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Innovation Internships - INDUSTRY-led

Could your business benefit from access to talented early career researchers at Scotland’s universities?

The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS) can provide match-funding of £2,750 for a 12 week, full time PhD Internship

The social sciences have a great deal to offer private sector organisations – from informing policy and strategy, understanding the potential for new goods, services and business models, to providing future employees.

SGSSS Internships provide you with:

  • access to a highly skilled early career social scientist from one of our 16 member universities across Scotland;
  • a motivated team member, increasing your capacity for work that you may not otherwise have the resource to do;
  • access to specialist knowledge and research skills, including high level quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis;
  • access to new ideas, insights and perspectives for your organisation;
  • opportunities for creating and developing networks with academia.

PhD internships enable organisations to access the talent of an early career researcher for a three month period to deliver a specific piece of work. Placements provide tangible value to a host organisation whilst enhancing employability through the development transferable skills for our researchers. Internship partners are helping to prepare the next generation of capable and innovative social science leaders to work across boundaries for careers in and out of academia.

We have funding available to match-fund a limited number of internships with private sector business or industry partners. The total cost of a three month placement is £5,500, this covers a monthly stipend and expenses for the student. SGSSS will fund 50% of this, the remaining amount must be matched by you as the host organisation.

There are two routes into the scheme: PhD students can apply with their academic supervisor and a business partner for funding through our student-led call; or businesses can apply for funding for a specific project through our industry-led call and SGSSS will promote to PhD students through an open application process.

If the project is accepted for funding, SGSSS will invoice you for 50% or £2,750. We will then make arrangements for financial support to the student over the three months and handle any related queries.

Before the internship begins, successful applicants and their university supervisor will be asked to sign an agreement document covering administrative details such as procedures for annual leave, etc.

At the end of the placement, we will ask you to complete a short feedback form to help us to develop our scheme in future.

We are looking for opportunities that involve the testing of new ideas, methods or processes, or those which challenge existing norms.  Projects must be of clear benefit to the host, helping to meet business objectives such as improving performance or productivity, enable it to take advantage of new opportunities or to grow as an organisation, and be achievable within the allotted time frame. In addition:

  • Placements must be within business or industry partners (e.g. registered as a company, partnership, or corporation), this can include SMEs and Social Enterprises[1].
  • Groups of organisations may be considered, provided there is a lead business where the researcher will be based.
  • The length of the project should equate to three months and should preferably be worked full time. Projects must start before the end of March 2020.

[1] Social Enterprises must be getting the majority of its revenue from trading rather than grants/donations

To find out more or to discuss a potential project, please contact or 0131 650 3749.

Have a project idea? Tell us a bit more about it by submitting an expression of interest. We will get back to you as soon as we can.