The Westminster Fellowship Scheme provides an opportunity for Royal Society of Chemistry members who are undertaking, or recently completed, PhD studies to spend three months working at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).
POST is an office of the Houses of Parliament that aims to provide balanced and objective analysis of science and technology based issues relevant to parliamentarians. Successful applicants will be based in Parliament for a three-month period.
About the scheme
The successful applicants will assist POST in providing briefing material for MPs and Peers, including seeking advice from a range of experts from relevant disciplines.
Fellows will interact closely with people and activities across the Houses of Parliament, including select committees, MPs and Peers, their support services, 'All-Party Parliamentary Group' meetings and the very wide range of other activities at the Palace of Westminster. Work may include:
- Producing a POSTnote or POSTbrief (briefing documents to help inform the work of MPs and Peers), or contributing to a longer briefing report;
- Assisting a select committee in an ongoing inquiry;
- Organising a seminar to inform or disseminate their work.
The start date for each fellowship will be between September 2020 and May 2021, to be agreed between the successful applicants and POST.
A previous POST Fellow said:
‘The POST fellowship was one of the best experiences of my PhD. I learnt a lot about communicating in a policy context, in a really supportive and friendly working environment. The writing skills and policy experience I have gained are already helping me in my new research job, working in climate policy research. I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone interested in science policy to apply for a POST fellowship, I can pretty much guarantee you won’t regret it.’
– Heather Plumpton, POSTnote: Climate Change and Agriculture.
Who is eligible to apply?
The Westminster Fellowship Scheme is open only to applications from Royal Society of Chemistry members who are undertaking, or recently completed, PhD study, and have the right to work in the UK. The full eligibility criteria and person specification can be found in the application pack.
If you are not currently a member of the RSC, you can read more about the benefits of membership and apply to join. You will be able to submit your Fellowship application form as soon as you have a membership number, which you will receive within a week of applying for membership. Therefore please note you will need to submit your application for membership by 16 April at the latest in order to receive your membership number in time.
Please note that successful applicants are subject to Parliamentary security checks and that any Fellowship offer is conditional on obtaining security clearance.
How to apply
It is important that you download and read the application pack before applying, as it contains more details on the role, application process, and assessment criteria. Applicants should submit:
- A completed application form (download the application form)
- A short briefing (two-sides maximum), in the style of a POSTnote, on any aspect of scientific research that you choose, demonstrating its relevance to public policy. You should avoid choosing a topic directly related your area of expertise, and the briefing document should not include your name or any identifying details, as it will be assessed blind. More details, including the assessment criteria, are in the application pack.
Please send both documents via email to Phoebe Rountree, Public Affairs Advisor, Royal Society of Chemistry, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that CVs are not required and will not be assessed as part of the application process.
Applications will initially be sifted on the basis of the POSTnote-style summary.
The deadline for applications is 26 April 2020, and interviews will be held on 4 June 2020.
The Royal Society of Chemistry will give the successful applicants a £6,500 bursary to cover their three months at POST. More details can be found in the application pack: (download the application pack).
‘Being part of POST has provided a fascinating opportunity to gain an insight into how academic research can inform policy. It has helped to develop my communication skills and writing style. I have enjoyed being part of the team and delving into a whole new topic. It’s provided a trial run for future career options!’
– Francesca Boyd, POSTnote: Early Interventions to Reduce Violent Crime.