- and methods-led papers, offered peer review, received constructive feedback, and heard from postdoctoral students.  A research surgery and methods café enabled discussion on the methodological and other challenges faced by researchers.

Methods Blog – New Editor Introduction

Top of a typewriter that says "writer's blog..."

Hello! I’m Catrin, and I’ll be taking over as Methods blog Editor.

I’m a first year PhD student at Cardiff in the School of Social Sciences. I’m a museum and heritage geek with an academic background in Social Anthropology. My research looks at how heritage buildings can contribute to active citizenship in Wales.

As per the Welsh stereotype, I’m a choral singer in my spare time. I also enjoy writing poetry, and I’ve written poetry based on research data to communicate findings to participants.  I have worked as a tour guide and art gallery workshop facilitator, so while I might love creative methods, I’m looking forward to learning more about your research, which may be very different from mine. 

I have some interesting ideas that I’d love to try out for the blog, and please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or ideas of your own. Dwi hefyd yn siarad Gymraeg ( I also speak Welsh). Diolch!

Link to ESRC DTP profile: https://walesdtp.ac.uk/profile/greaves-catrin/

Link to Twitter: https://twitter.com/catrin_mari91/status/1529380393450864640

Link to LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/catrin-greaves-401265240/

Katharine Young’s Report, Live on Welsh Government Website

Katharine Young recently completed an internship with the Welsh Government, during which she produced a report ‘Welsh-medium education through late immersion: mapping the provision in Wales‘ (click the blue title to see the report) that is now available on the Government’s website.

Katharine’s summary of the report:

“Late immersion education is a provision that allows latecomers to access Welsh medium education at stages later than the Foundation Phase. Such provision has existed in Wales for a number of decades, and in a number of different ways (through designated centres, language units, and within schools). The Welsh Government’s aim in its Cymraeg 2050 strategy is to reach a million speakers by the middle of the century. Late immersion provision is a key part of achieving this aim, as it increases the number of entry points to the Welsh-medium and bilingual sector throughout a learner’s education career.

The aim of this report was to form a picture of the late immersion education provision that exists in some local education authorities, and to understand some of the challenges and opportunities that arise as provision is planned and implemented.”

How to follow Katharine’s research:

If you would like to read more of Katharine’s work you can see her ESRC DTP Wales Profile by clicking here, and you can follow Katharine on Twitter using: @KatharineSYoung

FIVE TIPS TO MAKE YOUR PHD INTERNSHIP APPLICATION A SUCCESS

Welcome to the first of three blog posts which are informally split into: “all the things I wish I knew before I applied for my PhD internship”. These short memo’s are intended for those of you who may have never heard about doing an internship during your PhD, to those who may have even started applying!

Structure of the series:

  1. Tips to make your internship application a success!
  2. How a PhD internship could benefit you!
  3. Concluding thoughts: i.e. = “would I recommend doing an internship during your PhD?” 

Hi, I’m Jodie; a third year PhD researcher (eeek!) in the School of Social Sciences (SOCSI) at Cardiff University. My thesis is investigating the impact and harm(s) of online anti-LGBTI+ hate speech.

My internship was a 3-month ESRC Wales DTP funded post at The Welsh Government (January – April 2021), and my project was titled: ‘Using the Understanding Society Study to explore societal changes during the COVID-19 pandemic’.

Now, you may have noticed that this project does not appear to be related to my PhD topic – and you would be exactly right – it didn’t. This may be more common than you think and sets up my first tip to think about how to ensure your application is a success…  

  1. Think about what YOUR motivations are for applying

Your motivations are going to be personal – I get that, but when you apply for an internship, you are going to have to convince others that these are relevant reasons to pause your PhD. The most important are likely be your supervisors, as they need to ‘sign-off’ your leave when your application is successful!

Therefore, I would highly recommend talking through the opportunity with them.

