Scottish Graduate School of Social Science: Added Value? An exploraton of internships for PhD social science students

TThis internship will see the successful candidate produce a mixed methods project that will feed directly into the SGSSS doctoral training strategy, and offers the potential to co-author a paper on the findings.
Stipend: £3,752 total for 3 months (3 month funding extension for ESRC students), plus expenses
Deadline for applications: 29 July 2019
About the host

The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science is the UK’s largest facilitator of funding, training and support for doctoral students in social science. SGSSS is a partnership of sixteen universities across Scotland, and is funded jointly by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Scottish Funding Council.

Project details

Start date (or must start by): Flexible
Location:
Edinburgh, with some travel and opportunities for remote working
Mentor: Dr Jo Ferrie, Deputy Director (Training), SGSSS

The SGSSS has run an internship scheme for a number of years. A significant proportion of these three month internships are hosted by the Scottish Government. Shifts within the academic sector have called research councils, such as the ESRC, to desmonstrate the value of their investments not only to furthering knowledge but to the needs of society, including industry. As a consequence, SGSSS is seeking to improve and grow its internship scheme. To do this well, we wish to take some time to fully consider, what makes a good internship from the student perspective?

This internship will complete a distinct project for the SGSSS, focusing on three key tasks, each taking about a month of the three months available.

  1. To review our existing evaluations collated from students who have undertaken an internship over the last three years.
  2. Form an interview guide from this analysis, to form the basis of qualitative semi-structured interviews to hear from current interns what the strengths and limitations of their internships are. Five case studies will be produced from this work. The case studies can be a combination of written accounts and video-records.
  3. To write a report included within which: form a set of indicators, and a new data instrument (probably a survey) to help us better measure the experience of interns in the future. We anticipate this will collect quantitative data to allow comparative analysis.

We are keen to learn about the pedagogical value of internships. As well as understanding how the internships help our students in terms of new experiences outwith academia, we are keen to learn if they have any impact on the academic success of students, throughout the remainder of their PhD. The mentor will work with the student to manage the project, but also to consider if the data collected is strong enough to produce a co-authored peer reviewed publication in a relevant journal.

Skills required
  • Ideally the student will have an interest in and some skills in developing surveys, or analysing survey data.
  • Producing quantitative indicators
  • Qualitative interviewing
  • A case study methodology

Note the mentor is experienced in all of this and will be able to support, or offer training in the above should a student need or value this.

View/download project details

Further information

All internships are paid positions (commensurate with Research Council doctoral stipend levels) and are normally full time, although part time working can be considered.

You will pause your PhD work for the duration of the internship and will receive an extension at the end of your research period. Students can claim up to a maximum of £2,400 (for a 3 month internship) to cover all reasonable travel and accommodation costs for the period of the internship. For example, commuting or relocation costs.

Internships are open to Social Science PhD students in Scotland regardless of funding. Please note that students with Tier 4 visas are not eligible to apply for full-time internships. 

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