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Potential Placements

Potential Placements

The opportunities listed below will give you a sense of the different types of placement and different organisations you can do a placement with. They are current vacancies and can be applied to but the list is not exhaustive. You are welcome and encouraged to explore opportunities at other organisations that may be more relevant to your research.

Please contact us if you are interested in any of the opportunities below or have a different organisation in mind for your placement.

Contact – Dr Steven Colburn,

CHASE DTP Placements and Partnerships Officer:

+44 (0)1273 873673

BBC Archives

The BBC Archives contain a wealth of material covering a the full spectrum of the BBC’s output since it began broadcasting. There should be material of interest to all PhD researchers. Placement opportunities are primarily available working on cataloguing the vast BBC archives but other opportunities are potentially available. See this guide for an overview of the BBC archives.

See this guide for further details of archival projects available.

Bloomsbury Publishing

Bloomsbury Academic is offering two part-time placement opportunities to CHASE students, with one in its editorial department and another in its marketing department.

Editorial Placement:

We are looking for organised, hardworking and meticulous candidates to provide editorial and administrative support to our team. You’ll be an enthusiastic team player with good time management and excellent communication skills, as well as a demonstrable interest in academic publishing. You will receive experience of implementing contract and publication procedures, preparing cover copy, administering the peer review process, preparing manuscripts for handover to production, attending meetings and conferences as required, and much more.

Full editorial placement description can be found here. 
To apply for the editorial placement, please send a cover letter and CV to Rhodri Mogford:

Marketing Placement:

We are looking for organised candidates with a ‘can do’ attitude and good attention to detail. We publish across the humanities, including literary studies, history, philosophy, film, design and fashion and you will be working on anything from marketing trade crossover titles to research monographs.  As well as providing us with essential support across many marketing functions, you will get the chance to shadow members of staff, attend meetings and work closely with editors, authors, and a number of other departments.

Full marketing placement description can be found here.
To apply for the marketing placement, please send a cover letter and CV to Vivien Quick:

Placements will ideally be for 2-3 days a week over a period of 6 months, but there is some flexibility. Both placements would be based at our offices in Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP.


There are 4 opporunities for placements at the BFI, listed below. The placement 'working on development of evidence for Future Film Policy offers a range of areas which might interest students and has the potential for more than one student.

BFI placement application form

Brilliant Club

The Brilliant Club, a young social enterprise and charity, will provide a fast-paced, variable and stimulating work environment for interns interested in developing skills for careers in secondary and tertiary education, and for professions outside of these sectors. Interns will be part of a small team based in an office environment, where team-work and flexibility is essential, but will also be given the opportunity to visit and liaise with complex and challenging schools serving communities with a low participation rate in Higher Education. In addition, they will learn about the way in which Universities operate from a non-research perspective, engaging in issues surrounding widening participation (including, but not limited to, OFFA agreements, target areas and existing access schemes).

Interns interested in careers in all levels of education, the charitable sector, public affairs and social enterprise will find an internship at the Brilliant Club fulfilling, worthwhile and developmental. The nature of the organisation means that interns can expect to pick up responsibilities and experience quickly. Therefore, ideal interns will be interested in the education sector, keen to learn about how social enterprises operate (both from a public affairs and commercial perspective) and have good inter-personal skills. An attention to detail, interest in research communication and a track record of self-starting would be extremely helpful.

The ideal start time would be from September for a 5 – 6 month period.  The interns would be based in the National Office in London, however it is likely that they would be managed by the East of England and North East England Regional Directors, with the projects supporting the growth of the charity in these areas.

Read more about placement opportunities at the Brilliant Club

These are some of the areas that might be of particular interest to interns, but at this stage these should be seen as components that might make up an internship, rather than a complete job description:

Stakeholder Management

In both secondary and tertiary education, issues surrounding widening participation and access are near the top of the political agenda. In general, The Brilliant Club will provide an opportunity for an intern interested in gaining experience of this vibrant sector, monitoring political developments and learning about – and meeting with – other organisations working on related projects (such as the Sutton Trust, Teach First and Challenge Partners, for example). There will be opportunities to meet a range of stakeholders, varying from Head and Lead Teachers to representatives from partner Universities. The skills developed here will be transferable to any career in which a number of stakeholders with different, sometimes competing, agendas have to be managed.


