Placement and Collaboration opportunities

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Movement on the Ground - remote placement

Movement On The Ground (MOTG) is a Dutch organisation founded in 2015 by five independent business people and creatives who were touched by the refugee crisis and called to action. Motivated to change the game of the humanitarian field, MOTG has made its mission to implement a “new” model of what a refugee camp should be. This new model, which is based on the Camp to campUs philosophy, is more dignified, sustainable, innovative and eventually also cheaper. 

MOTG is currently looking for two PhD researchers to help build a fundable business case for a new generation refugee camp. If you are intersted, please visit here.


Local Impact Projects

Are you interested in using your research skills for social good? You can help local charities to empower communities and assess their social impact. These organisations make a real difference to the lives of people in Oxford but often struggle with capacity. There are serious challenges and disadvantaged groups in our immediate ecosystem that we may not be aware of. These local impact projects organised with the help of the Oxford Hub provide an opportunity to give back and contribute to making Oxford a better and more inclusive place.

If you would like to apply for any of the projects below, please send a short cover letter outlining your interest in the project and any relevant experience, and a CV to the Placements Officer ( by 5pm on 30 September 2020. The projects are available to GUDTP students withing their funding period; the projects are expected to be conducted remotely and will be funded by the GUDTP internship scheme.


African Families in the UK (AFiUK)

African Families in the UK is a community group which helps African families (and other migrant families) integrate to life in the UK. AFiUK also runs WOW Space which is a safe space for women ran by women. The aim of the community support group is to empower, educate and provide a friendly support network for migrant women in the community.

Project aim

Completing research for AFiUK which will help inform and shape the organisation’s strategy in the future. The research area will be discussed with the selected candidate to reflect their interest and expertise. Potential questions include:

The impact of COVID-19 on BME communities in the UK; Improving the work of advocacy/support organisations and networks, and Empowering migrant women in the community. Please visit here for more details about this project.


Be Free Young Carers

Be Free Young Carers (BFYC) is an Oxfordshire charity, based on Harwell Campus, that works with young carers aged 8 to 24 across the South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse Districts. BFYC was establish in 1994 and supports young carers offering emotional and practical advice they need to manage the stresses and responsibilities of being a young carer, balancing their caring role with school and with the developmental needs of a child. 

Project Aim

To assess the impact of the support BFYC offers young carers and the effect COVID-19 has had/is having on the mental wellbeing of the young carers BFYC supports. You will devise and deliver a research strategy to engage young carers, their families and local school representatives, perhaps through circulated or online questionnaires, focus groups, interviews, ensuring a statistical high level of engagement and response. You will work closely with the BFYC staff and volunteer team and be supervised by BFYC Director. Please visit here for more details about the project.

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Fusion Arts 

Excellence and Innovation in Social Practice

Fusion Arts have connected artists with communities, and inspired hundreds of bespoke creative projects since 1977.Through the transformational power of the arts, they respond to challenging social circumstances by delivering meaningful and inclusive artistic experiences.

Project Aims

Contribute to researching and developing Fusion Arts’ newly emerging community arts programme centred around experimentation, innovation and sustainability as we move forward in our post-pandemic context.

These themes will play out through several projects, and it is envisaged that the researcher on placement would devise appropriate project monitoring and iterative evaluation methods, as well as draw in associated research methodologies from related disciplines to inform the development and documentation of the projects. Please visit here for details about this project.


Oxford City Council

The future challenge for Oxford City Council is deliver housing which is both low carbon and low cost to heat, in line with their strategy; to deliver more affordable housing and to pursue a zero carbon Oxford. 

The project will be looking at the issues at the intersection of climate change and fuel poverty and will be an opportunity to directly inform decisions on heating systems for council housing stock. The project would be an opportunity to research and evaluate heating systems that could deliver low carbon, affordable heating to Oxford residents and tenants. Visit here for more details.

