Placements and Opportunities

Techne PhD student Anushka Tay researching at the Archive, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. Photo by Alice Nelson.

We encourage all Techne students to undertake at least one funded placement as part of their PhD as a chance to develop skills outside of their research and experience working at a range of organisations. Placements can be organised with Techne partners, or with any other organisation including HEIs.

Partner placement opportunities will be advertised to you through the weekly newsletter. 

Current External Opportunities: 

Surrey Hills Arts Placement:

Surrey Hills Arts are offering a placement opportunity to a PhD student, which will take place in the Surrey Hills National Landscape.

This placement would ideally suit a 2nd year student but does not exclude others. Mature students and those with families will be supported in balancing other commitments alongside their responsibilities. 

The research can be aligned to but not be part of your PhD.

They are inviting short proposals to address one of the following areas of their programme:

  • The climate and biodiversity crisis in relation to the Surrey Hills
  • Revealing the rich heritage or the geology of the Surrey Hills landscape
  • Engaging people in the Surrey Hills who would not normally access it for example those from the Global Majority, those from varying socio-economic backgrounds, the LGBTQ community, those with hidden and visible disabilities.
  • Developing a sustainable / environmental arts practice

The placement can be a standalone area of research or link to one of the programme’s projects. Further information about the placement is available in this flyer. 

To apply:

Please send your proposal and any relevant links or images to Theah Dix, Surrey Hills Arts - by 10am Monday 15th July 2024.

Assistant Director of the Centre for Victorian Studies (Royal Holloway, University of London)

The Centre for Victorian Studies is seeking a PhD student to assist with the running of the Centre for Victorian Studies at Royal Holloway. Established in 2009, the Centre has an established seminar series and also hosts other events focused on research into nineteenth-century studies. The assistant director would be involved with planning and administering these events and managing Centre communications, in conjunction with the Centre Director, Dr Helen Kingstone. The Assistant Director is also responsible for updating the Centre’s social media and web presence, and advertising Centre events on other relevant channels (e.g. academic mailing lists, local historical societies), and assisting with Microsoft Teams and relevant technology if the papers are being given online. The role provides experience in academic and events administration that would be valuable for those looking to progress into careers in academia and the cultural sector.

Further information is available in this flyer

Applicants should send a brief CV (no more than 2 pages), detailing relevant academic and other experience, and a 300-500 word statement detailing why they are interested in the role, and what they would hope to gain from working as Assistant Director, to by 5pm on 7th June 2024.

Museum Finding Aid Placement (Hockey Museum)

The Hockey Museum (THM, is the world’s first and only museum of field hockey. Located in Woking, Surrey, it is only a 30 minute train from Waterloo station.  THM preserves, shares and celebrates the sport’s rich history and heritage both in Britain – where the ‘modern’ game started – and worldwide. THM was awarded Full Museum Accreditation by Arts Council England in 2018. It is supported by Woking Borough Council and England Hockey and works in partnership with the Fédération Internationale de Hockey Federation (FIH) to lead their work to preserve hockey’s international history.

THM is offering a three month placement, beginning late 2024 or early 2025, to create finding aids for the Museum’s collections.  The creation of these finding aids will enhance the accessibility of the Museum’s collections and archives.  The placement student will create the top-level summaries and collection descriptions so that the finding aids can be displayed online for scholars and researchers to know what material is held by the Museum.  As new collections are received, the placement student will also have the opportunity to work with the Museum archivist to scope collections and apply formal structure to and document collections within a museum setting, alongside the creation of the finding aid.  This work will help THM increase the awareness and use of its collections.

The placement student will be expected to be on site for part of the time each week.  This placement can be either full-time or part-time.

If you would like to discuss this placement, please contact THM Curator Shane Smith at To apply, please email your CV (with at least one named academic referee) and a statement of no more than one page on why you are interested in this role to by 31 AUGUST 2024.

Open Innovation Team - PhD Placement Programme 2025 (UK Government)

Techne students can apply for a three-month full time with the Open Innovation Team.

Students may choose to work remotely and/or in person at our Westminster office. During the placement, students will:

  •  make significant contributions to the policy work the team carries out;
  • help plan and deliver our events, bringing together academic experts and policymakers to work through policy problems;
  • assess and synthesise expert evidence and research, and learn how to present this for policymaking audiences.

All the PhD placement work aims to build student’s skills and provide them with an insight to what it’s like to work on policy and in government. For more information, please use this link.

The deadline for applications is 11:59pm on 14 June 2024.

For Peace! Archiving and Research Project Placement (MayDay Rooms)

The MayDay Rooms are looking for a PhD student to assist in archiving and preparing the touring exhibition ‘For Peace!’. The research placement would be located at the MayDay Rooms Archives and would assist the Activist Media Project with the creation of an archive and collection, highlights of which will be taken on a touring exhibition.