The Brilliant Club is able to offer interns the opportunity to design and deliver a series of University-style modules to high-performing pupils in schools serving communities with a low participation rate in Higher Education. This would have the twin advantages of introducing those interested in teaching at primary or secondary level to different schools (the Brilliant Club would be in a position to offer interns a variety of placements) and allow those interested in continuing their career in academia a chance to explore the UK’s secondary education system, from which their undergraduates will be drawn. This opportunity has already been taken up by a number of Teach First ‘offerees’ who recognise the value of gaining experience before their full-time placement commences. The Brilliant Club would commit to helping the intern prepare for their placement either through their existing Professional Development Training Programme or through one-on-one sessions with a qualified teacher. This training has been designed in conjunction with both partner schools and Universities.

Research Dissemination and Course Design

The Brilliant Club will offer successful interns the opportunity to design a new course – or courses – based around their own research (recent courses designed include ‘An Introduction to Magnetism’, ‘The Victorians and the Ghost Story’ and ‘The War on Bacteria’). This is a valuable opportunity to think about how high-level research can be disseminated to a non-expert audience, something that Research Councils and University departments increasingly value. There will be training and support to help interns produce lesson plans, tutorial resources and course rationales. In addition, the Brilliant Club would be able to provide interns with an opportunity to design or update their ‘standardised’ programmes according to their subject discipline and to develop teaching and learning materials and resources. This would give interns a more authentic experience of designing resources to be used by more than one teacher while familiarising themselves with the various criteria associated with Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 teaching.

IT and Social Media

As a fast-growing organisation with ever-developing needs, interns wanting to develop skills in both IT and social media would be given several opportunities. On one hand this may involve designing and updating VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) provision (used extensively in both Universities and schools), supporting and designing internal systems (such as Salesforce – the software used by many large organisations) and thinking about the Brilliant Club’s future IT provision. In addition it may be possible for successful interns to edit and update the existing website and contribute to the Brilliant Club’s broader social media and PR strategy. There may be opportunities to compose and commission blog articles, monitor and maintain Twitter and Facebook feeds, and think about ways of engaging their stakeholders in innovative technologies (Apps, etc.).

Data Collection, Reporting and Evaluation

The Brilliant Club is committed to providing its stakeholders with impact reports and evaluations. In order to do this effectively it needs to manage data throughout the academic year. Interns might gain experience of data collection, entry, management and evaluation – learning to utilise and manipulate programs such as Excel and Salesforce in order to produce useful and meaningful data in reports that reflect good practice in the education and management sectors.

Programme Delivery, Event Planning and Office Management

The Brilliant Club runs over 50 events a year in Universities, corporate headquarters and conference centres. An intern might expect to be heavily involved in the preparation and delivery of these events – anything from designing the programme, to liaising with university departments about the agenda that they want emphasised on the day. Furthermore interns would be supporting the programme team to deliver the Brilliant Club programmes in schools and will have the opportunity to gain experience in managing a small cluster of schools. This would involve building relationships with teachers and PhD tutors and managing the logistics of the programmes.

In addition, interns can expect to gain experience of working in an office environment and all that this entails – including stock management, purchasing, document design and branding. Interns would be expected to take part in a normal calendar of internal meetings, trips and events and become familiar with how small organisations structure and manage themselves.

Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre

A medical practice that utilises complementary care to support its core health services. The centre is keen to host PhD students and is open to exploring any project that would be of mutual benefit to the student and the centre. There are a number of projects potentially available at this innovative centre that is working in a fast-moving field. See their website for an overview of the centre.

