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The ACCE DTP placement support scheme provides an opportunity and financial help to undertake 1-3 months placement. It aims to provide work experience with organisations that may otherwise be unable to take on an intern. Such experience is important both to help early career researchers understand the context of their research and to expose them to the range of opportunities available to them after they graduate.
ACCE placements support is available and will be awarded competitively to ACCE DTP students who can demonstrate that the experience will benefit them professionally. Placement should be a training or experiential learning opportunity which offers significant added value to your doctoral programme (it should not be a continuation of your research project which could be achieved within your home institution instead).
Who can I do placements with?
You can do a placement with a range of public research organisations (non-academic), NGOs, small-medium enterprises and other private organisations, charities, trusts, local councils, companies etc. Universities can be eligible as placement providers, as long as the project undertaken does not contribute directly to your PhD work.
When you think about which organisations to approach, you should consider:
- Your career aspirations;
- The skills you want to develop;
- Opportunities to translate the learning from your studies into the wider world;
- Practicalities such as the location of the organisation and the feasibility of completing the work within the time requested.
You may wish to visit our Partnerships page to see which organisations ACCE have worked with previously. These partners will be familiar with the ACCE DTP already.
Note on Covid-19: completing placements remotely is possible at this time. We are aware that placements may be changed or postponed at short notice; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if required.
The placement should be a well-justified enhancement to PhD training. It should provide relevant training on subject-specific or generic transferable skills identified in your training need analysis or the UK Researcher development framework. At the same time, it should incentivise genuine engagement with non-academic end users of research. Placements should help students to understand how their research and professional skills can be used in a broad but relevant context.
Placements should ideally be discrete projects, and they must be well planned and managed. They should provide experience at a level appropriate for a postgraduate student. Examples of different types of placements include:
- Conducting surveys, analysing data and producing reports; Investigating efficiency and cost-saving activity;
- Managing, delivering a particular service for a certain period;
- Joining specific teams to assist in the delivery of their activities and projects;
- Non-research roles such as:
- Teaching – in schools, using the Researchers in Residence scheme, or through other mechanisms;
- Policy – developing policy or working in a related setting, such as a government department, local authority, non-departmental public body, professional association, charity, research funder or medical organisation;
- Media – a wide variety of roles are possible here that help students understand the wider societal context of their research. Such placements could include working in science communication roles or other roles in a press office, science publishing company, zoo, museum or botanic garden, etc.
The best way for students to secure a placement they want at the time they want it is to take responsibility for securing the placement themselves. This opportunity provides the student with the benefit of choosing the organisation, the experience of making the first contact and negotiating the placement project.
You need to identify a suitable placement host organisation depending on your interests and career aspirations. You need to contact the potential organisations directly and ask them if they might be interested in hosting you, or you can respond to an advertised placement at the selected organisation.
You need to contact the potential placement provider organisations well in advance before the time you find suitable to do the placement. Sometimes it might take months before a suitable placement starting date is identified.
Some students may consider undertaking a placement overseas. In the main and where reasonably practicable, the procedures described previously should be followed. It should be noted that work overseas will be subject to the health and safety regulations of the country in question.
Students should seek appropriate travel advice from the DTP partner university where they are registered. The DTP partner institution is responsible for ensuring students have the appropriate travel documents.
Students should seek advice regarding necessary vaccinations, anti-malaria drugs, first aid kits, etc. We recommend that anyone travelling overseas should have an appropriately stocked first aid kit. The DTP partner institution is responsible for ensuring students have the appropriate advice on food and water at the destination they are heading.
Each DTP partner institution is responsible for ensuring students are provided with copies of relevant insurance information and policies.
- Stipend for max. 3 months beyond 3.5 years of funding;
- Travel support – covers travel to/from the location of the placement;
- Accommodation – covers accommodation if you undertake relocation;
- Other occasional expenses, limited to local travel and travel insurance (only in cases where University Insurance cover needs to be extended).
