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King’s Parliamentary Research Internship Programme

The King’s Parliamentary Research Internship Programme is a unique opportunity for PhD and postdoctoral researchers to engage directly with the inner workings of parliament.

Established and overseen by Baroness Deborah Bull, in collaboration with the Policy Institute and King’s Careers & Employability, 10-month part-time internships support the work of parliamentarians in the House of Lords and are designed to give participants first-hand experience of how evidence and analysis can be used to inform policymaking, while peers gain valuable assistance from skilled researchers.

The programme epitomises King’s College London’s commitment to partnerships that ensure knowledge has real purpose beyond the university, and to preparing researchers for their next steps in life by building their skills and knowledge and enhancing future career outcomes.

Because of the internship programme, I was able to secure a new role working in the House of Lords now that I have completed my PhD. The programme is an invaluable opportunity for PhD students at King’s, and, for many of us, enabled us to achieve a dream of working in the Houses of Parliament.

Intern, 2021-22, and now parliamentary business adviser


Following an interview process, interns are individually matched with peers, providing the opportunity to observe and contribute to the proceedings of the House of Lords. Peers are chosen based on their active engagement within and outside parliament, ensuring interns are exposed to a wide and valuable range of experiences, and for their individual interest in providing a supportive and productive working relationship.

Interns work both independently and through involvement in broader engagement structures, including all-party parliamentary groups, select committees and wider shadowing of peers’ individual work beyond parliament.

While each opportunity varies in its specific projects and scope, participants work with peers to identify and agree areas of forthcoming business, then provide research support, written briefings and summaries, inputs to committee work and assistance on all aspects of the peer’s parliamentary work over a 10-month period. Interns work around one day a week with their peers during this time, with the programme intended to fit alongside participants’ academic studies.

Tasks can include:

• Horizon scanning for forthcoming issues within peers’ areas of interest.

• Analysis, evaluation and interpretation of research evidence to brief peers and support their engagement with bills at all stages.

• Preparation and presentation of research and analysis for briefing notes for committees, articles, press releases and spoken contributions in debates.

• Drafting of oral and written questions.

• Research into specific policy areas, as agreed, to support development of private members’ bills.

• Monitoring media coverage.

A coordinated development programme complements the internships, creating a network of support and mentorship for interns and providing practical advice and opportunities to interact with alumni in parliament and to develop key skills.

Each intern is matched with a researcher in the Policy Institute who can provide tailored advice and direct them towards relevant resources and contacts, and mid-point visits are conducted by King’s Careers & Employability. The Policy Institute also coordinates regular meetings of the interns in order to create a cohort that can support one another and share learning.

Interns are paid via King’s Talent Bank and benefit from a full on-boarding process, interactions with academics, policy leads, parliamentarians and King’s Careers & Employability during their internship.

Applications open via King’s Talent Bank in August 2023, with interviews taking place in September. We encourage applicants to discuss their interest in the programme with their academic supervisor to both support their application and determine whether such an application is achievable alongside the academic and research commitment of their studies.


Feedback and impact

I cannot stress enough how valuable this mentorship was for me. I had space to explore my career aspirations and was able to make sense of my experiences of the internship and my PhD journey, which has informed how I am approaching my thesis.

Intern, 2021-22


The programme has improved my work no end by the provision of first-rate research – on which the best parliamentary and other policy interventions are always based. I was able to do more and better, whether in terms of oral questions, speeches on key draft bills, civil society coalitions and related media work

Peer, 2021-22


Ultimately it was not only a privilege to work for a peer in the House of Lords, but an inspirational experience that accelerated my understanding of how to bridge the gap between evidence and policy

Intern, 2021-22


This year’s intern prepared a first-rate briefing document that was my total preparation for a BBC Radio 4 Today Programme debate about the government’s response to the refugee crisis

Peer, 2022-23


Celebratory reception at the House of Lords for the King's Parliamentary Research Internship Programme