When I first heard about my project from a lecturer, I had recently transitioned into the second year of my PhD. At the time, I was finding it a challenge to study isolated in the midst of the pandemic and I found discussing the reasons why I wanted to pause my PhD project really beneficial. My supervisors really helped me to articulate my motivations (so important for my application form), as well as raising some really crucial things I had not even thought of!

For example, are you just about to start up your methods write up, after months of data collection – is this really the time you should be thinking about pausing your PhD? Is the internship related to your topic? What do you think you would gain from putting your PhD on hold?

What I’m trying to ultimately get at here is… what value do you expect the internship to add?

For me, the value was not related directly to my PhD topic… but more that I would gain valuable experience in social research in another sector; I was keen to learn how research was conducted in an industry setting rather than an academic one. I also wanted to develop my communication skills outside of academia; learning policy appropriate language and report writing skills. Lastly, given my love for data, I was eager to advance my analytical skills and acquire appropriate presentation skills for a business setting.

Point being – assess the benefits of pausing a significant amount of time out your PhD. 

  • Allow sufficient time for the application process 

It is not quick!

To give you an idea I have noted some key points in my application process:

Also – side note – in most cases, you cannot apply for an internship in the first 3-months of your programme or the last 3-months. If you are keen to do an internship, make sure you have thought about the right time to apply and checked any guidance you may have to adhere to!

  1. Plan, draft and re-draft your application form!

These were my go-to steps during my application process:

  1. Prepare for your interview

After the usual discussions of the placement, your skills/experience etc., there is a section for you to ask questions! This is your opportunity to ask as many relevant questions as you can, so that you can try and find out whether the prospective placement is the right choice for you.

My top questions were whether I would be able to connect with other staff outside of my ‘team’ in the Welsh Government; what the expected outcomes of my project were; what my working day would look like (flexi-time may be good if you often utilise the flexibility the PhD offers), and most importantly I asked how working online would work. As I was unable to enter the Welsh Government building due to the pandemic, I discussed with them how I would be supported, whether they would provide me with training/equipment.  

  • Research the internship host!

Research never ends! I used the Welsh Government website, social media platforms and asked other students about their internship experiences (the good and bad), to gather information about what my internship may entail and the ethos of the workplace – LinkedIn was really helpful for me actually! Anything you can learn before you start will be beneficial!

I hope this post has started making you think whether a PhD internship is the best fit for you and how to ensure your application is a success!

For now, keep an eye out for the next post which will cover ‘Why a PhD internship will benefit you!’

Jodie

If you would like to contact me to ask anything about my internship experience or even to chat about PhD life/research – you can find my contacts below.

Email – lukerjr@cardiff.ac.uk

Academic Twitter – @jodie­_luker

Academic Instagram – @phd_hate_harms

Reflections on an Internship with Wales Centre for Public Policy

In this blog post, Aimee Morse discusses undertaking an internship during your PhD.

Finding an internship

There are numerous internships on offer with various organisations. The DTP works specifically in partnership with several organisations across Wales who have developed internship opportunities and the UKRI run internship programmes in partnership with organisations across the UK.

Internships are advertised in the monthly DTP newsletter, so keep an eye on the section if you’re keen to apply for one. This is how I found out about my internship with the Wales Centre for Public Policy, so it’s definitely worth reading!;You can also speak to your supervisors regarding internships in your research area. My supervisors mentioned colleagues in other organisations running internships, though they always encouraged me to choose the right one for me, at a time which worked for me.

How I knew the internship was for me

First and foremost, I talked it through with my supervisors. We discussed how I would make the internship work best for me. I chose to conduct a project in a similar field to my PhD research topic; however, it may be possible to choose something in a different field that may still complement your PhD theories and/or methodologies.

I had to make sure the internship would not clash with my PhD fieldwork commitments, and felt that three months would be the best length. My internship fell right within the 2021 lockdown; however, this did not affect my experience and I was surrounded (virtually) by a team of supportive colleagues who were always on hand to answer questions and share their thoughts on my work. Having a short, interesting project to focus on throughout that time really helped my overall approach to my PhD; submitting a completed report allowed me to return to my PhD work confident that I could overcome the stops and starts of the last 18-months to complete my thesis too!

