Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology (POST) Fellowship

Between September 2020 and June 2021

What does the fellowship entail?

The successful applicant will spend three months working within the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology (POST) offices at Westminster on science-based project(s). During the Fellowship, the successful applicant will assist POST in providing objective briefing material for MPs and Peers on a scientific subject, in the form of one of POST’s well-known POSTnotes, or possibly provide assistance to a parliamentary committee in the Commons or Lords.

This is a tremendous opportunity to gain experience in science writing and direct insight into how Parliament functions.

Food science is a multi-disciplinary area and there are many diverse areas of close interest to public policy e.g. global food production, nanotechnology, GMO's and food labelling.

Company information

About the scheme

The Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), the professional body for food scientists, collaborates annually with the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology (POST) in this initiative to aid scientific research in public policy areas.  POST is the UK Parliament's in-house source of independent, balanced and objective analysis of public policy issues relating to science and technology and provides information to the Houses of Lords and Commons. 

The IFST POST fellowship gives PhD students of food science and technology the chance to spend three months working with POST and other Parliamentary stakeholders on a policy project.

While fellows typically help us with the production of a POSTnote or POSTbrief, this unique opportunity to view the epicentre of policy-making from the inside may also include a secondment to a select committee or to the House of Commons or House of Lords Libraries.

Fellows at POST will have the opportunity to produce their own POSTnote from start to finish. This includes scoping the topic, conducting interviews with senior stakeholders from across academia, government, industry and the not-for-profit sector, drafting and editing.

By the end of their time at POST, our fellows will have learned how to write for policy-makers with balance, impartiality and succinctness. They will also have developed a unique understanding of Westminster, forged important relationships with key stakeholders, and delved into a novel and exciting topic of research.

Funding

IFST will support the Fellow by providing funding of £5,000 to cover a 3-month extension to their PhD award, maintenance and accommodation.

COVID-19 and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Due to COVID-19, interviews are likely to take place remotely. While we hope fellows will be able to join us at Parliament during their time at POST, we understand this may not be possible. We will be looking at a phased return to working in the office from September, but also have full capacity for work to be carried out remotely.

For more information on POST fellowships, please see POST's frequently asked questions page.

In the case that fellows prefer or have to work remotely, we aim to provide them with all the support and learning opportunities they would have access to on the Parliamentary estate.

Skills and qualifications

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants should be in the second or third year of their PhD studies, undertaking research studies related to Food Science and Technology at a UK university. Students who are writing up their theses but have not yet graduated are eligible to apply.

How to apply

Applicants should send the following documents to info@ifst.org by 31 August 2020 at 16:00.

Applications should include:

  • a statement about why you are applying and a CV
  • a letter of support from your sponsor/supervisor
  • a short (two A4 page max. using size 12 font) paper on a science-based issue that you consider will be relevant and indicate why the subject would/should be of interest to Parliamentarians.

Assessment of applications is a two-stage process: there will be an assessment of the written application and applicants successful at this stage will be invited to interview. The application process will be completed at both stages by POST. Please note, only one application can be submitted by each applicant. Interviews will take place in Autumn 2020, and fellowships will be arranged subject to the availability at POST and the availability of the candidate between September 2020 and June 2021.