This placement is open to all Techne students but would particularly suit students who are interested in:

  • The History of Social Movements
  • Working Class history
  • Archives and Museums
  • Digital Humanities

Further information about the placement is available here. If you’re interested in the position, please contact  from more details.

Working with the High Court of Admiralty’s Records (National Archives)

The National Archives are also offering a placement in the Collections Expertise and Engagement department to work with the diverse and largely unexplored records of the High Court of Admiralty. The placement will focus on letters, papers and legal records relating to early modern piracy, prize-taking, colonialism, and overseas exchange, 1536–1783. It also comes with the potential to work on related projects with other departments at TNA, such as public engagement, education and digital content with the intention of broadening engagement with these records beyond established academic and research communities, in support of our role as archive sector lead.

For further information, please look through the information available in this flyer. If you have any specific questions, please contact

Visualising naval networks in the Admiralty China Station records (National Archives)

This three-month placement will involve a student with interests in transnational history and digital humanities uncovering some of the stories from the correspondence taken from the Admiralty China station using social network analysis. The student chosen will be able to explore the structure and content of the correspondence, map this using the relevant technologies and then engage the public with those records/histories in imaginative ways. Please note that that the historical military records will contain ideas, text and imagery which reflect the viewpoints and attitudes prevalent at the time the records were written and may now be considered offensive.  

The project would be expected to start no earlier than November 2024, and would be full-time over a three month period. In order to work closely with the records, the placement would be predominantly onsite.

For further information, please refer to this flyer. If you have any specific questions, please contact

AHRC International Placement Scheme (IPS)

Which funds short-term fellowships at prestigious international research institutions for UK doctoral level research assistants and AHRC/ESRC funded doctoral students. The scheme is run annually, with places available across a number of different host institutions including: 

  • Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • The Huntington Library, California, USA
  • Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA
  • National Institutes for the Humanities, Japan
  • Shanghai Theatre Academy, Shanghai, China
  • Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA
  • YaleCenterfor British Art, Connecticut, USA 
  • National Museum Institute, New Delhi, India 

Placements will last three to six months. Participants will receive £1,000 for travel and visa costs.  Application opens in November and closes in February every year.  To apply, your School or Supervisor will need to submit an application via the IPS/AHRC scheme. Please check the IPS page on the AHRC’s website for details.  See here AHRC Guidance on filling the application, which includes criteria for the grading scale.  

Past External Opportunities: 

Cabinet Office Open Innovation Placements

HM Government’s Open Innovation Team generates analysis and insight for government by helping officials collaborate with outside experts and research. Over the past three years, more than 75 PhD students have been hosted, with many going on to policy jobs after completing their studies. This placement offered the chance to work with clients across government, experience a diverse range of policy areas and learn how you can transfer your PhD skills into new environments.

PhD students were invited to join their team for three months on a full time basis to help deliver policy projects on health, welfare reform, industrial strategy, digital transformation and other priority areas. 

Royal Institute PhD Science Presenter Internship (Ri)

The Ri provides science education and heritage activities for people of all ages and backgrounds across the UK and around the world. 

This internship was an opportunity for PhD researchers to build confidence in presenting to a group of young people in an engaging educational environment, to receive regular feedback and training in science communication and to design content for use on Ri social media.  The internship ran from May to July 2022.

UKRI Policy Internship Scheme

As part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s postgraduate training portfolio, the UKRI Policy Internships scheme provides an opportunity for UKRI-funded doctoral students to undertake a three-month placement at one of a selected group of influential policy organisations.

Currently the scheme supports on average 123 internships per year across all host partners.

During their internship, the PhD researcher undertakes work on a policy topic agreed with their host partner that is relevant to both parties. At the end of the internship, the researcher is expected to have:

  • produced a briefing paper

  • participated in a policy inquiry and, or

  • organised a policy event.

The intention of the scheme is to embed PhD students in an environment where they can engage with the process of converting research outputs into policy. These internships equip them with transferable skills and training relevant to the future career paths that they may choose.

The British Library (BL)

BL runs an internal PhD Placement Scheme that aims to provide an opportunity to PhD researchers to experience research in a different environment to that of a university, to engage with a range of research users and audiences, to gain insights into different potential postdoctoral career paths, and to make a tangible contribution to the purposes and programmes of a national library and major cultural organisation.

A broad range of opportunities to work with different collections are made available every year for projects of 3 months or part-time equivalent. Many of the projects are suitable for partial or full remote working.  A list of all available placement projects and full details of how to apply are available on the website here:


Kate Ferry-Swainson exploring the National Theatre costume store.