Compiling a successful application

I have now completed two internship applications, and in both setting aside ample time to complete the application process was crucial. Some, such as the UKRI Globalink Exchange Scheme (which I was unfortunately unable to complete given international travel restrictions), may require you to access application portals through a supervisor or institutional account (Je-S in this case). If this is the case, schedule in a meeting with your supervisor to ensure you can get the application uploaded on time!

I would recommend speaking to potential supervisors from the organisation offering the internship. Discussing project ideas with them allows you to understand what they expect of their interns, and whether your work will be a good fit with theirs. This also provides you with an opportunity to talk through their application process and the documents you will be required to submit. Getting to know a potential supervisor in an initial call can also help during the interview process and as you settle into your work with a new organisation, as you won’t be faced with a screen or office full of completely unfamiliar faces.

My experience at the Wales Centre for Public Policy

It was really interesting to learn more about the work of the Centre and how they support policy-making and public service delivery across Wales. Though it was strange not to set foot in their offices, I was made to feel welcome by the team and their support made the virtual experience well worthwhile. Working with the Research Team allowed me to develop my current competencies and consider how I can best apply them in a new team context.

During my time at the Centre I researched agricultural policy in Wales and explored how collaborative working can help farmers achieve their sustainability goals. This involved telephone interviews with farmers and partners of a Sustainable Management Scheme funded group in north Wales. Conducting this research, and producing several outputs, boosted my confidence in delivering on short-term projects. I’d recommend exploring the different dissemination options available for your work – before my internship I had never considered producing a podcast, but thanks to the team and my podcast participants I now have a podcast episode to complement my written outputs!

Your internship experience will vary depending on the organisation with which you are working. However, overall, you can expect to:

  • Develop your competencies, particularly in relation to working in a team.
  • Develop networks with policymakers, practitioners and other researchers.
  • Gain an understanding of how your research might be used in ‘real-world’ situations.
  • Finish your project with at least one output, such as a report, which may contribute to your PhD or be used and referenced by your internship host organisation in their work.

I would strongly encourage you to consider completing an internship as part of your PhD. If you have any questions about my own internship experience, you are welcome to get in touch with me (aimeemorse@connect.glos.ac.uk / @06aims on Twitter)

Aimee has also written a report detailing the specifics of her time with the Wales Centre for Public Policy, which you can read by clicking here.

Breakfast Briefing Event – Putting PhD Power into your Business

Join us for talks from businesses that have worked closely with social science doctoral researchers to increase productivity, realize strategic goals, and build support the development of talent and skill in Wales.  The ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership trains social scientists, as one of 14 prestigious research networks across the UK. Collaboration with partners in the private, public and third sectors is central to our mission.  Non-academic organisations, no matter how big or small, can have a genuine stake in a social science research project and a role in producing the next generation of leading social scientists.

In this session you will hear from Dr Charlotte Beale, Head of Economics for Dŵr Cymru, Dr Michael Evans, Rail Projects Officer for Transport for Wales, and Professor David Egan, Welsh Government, on how their organisations have worked closely with social science researchers.  You will hear how supporting a collaborative studentship or hosting a work placement can add value, whilst giving a PhD student the opportunity to gain critical knowledge and skills for work in industry.  Professor John Harrington, Director of the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, will advise on how to set up an arrangement which directly benefits your organisation.  The session includes the opportunity for you to put forward any questions you might have on collaboration to a panel of supervisors, doctoral students and businesses.

Join us on Wednesday 20th October 2021 for what promises to be an enlightening and informative session.  To register for this briefing, which will be held on Zoom, follow this link Breakfast Briefing – Putting PhD Power into your Business Tickets, Wed 20 Oct 2021 at 08:30 | Eventbrite