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West Oxford Community Association (WOCA)

WOCA is a volunteer-run non-profit, committed to improving the lives of those in West Oxford. Despite the fact that West Oxford is generally an affluent area, there are still areas of deprivation which are no less a part of West Oxford, and which can feel well hidden and closed off from the rest of the area.

The project would be to find out more about the needs and resources of people in those areas, what the association can offer them, and what they can offer the association.  This is something WOCA have considered for some time, but without the resources or people to follow this though. Areas of research would include approaches to engage the whole community in an inclusive manner and identifying and addressing barriers to participation. Please visit here for more details.

Policy Internship Scheme - open for applications

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The scheme is available only to doctoral students funded by UKRI research councils and provides an exceptional opportunity to work for three months in one of a selected group of highly influential policy organisations. The host partners of the scheme include organisations such as the Home Office, the Department of Education, Public Health England, and the Committee on Climate Change. 

Internships are financially supported by the research councils and host partners; doctoral stipend and fees should continue to be paid throughout the three-month internship period. Internships will take place during 2021 and students must be able to start their internship before the end of their funded period of study. 

You can find more details about the scheme and the application process via the link below: 

In order to apply, you will need to fill in an online application form and submit a permission form and a short policy brief on a topic of your choice. The deadline for applications is 10 September 2020.Please allow a week for the permissions form to be processed by the DTP team. 

For more information on writing policy briefs, please check: 

Remote placement opportunities

If you are interested in any of the below placement opportunities, please contact the Placements Officer at to further discuss the application process.  

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Confederation of British Industry - remote placement option available

The CBI has historically been crucial in shaping economic policy and ensuring businesses are well represented. The CBI Economic Policy team is responsible for drafting the CBI submission to fiscal events: Budgets and Spending Reviews. This includes developing policy ideas on a number of issues including infrastructure, tax, SME financing, labour market and green policies as well undertaking the policy costing and providing the economic analysis that sits beneath the ideas. The next big fiscal event is set to take place in the autumn, with the Chancellor expected to announce a budget.  

Placement opportunity:

  • The candidate would work closely with the head of economic analysis, head of tax policy and principal economic policy adviser to conduct research on policies relating to business and drat effective research briefings, focusing on one or two areas. Next to the this, there will also be an opportunity to get involved with a number of longer-term CBI projects including topics such as business investment, competition, regulation, SME growth finance etc. 

  • Policy areas will focus on skills, infrastructure, innovation and tax which are likely to be a focus of the Autumn budget this year. The candidate will help to formulate evidence-based policy recommendations, working with policy colleagues and CBI members. For a given policy area, this typically includes developing an understanding of the economic challenge the policy is seeking to address, the possible solutions that would do this and the associated rationale, as well as a quantitative assessment. 

  • Special opportunities would include attending meetings with HM Treasury, BEIS and HMRC as well as meeting regularly with C-suite business leaders from across the country. 

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EcoSync - remote placement option available

EcoSync is an Oxford-based clean tech start-up company (spin-off company of the University), developing a smart heating system for commercial buildings, helping them reducing their carbon footprints.

Placement opportunity:

Even though EcoSync’s heating control is automatic (using real-time occupancy detection and a predicting algorithm) the company would like to invite all users to interact with their built environment; for that EcoSync has developed two user interfaces and a dashboard for facilities management providing an overview of their building, and a mobile app for the end-users (students, staff, visitors etc.).

The mobile app provides access to temperature settings to everyone and EcoSync would like to understand (and change) user behaviour with a reward system so users revisit and use the app more, and make more conscious decisions on settings benefiting the environment. The project specifics will be discussed with the host supervisor to reflect your interests and skillset. 

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EarthWatch - remote placement option available

Earthwatch Institute is an international environmental charity, with its UK office based in Oxford. Earthwatch inspires and empowers people to make meaningful environmental change, creating knowledge and encouraging action through hands-on projects. Project areas include citizen science, nature hood, plastic pollution, freshwater watch, etc.

