Research Council Policy Internships Scheme

SPICe hosts a number of PhD students every year. Students work on a briefing during their 3 months placement in the Scottish Parliament. 

Students are recruited via the Research Council Policy Internships  Scheme. The Research Councils organise internships for current Research  Council-funded PhD students to work at partner host organisations on one or  more policy topics relevant to both the student and the host. The student  will be expected to produce at least one briefing paper, participate in a policy inquiry and/or organise a policy event.

More details of the scheme can be found on the Research Council UK  website:

Currently on placement in SPICe

Kate Grant

Kate is a PhD student with the University of Edinburgh and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). She is interested in crop biology, food security and sustainable agriculture. Her PhD aims to understand the causes of ‘grain skinning’ in barley, an issue which affects Scottish farmers and Scotland’s malting, brewing and distilling industry. This work is funded by the BBSRC and the EASTBIO Doctoral Training Partnership. 

She applied for a Research Councils UK Policy Internship to learn more about policy-making and the work of the Scottish Parliament.

Previous placement students

Damon Davies 

January to March 2017

SB 17-22 Drug misuse

PE1637 on Prevention of ship-to-ship oil transfers and trust port accountability


Morgan Tatchell-Evans 

October to November 2016

SB 16-102 Implications for Leaving the EU - Forestry

SB 16-93 Scottish Forestry


Roseannah Murphy 

Autumn 2016

SB 16-76 Child and Adolescent Mental Health –Trends and Key Issues 

SB 16-75 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Legislation and Policy


Joe Ryan-Hume                 

Autumn-Winter 2015

SB 15-84 Food for Thought: Scotland and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)


Samatha Pollock                   

Summer 2015

SB 15-38 International Perspectives on Land Reform


Declan Finney

Summer 2015

SB 15-40 Good for climate, good for health


Reuben Nowell

Spring 2014

SB 14-36 Mental Health in Scotland


Carla-Leanne Washbourne

Spring-Summer 2013

SB 13-41 Treatment options for residual waste


Alan Mueller

Spring-Summer 2013

SB 13-37 Pandemic Influenza (‘Flu’) 


Theresa Meacham                

Autumn 2012

SB 12-71 Renewable Energy: Community Benefit and Ownership


Gary Kerr                                

Summer 2012

SB 12-47 Climate Change-The Role of the Individual


Rudra Kapila

Spring-Summer 2012

SB 12-37 Offshore Renewable Energy


Susanna Ebmeier

Spring 2012

SB 12-28 Peatlands and Climate Change

SB 12-26 Climate Change and Health in Scotland


Lorna Street

Spring 2010

SB 10-33 Invasive Non-Native Species


John Dowens

Autumn-Winter 2008

SB 08-72 Climate Change: Emissions Trading

SB 08-37 Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry