Parliamentary Academic Fellowship Scheme

Social Sciences Impact Acceleration Account Opportunity

The UK Parliament is piloting an Academic Fellowship Scheme that will offer academic researchers at every stage of their career the rare opportunity to work on specific projects from inside Westminster’s walls.

There is no restriction on the duration of Fellowships, however fellowships must be completed before the 31March 2019 (which is the current end date for the LSSI IAA Fund).  Exact start dates are to be agreed in advance between the Parliamentary host department and the Fellow.

Successful fellowships will be funded through the Social Sciences Impact Acceleration Account and will be considered by the IAA Review Panel prior to submission to the Houses of Parliament.  Applications which have not been endorsed by the Social Sciences IAA will not be considered by the Parliamentary Office.  It is envisaged that the Social Sciences IAA will support up to two fellowships under this scheme.

How to apply

Academics can apply through two main routes:

  1.  Directed Call in response to a specific call issued by an office in Parliament.  This call is now closed
  2.  Open Call.  The internal call deadline for outline applications is Monday 21 August 2017

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OPEN CALL: Propose a project of your choosing. Please note: this call is now open This can be on any topic and related to any area of Parliament. Applicants must be able to demonstrate clear relevance to the work of parliament. There will be a two-stage application process for this.  Before their application can be submitted, applicants should have discussed their proposed project with a relevant parliamentary office or department. POST can help researchers to identify relevant offices in Parliament for their projects. Interested applicants should complete Sections 1 and 3 of the Fellowship Application Form BEFORE contacting POST for assistance in identifying a relevant Parliamentary Sponsor for their project. 

One area of interest to Parliament is the impact of Parliament on legislation. POST are interested in working with academics with knowledge and/or experience in identifying, tracking and assessing impact to help them to understand better, and identify empirically, the influence of MPs and Peers’ scrutiny on legislation.

As a bill passes through parliament, MPs and Peers examine the proposals contained within it at both a general (debating the general principles and themes of the Bill) and detailed level (examining the specific proposals put forward in the bill, line-by-line). More information about the different stages in the passing of a bill is provided on the parliamentary website. In so doing, MPs and Peers debate the key principles and main purpose/s of a bill and flag up any concerns or specific areas where they think amendments (changes) are needed.

POST are interested in developing a series of case studies that examine how Peers’ scrutiny of legislation has shaped the focus, content or tone of legislation as it becomes an Act (given Royal Assent). This can include:

  • Direct influence, for example an amendment tabled by a Peer is successful and is agreed to by the government and incorporated directly into the bill.
  • Indirect influence, for instance when an amendment tabled by a Peer is not successful but the substance of it is subsequently introduced by the government itself (and when the role of the Peer that tabled it in the first instance is not acknowledged).

POST envisage that the case studies will look at a government bill scrutinized by the House of Lords and trace the outcome/s of amendments tabled and debated at each stage of the bill’s scrutiny.

The choice of bills to focus on will be decided in conjunction with the academic. This will require the Fellow to:

  • understand the intentions of the amendments tabled
  • understand how the amendment related to, and interacted with the bill as drafted
  • produce an explanation of the outcome in each case
  • draft a concise written account of the House’s impact on the bill.

f you would like to know more about this opportunity, please get in touch with Dr Caroline Kenny (kennyc@parliament.uk), at The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

Outline application form

Stage one. Applicants submit an Outline Application, providing a brief description of their proposed project and indicating a preferred host parliamentary office.

You will be required to complete the Parliamentary Academic Fellowship Scheme application form and submit a two-page CV (no references are required) for submission by Monday 21 August (at noon), please note sections 1, 3, 4 and 5 will need to be completed.  Applicants are advised to contact Sophia Kennedy (s.kennedy@leeds.ac.uk) and consult the UK Parliament website and guidance before submitting an application.  Applications must be submitted by noon on Monday 21 August 2017 to Sophia Kennedy for consideration by the IAA Review Panel before they can be submitted to the Parliamentary Office.

Outline Applications will be referred to the relevant parliamentary offices, who will be asked to indicate if they are in principle interested in hosting the fellow, based on the degree of alignment between the proposal and their current and upcoming objectives. Those applications deemed to have sufficient relevance by the potential host office will be invited to submit a Detailed Application for Stage 2.

Deadline for outline applications to Parliamentary Office: midnight 4 September2017

Stage two. Applicants selected in stage one would be invited to progress to the second stage – preparation of a Detailed Application. This would elaborate on the Outline Application and would be required to be submitted within 2 months of the date of invitation.

Deadline for detailed applications (where requested): Friday 22 September 2017 (internal deadline) and midnight Friday 13 October 2017 (POST deadline) 

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DIRECTED CALL: Apply to a specific call issued by an office in Parliament – NOW CLOSED.

Application form

Current opportunities:

  1. House of Lords Library: Improving research services for Peers and staff through the collection and analysis of performance data.
  2. House of Commons Research and Information Team: Learning about the needs, motivations and behaviours of MPs, MP’s staff and parliamentary staff.
  3. House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee: Providing energy and climate change support and advice to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.
  4. House of Commons Health Committee: Scrutinising the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan.
  5. House of Commons International Trade Committee: Providing support and advice to the International Trade Committee of the House of Commons.
  6. House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee: Providing support and advice to the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

Applications will be subject to a two-stage process:

STAGE ONE:

To gauge the level of interest in this scheme, applicants are invited to submit an expression of interest to Sophia Kennedy by Friday 6 January 2017.   Please indicate which opportunity you are interested in along with the proposed duration of your fellowship

You will also be required to complete the Parliamentary Academic Fellowship Scheme application form and submit a two-page CV (no references are required) for submission by Monday 6 February (at noon), please note sections 1, 2, 4, and 6 will need to be completed.  Applicants are advised to contact Sophia Kennedy (s.kennedy@leeds.ac.uk) and consult the UK Parliament website before submitting an application.  Applications must be submitted by noon on Monday 6 February 2017 to Sophia Kennedy for consideration by the IAA Review Panel during week commencing 13 February.

Funding & Eligible Costs  The scheme will cover directly incurred costs (for example reasonable travel and subsistence costs) up to a maximum of £10k per fellowship, however consideration will also be given to more ambitious and innovative projects which exceed this maximum threshold. Applicants should provide a budget with their proposal that must be prepared in conjunction with your Faculty Research Office. Successful projects will have an account set up for these costs.

STAGE TWO:

Applicants selected in stage one will be notified by 9am on Wednesday 15 February and will receive an updated application form with section 5 completed to confirm support from the Social Sciences IAA for the proposed project and associated budget.  Applicants are then required to submit their completed application form and two-page CV directly to Dr Caroline Kenny (kennyc@parliament.uk) and should copy Sophia Kennedy in for information.  The deadline to submit your application to the Houses of Parliament is midnight on the 16th February 2017. 

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For further information please visit the UK Parliament website and for further information about the Social Sciences Impact Acceleration Account please visit the LSSI website