POST Fellowship

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Prize details 

The purpose of this Fellowship is to enable PhD students to spend a three-month period in the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, working on science-based project(s). This will provide a tremendous opportunity for the holder to gain experience in science writing and an insight into how Parliament functions.

The POST Fellowship will be an extension to your PhD studies and IFST will provide funding of £5,000 towards your maintenance and accommodation costs.

The three month Fellowship will need to be taken up between September 2018 and May 2019. This is to be agreed between the applicant, POST, the applicant's supervisor and university, and IFST.

Who can apply

Any student 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 also eligible to apply. Membership of IFST is preferable but not essential.

The Fellowship

During the Fellowship, the successful applicant will assist POST in providing timely and 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. The topic of any POSTnote will be decided by the Parliamentary Board of POST, taking into account the relevance and timeliness of the topic to Parliament and after liaison between the Fellow, POST and IFST, taking into account the research interests of the Fellow. The successful Fellow will attend regularly at the Houses of Parliament, as this is vital to the Fellowship to enable sufficient interaction with parliamentary processes.

The Fellow will also be required to provide a report to IFST and articles about his or her experience working in Parliament, which will be featured in IFST publications and our social networking sites.

How to enter

Please submit the following by Thursday 10 May 2018 (Note: late applications will not be accepted):

  1. A statement about why you are applying
  2. CV
  3. A letter of support from your sponsor/supervisor
  4. A short (two A4 pages max, using size 12 font) paper on a science‐based issue that you consider will be relevant and why the subject would/should be of interest to Parliamentarians.

Before preparing the paper at point 4 above, applicants should examine the 'POST style' of writing and the types of policy issues that are raised and discussed. These may be viewed at POST’s website.

Potential topics for the current fellowship include:

  • Food-borne viruses
  • Minimal processing techniques
  • Functional foods
  • Food authenticity and food fraud
  • Food traceability
  • Effective food labelling
  • Applications of nanotechnology in the food industry
  • Climate change and food security or Climate change and animal welfare
  • Live exports and trade rules

Please note that applicants are free to suggest other topic areas they consider to be relevant to the interests of Parliamentarians.

Applications should be submitted, ideally by email, to Delia Mertoiu
or otherwise by post to IFST, 5 Cambridge Court, 210 Shepherd’s Bush Road, London W6 7NJ.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed at POST in London on Tuesday 5 June 2018 and informed of the outcome shortly thereafter.

Previous POST Fellows

Each year, the current POST Fellow creates a POSTnote on a food-related subject.

2015-16 - Sarah Smith, University of Reading, Intellectual Property and Plants

2014-15 - Daniel McDowell, Queen's University Belfast, Sugar and Health

2012-13 - Daniel Amund, London Metropolitan University, Livestock Vaccines

2011-12 - Anne Richmond, Queen's University, Belfast, Livestock Super Farms

2010-11 - Joanne Edgar, Bristol University – Animal Health & Biosecurity, Livestock Diseases

2008-09 - Nancy Acosta, Birmingham University - Food Hygiene Standards