Applications now open for one or two PSA/House of Commons Committee Office Placements 2014

This joint initiative between the PSA and House of Commons Committee Office provides a fantastic opportunity for PSA members who are currently studying for a PhD to gain some real-world experience of working in Westminster. The successful applicant(s) will be placed either within a team of staff supporting a specific Select Committee or in the Scrutiny Unit. This will be a paid placement(s) of 4 months full-time (£4,000).


What your role will be

Whether placed with a Select Committee or in the Scrutiny Unit, the successful candidate will be assigned a specific task or tasks which are likely to involve one or more of the following:

  • Policy and evidence analysis
  • Research using both primary and secondary sources
  • Preparation of written briefing materials for Members serving on a Committee
  • Briefing MPs orally, and responding to their questions 

Read our role specification document for more information on what this role entails. 


Who are we looking for?

The person we are looking for will be able to demonstrate:

  • An excellent command of the English language both orally and in writing 
  • Academic knowledge in a field related to politics, parliament, public policy, social science or public expenditure
  • An ability to research and prepare written briefing suitable for non-expert audiences and to tight deadlines
  • High level drafting skills
  • Good general IT skills (word processing, internet, email etc)
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to word as part of a team

How to apply

All applicants MUST be members of the PSA studying full-time or part-time for a PhD. To apply for this opportunity, please send your CV along with a one-page covering letter to the PSA Communications Officer, Jamie Ralph. Please note that the emphasis is on the cover letter, so make sure you explain why you want to take on the internship, and how you fulfil the personal qualities set out above and in the role specification document

In addition you will need to provide evidence that you are an EU citizen or that you have the right to work in the United Kingdom. 

Closing date for applications is 29 September 2014.

Interviews for short-listed candidates will be announced shortly after the closing date. Start dates are negotiable and will be confirmed with the candidate once an offer has been accepted.                                                                                                

As a result of my experience during the PSA/House of Commons internship I am now considering applying for the Civil Service Fast Stream programme on completion of my PhD, as I feel that the internship has given me an invaluable insight into what working for Parliament entails. I have also gained a broader perspective on the process of policy formation and scrutiny, which is proving helpful in informing my PhD and wider research.
Libby McEnhill
Time spent at the House of Commons was invaluable in terms of job-hunting. A few months on the Select Committee staff gave me a chance to prove my ability to do policy work and operate in a different workplace. This definitely enhances any CV and the experience I gained is proving useful even now, in my new role as Research and Policy Officer for the Transparency International-UK Defence and Security Programme.
Karolina Maclachlan