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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership


Cambridge AHRC DTP ThinkLab Internship

An introduction to ThinkLab

ThinkLab is a Cambridge AHRC DTP initiative, developed to support our doctoral students, offering them opportunities to apply their research skills to non-academic settings within the voluntary sector, government and commerce.  Designed with input from senior leaders of the BBC, YouGov, PwC, Arts Council England, and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the ThinkLab model is unique to the University.  To date, we have run several pilot projects, testing the model in a range of contexts, with organisations including The Reading Agency and the Royal Society of Arts.  Our ambition for the next three months is to launch the programme formally, positioning it as an exciting point of connection between doctoral student researchers and non-academic organisations. 

Watch our ThinkLab video

Who is this opportunity for?

This internship opportunity is designed for second and third-year Cambridge AHRC DTP students. The purpose of the role is to develop the University of Cambridge ThinkLab programme, working closely with Catherine Hasted, Partnership Manager for the AHRC DTP. The opportunity is for a period of up to three months, beginning, ideally, in November 2017. 


Internship role summary

We are looking for an AHRC DTP student to play an important role in the next steps of the programme’s development.  Key responsibilities will include:

  • researching and writing an engagement strategy, detailing the most appropriate means of engaging doctoral student researchers and senior leaders from non-academic organisations in the programme;
  • supporting the design of a new ThinkLab facilitator programme, developed to train researchers to lead ThinkLab interventions, with input from the Judge Business School and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership;
  • designing the ThinkLab website;
  • managing the design and professional production of the ThinkLab video;
  • attending and bringing your insights as a doctoral student researcher to key client meetings, including the December meeting of the ThinkLab Advisory Board which comprises Philip Brook (Chairman of Wimbledon), Caroline Cole (Director of Colander Associates), Robert Marshall (Group Chief Executive of Marshall), Lord Smith of Finsbury (Master of Pembroke College, former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, former Chairman of the Environment Agency), Anna-Marie Greenaway (Director of University Relations at BP), and Tim Britton (Managing Director of Open Research at Springer Nature).


What are the benefits of a professional internship?

  • Apply your research skills in a new context.
  • Contribute to the launch of a programme designed to support future researchers.
  • Explore opportunities for public engagement within your own research.
  • Network and build relationships with people at multiple levels within the University and beyond.
  • Stand out from the crowd when you apply for your next career position.


What funding is available?

All students currently funded by the Cambridge AHRC DTP are eligible to apply for the internship.  If successful, you can apply for funding from the Student Development Fund (SDF), to cover reasonable travel expenses incurred as a result of the internship.  You will need to keep all of your receipts and submit them within 1 month of completing your internship, together with the relevant ‘Confirmation of visit/Expenses form’ available on the Student Registry website address:


Can I apply for a time extension of my PhD?

‘Home’ students with a full fees and maintenance award from the AHRC DTP are encouraged to apply for a PhD studentship extension of a length commensurate with the time spent on the internship.  Unfortunately, students with a fees-only award are not eligible for a studentship extension.


What skills can you bring that might be relevant to the internship opportunity?

We are interested in the skills and experience that you bring from your PhD research and previous career experience including:

  • problem-solving skills;
  • written and spoken communication skills;
  • creative and flexible thinking;
  • research methodology and project management skills;
  • critical analysis;
  • independence, initiative, self-motivation and commitment;
  • additional skills, such event organisation and delivery.


How do I apply for a place?

Please return the completed form below and send it to no later than 27 October 2017.   For more information, please contact Catherine Hasted

ThinkLab Application form 2017


What happens next?

  • You will be invited to attend an informal interview with Catherine Hasted.
  • Before the internship begins, you will need to have the formal agreement of your supervisor.  Once your internship has been agreed, you, the School, and your supervisor will sign a formal agreement setting out each party’s commitments.
  • You may need to apply for an extension and/or expenses, so please factor this consideration into your timeline for the internship. Applying for an extension and/or expenses will involve applying for SDF funding through our online portal:, where you should select the ‘Internship, Placement or High Cost Training’ option and follow the instructions.
  • At the end of the internship, we will ask you to complete a report or give a brief reflective presentation, providing a critical analysis of the skills you developed and capturing your insights.