This page contains information about placements developed with Techne partner organisations for Techne students to apply for. Please note that you need to be within your funded period when the placement begins in order to apply. You can find out more about funding for placements here.
PhD Placements in the Cabinet Office Open Innovation Team
The Cabinet Office’s Open Innovation Team has been established to generate analysis and ideas for priority projects by helping officials collaborate more intensively with outside experts. We are supported by Research Councils UK and sponsored by four leading universities —Essex, Lancaster, York and Brunel — but our relationship with our sponsors is not exclusive.
We are inviting PhD students to join our team on placement for a minimum of 3 months to help us deliver projects on health, welfare reform, industrial strategy, digital transformation and various other priority areas.
Over the past two years, we have had more than 40 PhD students join our team or departments we are working with for placements of three to six months. At least five of these students have gone on to get policy jobs after completing their studies. Please get in touch if you are interested in arranging a placement with us at email@example.com .
Responsibilities PhD students working with us on placement will be expected to carry out a range of tasks, including: ● Reviewing evidence to inform policy discussions and help scope out projects ● Generating analysis and policy ideas working alongside officials and outside experts ● Developing project plans to ensure projects remain on track ● Pitching new projects to Whitehall departments and non-government partners ● Managing stakeholders inside and outside Whitehall ● Organising engagement activity, including arranging meetings, university visits and Whitehall policy seminars
Required skills/experience We are looking for PhD students who can: ● Communicate well , including translating complex ideas to non-expert audiences ● Manage their time effectively, juggling a variety of tasks with minimal supervision ● Collaborate with a variety of team members, government officials and academics ● Adapt as projects and partners evolve ● Demonstrate an interest in policy and a willingness to learn about new issues
Training and experience expected to be gained on the placement The placement will provide an excellent opportunity to: ● Understand more about how Whitehall works and how policy is developed ● Hone writing and communication skills for non-expert audiences ● Develop networks in government , including the Cabinet Office and other departments ● Build knowledge of new policy areas
McGregor is the creative engine for choreographer and director Wayne
McGregor CBE, and the home of his life-long enquiry into physical
intelligence – thinking through and with the body. A multi-award-winning
artist, McGregor is internationally renowned for trailblazing innovations in
performance that have radically redefined dance in the modern era. He is driven
by an insatiable curiosity about movement and its creative potential, and his
experiments have led him into collaborative dialogue with an array of artistic
forms, scientific disciplines, and technological interventions. Studio Wayne
McGregor exists to support this enquiry; designing, developing and delivering
innovative projects that challenge and explore the edges of where the body,
mind, and technology intersect. Our underlining vision is to push the frontiers
of physical intelligence, through dance, design and technology, and to connect
everybody to their physical potential.
Studio Wayne McGregor fuels the breadth of Wayne’s creative
work including the development and touring of signature works on his ensemble
of world-class dancers, Company Wayne McGregor; a portfolio of
international commissions across genres including dance, visual arts, film,
theatre and opera; specialised learning and engagement programmes emboldening
individuals in their own creative expression; mentoring and cultivating of
other artists; and inquisitive research enterprises which look across science,
technology and the arts to provoke questions about some of the extraordinary
phenomena of physical thinking.
Studio Wayne McGregor opened a new world class creative arts
space in April 2017 at Here East in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Designed by We Not I, Studio
Wayne McGregor comprises three dance studios, including two of the largest in
London, and a series of playful spaces in which to collaborate, make and
create. The first arts organisation to be based on Queen Elizabeth Olympic
Park, it is a place for making, developing creative practice, and collaboration
across arts, science, technology and research.
Studio Wayne McGregor’s
technē Knowledge Exchange Champion will have the opportunity to involve
themselves fully with the work of the whole organisation with a specific focus
on engagement and communications. There will be a piece of work looking at the
potential future development of the local programme which delivers dance and arts
outreach activity to our local community, including planning and delivery of a
consultation event for local partners. Also the development of a new ‘lates’
programme of talks and workshops for the public that expose the artistic and
interdisciplinary practice housed within the Studio.
technē Champion will also gain experience with the Marketing and Content
Department. Here, they will learn what goes into designing long-term
communications strategies, alongside managing and actioning day-to-day narratives
and requests. This could include insights into digital, printed materials and
The benefits for the
Champion would not only be to become part of a small and fast paced arts
organisation working at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary contemporary arts
practice but they will also specifically gain an insight into the local arts
and community landscape, experience of community consultation and outreach, marketing
and content development, event planning and management.
The technē Champion will
also meet with and shadow the work of other teams across the organisation
including Company touring, comms and marketing, building management and special
The placement can either
be taken up full time over 6 weeks or can be stretched out part-time for up to
4 months and will take place at our building on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
We would work with the successful candidate to set up the best working pattern
for them. They will be fully managed and supported within the team.
To apply please send a
one-page CV and 250 words on why Studio Wayne McGregor would be the right place
for you to work as a technē Knowledge Exchange Champion in terms of
- Your skills and
skills such as FCP, Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, InDesign etc are desirable,
but not mandator
- How you might
gain from undertaking this placement
Please apply in writing
to Jasmine Wilson, Director of Learning and Engagement
Applications: Friday 10 January 2020
Interviews: February 2020
Historic Royal Palaces
Historic Royal Palaces is the
independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace,
the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough
we are holding a major exhibition exploring
both the visual and cultural connections between the the royal court between
c1700 and c1820 and the spectacle of contemporary high-fashion. The exhibition takes place
across 30 rooms in one of our palacesand the spaces are being designed by an
Emmy award winning production designer. As well
as objects from HRP’s own rich collection of historic dress we will also be
displaying objects from major national and international institutions and major
The successful candidate will work closely
with the exhibition curators, Eleri Lynn and Polly Putnam. They will receive
training in collections management software, basic object handling and
collections management practice. As a member of the project team, they will
gain first-hand experience of working on a major exhibition.