Placement opportunity:

It is anticipated that all of these placement projects would involve desk-based research, synthesising research literature to answer questions within areas of interest, allowing for the formation of recommendations for the improvement of our practice. Depending on the topic area, there may also be scope for placement students to support their secondary research with some elements of primary research e.g. interviews with stakeholders to test their findings. Please download the full particulars on placement opportunities here.

Research projects include:

  • Encouraging others to influence their social networks for pro-environmental change
  • Supporting advocacy for pro-environmental change
  • Translating research evidence to policy change


Gapminder Foundation - remote placement option available

Gapminder is an independent Swedish foundation with no political, religious or economic affiliations. Gapminder is a fact tank, not a think tank. It fights devastating misconceptions about global development. Gapminder produces free teaching resources making the world understandable based on reliable statistics. lt collaborates with universities, UN, public agencies and non-governmental organisations. 

Placement opportunity:

Working on the development of Gapminder 'ignorance tests' to identify areas of systematic public misinformation, building fact-based narratives in particular thematic areas, and contributing to the creation of innovative data visualisation in thematic areas from migration, global health, and development.

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iamthecode - remote placement option available

iamthecode works to support young women's access to educational and learning opportunities by teaching girls from around the world how to code and by providing blended learning opportunities.

Placement opportunity:

Preliminary ideas for placement include opportunities to work on online digital education content and on the iamtheCode inspirational podcasts featuring and co-hosted for the first time by Kakuma Refugee Camp Girls. This will include researching the guests of the podcast who are world leaders in various areas, preparing briefs for the podcasts and developing topics for discussion. 


The placement can also include policy and market research on how the socio-economic challenges and consequences of COVID-19 affect young girls from vulnerable populations, and the level of investment in their development across countries. The output of this research will be a document with recommendations for policy makers to inform post-pandemic decision making. Specifics can be arranged with iamtheCode depending on your background and interests.

Funding options for student-initiated business placements - open for applications for remote placements

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PhD Innovation Placements

The application period for PhD Innovation Placements in the social sciences is now open. This opportunitiy is available to both ESRC and non-ESRC funded students whose research fits within the ESRC's remit. Funding of additional expenses of up to £4000 is available to successful applicants via the Grand Union DTP. Visit here to learn more.

University-initiated placement opportunities

Please be advised that the below GUDTP placement opportunities are currently closed due to the situation with COVID-19. Placement opportunities will be open again when the circustances allow. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please register your interest with the Placements Officer, Dr Denitsa Filipova at

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Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specialises in Internet-related services and products. Google is committed to minimising their environmental impact and improving the lives of people who make their products. The company has expressed expectation of high ethical standards throughout the supply chain and aims to promote meaningful social change at supplier sites and nearby communities.

Google's sustainability programs include Responsible suppliers, Supporting economic opportunity in Congo, Conflict minerals and others. 

Placement opportunity:

Preliminary ideas include the possibility to work on a range of research projects on themes relating to sustainability in Google's London office. Please download the full particulars on placement opportunitie here. Research projects include:

  • What could a platform like Google Search do to enable individual actions in Sustainability?
  • How can Google help EU countries respond to the imperatives of the Green deal? 
  • Youth Future of Work: (part of prep for OECD):  How can Google help youth enter the world of work, in the context of many entry level jobs being automated? 
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Institute for Fiscal Studies

The Institute for Fiscal Studies was founded in 1969. Established as an independent research institute, IFS was launched with the principal aim of better informing public debate on economics in order to promote the development of effective fiscal policy.

Today, IFS is Britain's leading independent microeconomic research institute. Its research remit is one of the broadest in public policy analysis, covering subjects from tax and benefits to education policy, from labour supply to corporate taxation. IFS is host to the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy which analyses fiscal policy to determine its effects on households and companies.

Placement opportunity:

IFS is open to exploring opportunities in a number of thematic areas, primarily but not exclusively relevant to economists working on applied microeconomic research (broadly conceived).