British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC)

The BUFVC is beneficiary of an extensive archive of film and video content. They work on archiving uncatalogued materials, digitising content and offering training in the use of film and video for teaching and training purposes. They have worked with PhD students on archiving and digitising projects and welcome proposals for projects that utilise their content. You can see examples of previous projects on their website and are welcome to arrange to visit their offices in central London to explore their archives and discuss potential projects with their team.


Glyndebourne, an independent opera house in Sussex, is happy to discuss a range of placement projects. Whether ‘front of house’ in the creation of content or contributing to shows or ‘back of house’ working with the team that manages the opera house. Students are invited to find out more about Glyndebourne and are happy to discuss potential placement opportunities that would be beneficial to the student and the organisation: Glyndebourne website.

The ICA (The Institute of Contemporary Art

The ICA has a fast moving programme of exhibitions and events that will be of interest to PhD researchers. They welcome students interested in their work to develop and propose projects that could contribute to their forthcoming programmes. For example:

The ICA Talks programme, which has an ongoing engagement with contemporary digital culture and its engagement with the arts. The ICA has collaborated with Rhizome and Lunch Bytes, and a new talks series around this subject is entitled ‘Technology Now’. Another series entitled 'Artists: what is your value?', looks at the effects of the constant demand on artists to define their own worth and the creative responses to this demand.

The ICA Cinema programme, which shows a great diversity of independent films from around the world, with a special focus on documentaries and social engagement.

The ICA Reading Room exhibitions programme, which consists partly of small-scale exhibitions through archival research into the legacy of the ICA and its social context. Themes for this year include punk, Detroit techno music, design and the history of artist’s film at the ICA.

The ICA associates programme explores the intersections between experimental music, sound and visual culture, as well as those between poetry, performance and the visual arts.

More information about the ICA’s programme highlights for 2016 can be found here: ICA 2016 programme highlights

Intel Labs

Intel Collaborative Research Institutes (ICRIs) are Intel-funded, jointly-led research collaborations between Intel and the academic community. There are Intel Labs in London and Dublin with Manchester and Peterborough labs to launch soon. Intel Labs are looking for arts and humanities PhD researchers interested in the impact of information technologies on everyday life. Their website showcases the themes they are working to but they are happy to discuss potential projects with any CHASE funded students and are also happy to welcome students to their London lab to find out more about Intel Labs.

The National Archives

Potential Activities for CHASE Students on Placement at The National Archives

Medieval and Early Modern Teams

  1. Checking of cataloguing work on private deeds and evidence abandoned in the Court of Wards and Liveries (c. 1150-1642)
  2. Summarising for TNA’s catalogue the decisions recorded in the Privy Council registers of the 1630s
  3. Cataloguing transcripts of medieval and early modern English and Scottish letters held in European archives
  4. Contributing to multiple projects taking shape within a programme that will commence with the 2017 anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation
  5. Helping to develop funding bids and activities relating to the crown’s executive function in the royal and privy council
  6. Converting the text of medieval charter roll calendars into a form suitable for TNA’s catalogue
  7. Checking the manuscript key to the Letters and Papers Henry VIII against original documents to identify missing referencing information
  8. Contributing to conversion of published calendars of letters and papers of the British commanders in chief during the American Revolutionary War
  9. Cataloguing of the papers of the Exchequer during the Civil War and Interregnum
  10. Surveying obsolete and antiquarian lists, indexes and publications for descriptions that are suitable for conversion into data for TNA’s catalogue

Modern Records Teams

1.       Assisting with various projects to mark the centenary of the introduction of Cabinet Office minutes and the history of No. 10 Downing Street (including researching and assembling physical exhibitions; preparing text for an online exhibition, helping to convene an academic discussion event at TNA).
2.       Involvement in cataloguing of Foreign Office personal and ministerial private office papers
3.       Contributing to various cataloguing and research activities relating to nineteenth century poverty and public health
4.       Helping to scope work on how born-digital records and data can be used more effectively by researchers in the humanities

General Activities

1.       The option to write a blog for TNA’s website
2.       Attendance at team and departmental meetings within TNA’s Advice and Records Knowledge Department; shadowing on advice points and observance of key roles such as the Enquiry Service Manager (reading room service supervision)
3.       Visits to other TNA departments to help with their day-to-day business activities and to speak to staff about their work: notably Education (school group visits), Collection Care (document preservation and conservation labs), Document Services (archival storage and retrieval for researchers), Catalogue and Taxonomy (management of catalogue information), Press and Marketing, Research and Engagement (coordinating academic activities).

