Professional Internships for PhD Studies (PIPS)

You will undertake placement during your second or third year. This will be a full-time three month placement or a part-time equivalent

PIPS will give you as a student the opportunity to work outside of an academic research environment.  Your placement will allow you to see first-hand how a particular employment sector functions and what skills you as an employee have or would need to develop to thrive in such an environment.

As a researcher, you will gain many transferable skills and it is important to put these into context. Undertaking an placement will allow you to see how you can use these skills in the working world and use them to boost your employability. 

How does PIPS benefit students?

One of the main reasons to carry out a PIPS placement is to gain work experience and an understanding of the context of research in a non-academic setting. It is an opportunity to see research projects from a different perspective, and find out how research training could be applied in the wider economy and society.

Only a small minority of PhD students will progress into an academic career once their PhD is complete; PIPS gives students valuable experience of working in a professional environment that is not related directly to their PhD research.

Students can gain valuable experience while also making a positive contribution to the work of host organisation(s). For example:

  • Managing a non-research project
  • Developing policy
  • Undertaking a discrete research project in industry
  • Enthusing the next generation of researchers
  • Communicating science to a broader audience

Another advantage of doing PIPS is that it gives students the opportunity to experiment with a different type of career without the usual risks in their chosen field. This may help them to consider the direction that they will take after completing their PhD. Completing the placement will also help to build professional confidence, and make them a more well-rounded individual.


Information for:



PIPS opportunities

Want to advertise a placement?

Please read our Key Points for Organising a Placement guide and complete our internship job advert form.