The maximum claimable budget for travel, accommodation, and other occasional expenses should not exceed £1,500 for UK based placements (£500 additional London allowance for placements in London and London Metropolitan Region) and £3,500 for Overseas placements.
We do not have deadlines for applying for placements at the moment; you may apply for a placement at any time, as long as it is at least three months before the placement is due to start (to allow for completion of the relevant paperwork). For further information please email email@example.com.
Students are eligible to undertake placements up to 3 months full time. The time can be split, but we recommend spending this time in a single block with a single host. Research shows that this is the optimal format for this type of placement.
Students should discuss the timing of the placement with their supervisors and placement providers.
Undertaking a placement means that your PhD stipend will be extended for the duration of the placement beyond the 3.5 years of your PhD studentship. You and your supervisor need to be aware that this WILL NOT extend your submission time, and you will still need to submit your PhD at the end of year 4.
There is flexibility in terms of time you can go on a placement; this is to accommodate the requirements of the host university but also to avoid disruption to the students PhD project. We recommend that placements are undertaken between 12 and 36 months of the PhD studentship.
HOW TO APPLY
- Identify a suitable placement host organisation;
- Establish contact and agree on the timing and placement project proposal;
- Fill in the application for ACCE placement support form, which contains the following sections:
- Personal details;
- Details of the placement provider;
- Placement proposal details – job title; summary of the placement project proposal, starting date, end date, expenses covered by the host, provisions by the host, main responsibilities, etc.;
- The benefit of the placement – how will the placement benefit you; what benefits this will bring to your host University; what benefit this placement will bring to the external partner;
- Detailed costing– you will need to provide an evaluation of the travel and subsistence costs associated with the placement;
- Confirmation – to be completed by you, the placement provider representative and your supervisor.
Placement support application form – DTP1 students
Placement support application form – DTP2 students
Placement support guidelines for students
Placement application approval
Your ACCE placement support application formwill be evaluated by the ACCE Management Board reviewers by agreed criteria and a response with the decision to support or decline the placement project proposal will be sent to the student and the Placement provider within two to three weeks after the deadline.
Once the Placement proposal has been approved students need to inform their hosting University and Department and at this stage, the student’s host institution will issue a Tripartite Agreement (this document will be signed by you, your placement provider, and by authorised signatory at your host University).
ACCE will check the details of the Placement provider given in the application form and will ask students and their placement hosts to complete Health and Safety forms and a placement agreements; these forms may vary between ACCE institutions. Each Placement provider is responsible for: Undertaking the necessary risk assessments; Health and safety checks; providing the necessary insurance cover or arranging for the students concerned to do so.
ACCE DTP will make sure that you are provided with a Placement induction feedback form, which you need to return within two weeks of the start of your placement.
By the end of your placement, you need to provide a detailed Placement Report about the project and achievements during your placement within three months of completing the placement. You are free to write the report as you see fit, but it should address the topics included below
- Project(s) that you worked on;
- Your roles and responsibilities;
- What you have gained from the experience (e.g., skills);
- Things that you were pleased with, and things that you could improve;
- What an impact this experience is likely to have for your professional development etc.
While on placement, students must conduct themselves professionally at all times with an understanding of the standards and expectations of the Placement Provider. Once students have agreed to undertake a placement with a defined Placement Proposal and start and finish dates, they are expected to undertake that placement. It will not be seen as an acceptable professional practice to withdraw from either preliminary or advanced negotiations with an employer for anything other than genuinely unforeseen circumstances.
Making a claim for payment
University of Sheffield (for DTP1 students)
All costs during the period of placement will need to be reimbursed/claimed back on an Expenses claim form for non-staff at the University of Sheffield, and you need to provide all original expenses receipts/invoices during the period of placement. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
University of Liverpool (for DTP2 students)
All costs during the period of placement will be reimbursed via a UoL payment request form. You will need to provide all original expense receipts/invoices during the period of placement. Please contact email@example.com for more details.