N8 AgriFood Policy Internship – Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)

POST currently runs a Policy Internship Scheme which is a competitive process available to doctoral students to apply for a 3-month placement at POST to gain valuable policy experience.  N8 AgriFood is funding an internship in collaboration with POST to begin in January 2020.

The successful candidate will work at POST (Houses of Parliament, Westminster) for 3 months to produce a POSTnote or POSTbrief, from start to finish. This includes scoping the topic, conducting interviews with senior stakeholders from across academia, government, industry and the not-for-profit sector, then drafting, editing and finalising the document.

By the end of your time at POST, you will have learnt how to write for policy makers with balance, impartiality and succinctness. You will also have developed a unique understanding of Westminster, forged important relationships with key stakeholders, and delved into a novel and exciting topic of research.

For further information on N8 AgriFood and POST see below.

Internship topic – Promoting Resilient Supply Chains in our Food System

Awareness among the general public of the impact of their own food choices on the environment is growing. But even the most environmentally conscious consumers find it hard to make the ‘right’ choices, given the complexity of the food system and the wide array of competing ‘sustainability’ claims and certification labels. The lack of clear information is especially true for so-called ‘embedded’ commodities, like palm oil and soy, which are typically consumed indirectly (e.g. cakes, spreads, and confectionary in the case of palm oil and animal feed in the case of soy).

Researching this subject will involve the successful applicant interacting with stakeholders from a wide range of academic disciplines, business, NGOs and the environment and food policy sector. The aim of the briefing will be to:

  • Better inform parliamentarians, consumers, businesses and policy-makers about the environmental impacts of food supply chains.
  • Provide more accurate information on the global impacts of our food choices on people and planet.
  • Influence the design and delivery of more robust certification schemes that promote a sustainable food system.

Eligibility

We are seeking applications from current doctoral students registered at one of the N8 Universities (Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York) working in an area of agri-food research. Please note, applications will also be accepted from post-doctoral researchers but the funding available is a typical doctoral student stipend.

Due to the 3-month timing limit of this internship we are unable to accept part-time applications.

The internship will begin in January 2020.

Application and interview process

Applicants should complete the attached application form and provide two additional documents:

  1. Signed letter from your doctoral supervisor confirming their support for the applicant undertaking the POST internship and clarifying whether the applicant would continue to receive their doctoral stipend during the internship.
  2. Document outlining your understanding of the policy topic (Promoting Resilient Supply Chains in our Food System) and demonstrating your ability to write in a style suitable for a POSTnote/brief. This should be a maximum of one-page A4, font Arial 11 or similar.

Candidates will be assessed on the basis of their application and shortlisted candidates invited to interview.

The deadline for applications will be 16th October 2019.

Interviews will take place at the University of York on 7th November 2019. The panel will be comprised of N8 AgriFood researchers and a representative from POST. Reasonable travel costs will be reimbursed.

Funding

If a stipend will not be provided to the successful applicant via their current studentship, then a stipend will be provided at the UKRI rate (£15,009 per annum) for the 3-month internship period. Additional funds (up to £3k maximum) will be made available for the costs of travel and accommodation during the internship.

For more information please download the N8 AgriFood POST internship guidance

To apply please follow instructions on the Application form for N8 AgriFood POST internship