As part of your studentship you will undertake a placement. This will either be a:
- (PIPS) Professional Internships for PhD Students - optional for CASE students
- placement with a CASE partner - CASE students only
Below is further information about these two types of placements.
Professional Internships for PhD Students (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.
As a student who is undertaking a CASE studentship, you will complete a placement with your CASE partner at a suitable time during your studies. This will be for a minimum of 3 months (up to a maximum of 18 months) and your CASE partner will have been decided by the time you applied to the project. CASE partners include a range of organisations (for example private, public and civil society sectors) and size (from small to large enterprises).
Unlike a PIPS placements, your CASE placement will involve undertaking research directly related to your PhD project. CASE placements provide research collaborations between an academic and partner organisations within an industrial research environment. As part of this environment you will benefit from a diversity of approaches to research and be exposed to business-related skills that will help prepare you for a number of future careers, not just within industry.