Placements and internships during your PhD

Placements and internships during your PhD

Hands-on experience is becoming increasingly important when you are looking for a job. Undertaking job-shadowing, placements, internships or voluntary work during your PhD can be a valuable way of gaining new skills and tangible evidence of these for your CV, as well as giving you an insight into possible career opportunities.  If this is something that interests you, speak to your supervisor to see what they think about the idea.  Things to consider when undertaking a placement:

  • Are your research funders able to accommodate a placement? For example, some funders, such as the Research Councils, will agree to 'stop the clock' on the PhD.  If you're unsure, contact your Graduate School for advice.
  • Will the placement be paid?  If not, are you prepared to work unpaid?
  • Are you hoping to use the placement to provide additional material for your PhD?  If so, careful consideration needs to be given to who owns the intellectual property. 
  • Is the placement designed to give you experience of a new area or perhaps fill a possible skills gap in your CV? If so, make sure that the placement provider is aware that this is something you would like to develop so that it can be incorporated into the role.
  • Will the organisation you'd like to work for have someone available to help you settle into the role and provide mentoring or training?  Small organisations may struggle with this so it's worth asking!

The Vitae website has further information on placement schemes and the case studies below highlight different types of placements undertaken by University of Glasgow research students.  If you have undertaken a placement or internship as part of your PhD and have any advice or tips you'd like to share please get in touch.