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International Organization for Migration 

Established in 1951 loM is the leading inter-governmental organisation in the field of migration. IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.

Placement opportunity:

IOM's Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), based in Berlin, undertakes a variety of research and data-related projects in the area of international migration. GMDAC is open to exploring opportunities based on the skills and backgrounds of particular doctoral students.

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International Finance Corporation

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is a member of the World Bank Group. It is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries. It was established in 1956, as the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, to advance economic development by investing in for-profit and commercial projects for poverty reduction and promoting development.

The IFC's stated aim is to create opportunities for people to escape poverty and achieve better living standards by mobilising financial resources for private enterprise, promoting accessible and competitive markets, supporting businesses and other private-sector entities, and creating jobs and delivering necessary services to those who are poverty stricken or otherwise vulnerable.

Placement Opportunity:

Working with the IFC's Fragile and Conflict Affected States team the placement would focus on identifying creative solutions for private sector engagement in fragile states. It would probably be based in Nairobi, Kenya but could also be based in other parts of East Africa or South Asia. It is likely to suit someone interested in international development.

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3 Keel

3 Keel is an Oxford-based sustainability consultancy, established in 2013, committed to making food systems, supply chains and landscapes fit for the future. Their current portfolio of work includes helping leading retailers, brands, public bodies and NGOs on a range of significant environmental and ethical challenges. From improving the sustainability of 'high-risk' commodities such as palm oil and soy, through to delivering complex circular economy programmes that reduce plastic waste. 

Placement opportunity:

The role is flexible and will involve a mixture of project delivery support within 3 Keel’s consultancy team and exposure to business development activities, contributing to different projects, across different business practice areas. Please download the full particulars on placement opportunities here


Koru Kids

Koru Kids is a digital start-up created to create better childcare options in London and elsewhere. It aims to provide great childcare, as affordably and conveniently as possible. It provides a matching platform for parents and nannies that facilitates access to after school child care. The company was founded in 2016 and has received numerous awards and widespread media recognition as an outstanding digital start-up. 

Placement opportunity:

KoruKids has recently launched a new service for parents of babies and toddlers. As part of this, they would like to create a range of content aimed at parents. The placement candidates will be embedded within the Baby and Toddler team, engaging in research and writing for the overall content strategy.


Movement on the Ground

Movement on the Ground is a foundation responding to a humanitarian crisis affecting the innocent men, women and children forced from their homes by climate change, poverty and war. Its mission is to create a more dignified and innovative response to the refugee crisis.

The foundation established the Movement Hotel to create a space for refugees to live and work. This project gives refugees a chance to learn the Dutch culture as well as to adapt to the Dutch working environment and adjust better to their new home country. Movement on the Ground also has other projects including a waste management program at the Vathy Camp on the Greek island of Samos.

Placement opportunity:

Designing and implementing and impact evaluation to examine the impact of Movement on the Ground's pioneering refugee settlement model in Lesvos, Greece.


Migration Policy Institute 

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) seeks to improve immigration and integration policies through research and analysis, opportunities for learning and dialogue, and the development of new ideas to address complex policy questions.

Founded in 2001, MPI has established itself as a leading institution in the field of migration policy and as a source of authoritative research, learning opportunities, and new policy ideas.

MPI maintains a special commitment to work on immigration and integration policies in North America and Europe, where its two offices are located, but it also remains active around the world, and takes a global and comparative approach to migration issues when possible.

Placement opportunity:

The Migration Policy Institute Europe, based in Brussels, offers a placement opportunity for interested DPhil candidates to join our team for a minimum of three months. MPI Europe is looking for an open-minded, hard-working and collegial candidate who is keen on delving into the weeds of migration and asylum policymaking from a European perspective. During the placement, the candidate is expected to support the team with ongoing or future research projects as well as conceptualising and convening closed-door or public events. MPI is open to discussing the student's own research or project ideas to see how they align with our work. Prior expertise on migration and asylum issues is an asset. If interested, please contact Lena Kainz with your CV and a few lines on your motivation and preferred placement period:

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OECD Observatory for Public Sector Innovation

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation that works together with governments, policy makers and citizens, on establishing international norms and finding evidence-based solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges.