The National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery welcomes placement enquiries from CHASE funded students interested in working in any area of the gallery. Students interested in a placement at the National Portrait Gallery are advised to research the gallery collections and identify a particular area that matches your interests. Contact the CHASE Placements and Partnerships Officer if you would like to pursue a placement at the National Portrait Gallery:

The National Portrait Gallery is also happy to arrange tours for groups of up to 15 students who would like to visit the gallery archives. You will receive a guided tour from the Archive Manager and the opportunity to explore the gallery’s holdings not currently on display. This is a good opportunity to find out more about the work of the gallery, its holdings and how they might benefit your research. Contact us if you would like to sign up for a tour:

University of East Anglia

The University of East Anglia is advertising a professional development opportunity for a CHASE funded PGR student.

The placement will provide an insight into the activities of a leading regional film archive and an understanding of collection management within the heritage sector.

It would suit a candidate who is potentially interested in a career within arts and heritage and/or within a library, archive or records office.

The role will be undertaken within the framework of an agreed training and development programme and the role holder will be closely supported and supervised in the delivery of tasks and activities.

To register your interest in this opportunity, please contact Angela Graham, Archive Manager on 01603 592156 or  for further details.

Deadline for applications: 31st January 2017.

V&A (Victoria and Albert) Museum

The V&A provides a range of training and support for PhD researchers working on their collections. They are happy to consider proposals for placements working with any of their collections. Given the range of collections and the number of curators you are advised to research the V&A website, visit the museum and identify the collection you would like to work with.

Please contact the CHASE Placements and Partnerships Officer when you are know which area of the museum you are interested in.

South Downs National Park Authority

The Research Team at the South Downs National Park (SDNP) Authority offer a number of opportunities to develop your research skills whilst contributing to the effectiveness of the national park authority. The following are examples of projects and areas you could work on. The list is not exhaustive, however, and you are welcome to develop a project in any aspect of the authority’s work that is of benefit to you as a researcher and the South Downs National Park Authority.

Please see the South Downs National Park Authority website for further details on the organisation and the projects referenced below:

Read about the SDNP example research projects

• Access 2026 – paths usage. Discovering lost ways (mapping of Rights of Way). • Ageing infrastructure in communities and impact on communities – audit of what is there, what should be there / should be provided. • Assessment of the impact of dogs on sheep and cattle: we get reports of sometimes horrific incidents but how significant are they in the bigger picture of farming? How many sheep are lost compared to how many reared? What is the business/economic impact? Are there Health & Safety figures? Are there insurance claims for losses? How big an issue in real terms are attacks on livestock? Affects on farmers of allowing their land to be accessed by the general public. • Attitudes of younger people to the countryside and the National Park as a whole. Level of interest in volunteering and perceived and actual barriers. • Collating all the Section 34 agreements across the SD and plotting the boundaries on a composite GIS map: to provide a vital tool for the Planners when evaluating planning applications. Also investigate the effectiveness of Section 34 agreements. • Community-led plans: review of current community-led plans regarding the relevance to the South Downs National Park. Analyse the level of engagement in community-led plans. Consolidate the guidance relating to community-led planning and look at the effectiveness of the plans. This will involve liaising with each planning authority. • Different approaches to stakeholder engagement in reaching goals in the land management community – possible case studies: Water vole project, stewardship/NIA/ranger liaison. • Environmental impact of increased visitor numbers • Evaluating the outcomes of the new agricultural Countryside Stewardship schemes (CAP) • River fly monitoring initiative: compare and contrast readings and monitoring sites.