In return, the successful candidate will:
assist with producing and maintaining object
assist with exhibition and object research by using
their specialist subject knowledge
producing research reports and other such documents, e.g. articles
assist in the production of exhibition interpretation
(which may include text, blogs or content for social media) in a range of media
for members of the general public.
The placement will be at Hampton Court Palace with
occasional travel to other palaces. This placement can take place up to six
months, full-time or over the year. We can be very flexible in accommodating
the student. However, the successful candidate may wish to consider taking the
placement part time to see the exhibition through from development to
completion when it opens in March 2021.
To apply for this position please send a CV and no more
than 250 words outlining
you are interested in this placement
expertise and experience you have that you feel is relevant to this placement
you hope to gain from undertaking this placement.
Interviews will take place during the week commencing
January 13th 2020
Autonomy: helping shape the future of work
The think tank Autonomy is offering exciting opportunities
for Techne doctoral researchers to engage in the world of innovative and
For up to six months, doctoral graduates can work with the
Autonomy team on developing new, ambitious research projects that aim to
produce the policies necessary for our society to mitigate the ‘crisis of work’
that we are currently experiencing. Some indicative research questions that
guide our work are:
How do we deal with automation technologies in the coming
How do work and the climate crisis intersect?
How can we guard against the precarity that comes with the
How do we sediment gender equality into the world of work?
Placements at Autonomy offer an opportunity to garner new
research skills, learn how the policy world operates, help shift the Overton
Window and potentially make public interventions into the debate about the future
of work. You will have the chance to work with our wider research network,
including leading academics and other voices that are at the heart of
contemporary debates (see our website for more details as to who this might
If you are interested in engaging with Autonomy’s
project, then email firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description of your
doctoral research alongside a short paragraph regarding which of Autonomy’s
research strands interest you most (see below) by the deadline of 20th December. We can arrange a meeting and discuss
Autonomy is a radical, independent think tank that
promotes and articulates a world of work that moves beyond precarity, low pay,
overwork, mass unemployment and lack of worker democracy. We want to know what
the future of work might be, but we
also want to articulate what the future of work should be for our societies. We are influenced by heterodox
political economy, including Marxism, but also recognise that work is not
simply an economic terrain, and involves cultural and political elements all
the way down. Unlike most think tanks, we engage with the wider meanings of
‘work’ beyond mere employment.
We put out research papers, policy proposals and other
outputs on a range of work-related topics, to be used by journalists,
activists, unions and political parties. We regularly appear in the news media
as the radical and progressive voice on the future of work, from local radio
stations to the BBC, from Al Jazeera to London’s LBC, from the Guardian to the Daily Mail. Our public presence helps us shift the narrative – and
the political agenda – around work, allowing us to push a narrative of worker
democracy and freedom.
One of Autonomy’s ongoing aims has been to translate
excellent academic work into public interventions into the debate around the
future of work; research with impact. Towards this goal, we have congregated
some of the best minds in the field as part of our research network and advisory
Our main interventions came in 2019, when we published
the largestreport – to our knowledge – in
existence on the topic of working time reduction. Described as a ‘vital
contribution’ by Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, it was widely
endorsed by trade unions, leading labour economists as well as international
voices such as Die Linke’s Katja Kipping.
Our research strands
for 2020, from which placed students are encouraged to select from are as
follows. These strands often intersect and students working on one project will
most likely engage with a number of others during their placement:
2. The Control of Workers and Worker Control
Work intensification and speed up: what is the present
and future of technological tracking, evaluating or speed up in the modern
How does workplace discipline get actualised, who
commands this discipline and what concrete effects do they have on workers?
Conversely, we also want to explore possibilities of
worker control and/or resistance.
How can decision-making around labour-saving technology
involve workers on a practical basis?
2. A Welfare State for the 21st Century
Our current welfare system is outdated, disciplinary and
falling apart at the seems. Universal Credit has been shown to be a failure,
even on the government’s own assessment. We need to design a better system.
Do we need a basic income, rather than means-tested
What would new welfare spaces look like? What is the
Job Centre after the Job Centre?
3. Our Automated Future: the future of technology and its potential for freedom
The future will be automated, but who will that benefit?
Policy needs to be in place to make sure the gains from advanced technologies
can be shared evenly across populations.
What is the future of automation technologies and can
they be a force for good?
How can government, trade unions and individuals deal
with the huge potential of current and near-future automation technologies?
What can the history of automation tell us - or warn us
- about its deployment within industries?
What kinds of technology are we really talking about
here? Software bots, driverless cars, retail software, etc.
4. Leisure Beyond Consumption
People are getting older, and our working weeks are
(hopefully) going to be shorter in the future: what does leisure look like in
the next 20 - 30 years?
How do we make leisure less carbon-intensive and less
What would a public infrastructure for leisure look
5. Flexibility and Precarity: making the ‘gig economy’ work for the worker
The ‘gig economy’ includes some of the most harmful and
exploitative employment practices in the UK. How can this be remedied?
Is flexibility always a bad thing?
How do we tackle the bogus classification of some
workers as ‘self-employed’?