The Observatory uncovers the emerging practise in public sector innovation across OECD member countries and advises governments on the former.

Placement opportunity:

Lead in Systems Thinking and Anticipatory Innovation Governance in the Division of Open and Innovative Government. The intern will be in charge of a research project with guidance from the staff of the Observatory, proposing a research approach and carrying it out with the resources made available by the OECD. This will include desktop analysis, interviews with leading experts in and outside the OECD. The intern will also participate in the day-to-day running of the Observatory, its meetings workshops and the inner work of the OECD, but the core tasks will relate to the research project agreed upon. The internship should finish with a draft working paper on the topic at hand which will be presented to the team during an internal seminar. The work will involve collaborative tasks with other OECD teams across the organisations. Please download the full particulars on placement opportunities here

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Oxford Policy Management

Oxford Policy Management (OPM) is an Oxford-based consultancy working on international development issues. OPM works in all areas of social and economic policy and governance, offering evidence-based advice to bring about lasting, positive change.

Placement opportunity:

  • Placements in OPM's Strategy and Business Development Team
  • Placements in OPM's Office of the Chief Economist Research Team

Please download the full particulars on placement opportunities here.

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The Tavistock Institute

The Tavistock Institute is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1947 which applies social science to contemporary issues and problems. Its work spans across the public, private, community and voluntary sectors in Britain, Europe and further afield. The Institute is engaged with evaluation and action research, organisational development and change consultancy, executive coaching and professional development, all in service of supporting sustainable change and ongoing learning.

The Institute's projects include Resilient Europe and Societies by Innovating Local Communities (RESILOC), Women and Girls Initiative Learning and Impact Services, Evaluation of Health Navigation for Diabetes, etc.

Placement opportunity:

Potential opportunities are thematically diverse, depending on the background, expertise, and interests of doctoral students.


Oxford City Football Club

Oxford City FC strives to be a community hub fill of connection, engagement and significance for all. The club currently plays in the National League South, two leagues from the professional football league. Off the pitch, the club has an award winning charity [Oxford City Sport in the Community] which engages 1,894 unique participants annually across a range of programmes.

Placement opportunity:

Designing and undertaking an evaluation of the impact of the club's community outreach work, including its programmes relating to schools, education, and community engagement. This could be undertaken on a continuous basis or on a part-time basis over an extended period. The club’s community engagement program covers social inclusion, health and wellbeing, issues around disability, fan engagement. A placement with Oxford City Club in an excellent opportunity to contribute to the local community. Please download the full particulars on placement opportunities here.

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UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO's programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

Today UNESCO remains the only UN agency to have a global network of independent national cooperating bodies, called 'National Commissions' mandated by Article 7 of the Constitution. After a brief time apart the UK rejoined UNESCO in 1997, reinstating the importance UK National Commission for UNESCO nationally and internationally.

Placement opportunity:

The National Commission has numerous programmes across the UK in the areas of education, science and culture. Placements can cover different areas depending on organisational needs and type of project, and student skills.

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UK Cabinet Office

The Cabinet Office's Open Innovation Team helps Whitehall departments generate analysis and ideas by deepening collaboration with academics.

PhD students are invited to join the team to help deliver projects on health, welfare reform, industrial strategy, digital transformation and various other priority areas.

Placement opportunity:

  • Reviewing evidence to inform policy discussions and help scope out projects.
  • Generating analysis and policy ideas working alongside officials and outside experts.
  • Organising engagement activity, including arranging meetings, university visits and Whitehall policy seminars.

If you are interested in applying for an Open Innovation Team PhD placement, please send a short letter explaining your interest and a CV to:

Please note that there is a waiting list and you may need to wait until 2021 to take up a placement with the Open Innovation team.