FAQS: PARLIAMENTARY INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME


GENERAL

When is the deadline for applications to the Parliamentary Internship Programme 2024?
The deadline for applications is Sunday 8 October. You must submit your application via our online application form.

Where can I find out more about the Parliamentary Internship Programme?
Information on the Programme can be found on our website and you can download our Application Pack here.

We also have three informational videos with details of the Programme, how to apply for the Programme and how to prepare if you are selected for an interview:

1. About the Parliamentary Internship Programme
2. The Online Application Process
3. How to Prepare for Interview

When will the Programme take place?
The Programme will take place between 4 December 2023 and 30 April 2024, with training to take place on 8 December, placements with MSPs taking place between January and March (7 hours per week for 10 weeks), and evaluation and exit activities taking place in April.

What is the structure of the Parliamentary Internship Programme?
The Parliamentary Internship Programme consists of two mandatory elements:

1. Placement with host MSP: You will be placed with your host MSP on a part-time basis for 7 hours per week for 10 weeks. This will take place between January and March 2024.

2. Non-placement activities: The Programme also includes non-placement activities, including training, reporting and evaluation. Non-placement activities take place prior, during and following your placement with your host MSP.

You will be paid for all elements of the Programme.

What do interns on the Programme get paid?
Interns on the Programme get paid at University of Glasgow Grade 4 level – this is currently £12.46 per hour.

Who should I contact if I have a question about the Programme?
Please contact Alison Hopper, Centre Development Manager, on johnsmith-pip@glasgow.ac.uk (Monday to Friday business hours).

How do I stay up to date with information about the Programme?
Please join our Parliamentary Internship Programme mailing list to receive general updates on the Programme.

PROGRAMME ELIGIBILITY

Who can apply to the Parliamentary Internship Programme?
Applicants to the Parliamentary Internship Programme must be a current 2023/24 undergraduate honours level student at a Scottish university.

Students can either be in their junior or senior honours year. Honours level students will usually be in 3rd or 4th year, but may be in their 5th year if they have studied a year abroad as part of their course.

Applicants will be asked to prove their status as part of the recruitment process. There are no age restrictions.

MSP INTERNSHIP 

Where will interns be based?
The Programme will offer internships in two areas of Scotland: Greater Glasgow and the North East of Scotland, with interns based in the constituency or regional office of an MSP.

If you apply for an internship in the Greater Glasgow area, you can expect a placement with an MSP from the GlasgowCentral Scotland or West Scotland parliamentary regions.

If you apply for an internship in the North East of Scotland, you can expect an placement with an MSP from the North East parliamentary region.

Travel to and from the constituency/regional office and the Scottish Parliament will be covered as part of your internship.

Are the 7 hours per week flexible?
Yes, this can be negotiated between yourself and the host MSP office once you have been selected for Programme. It is expected that you will spend one full day per week in the constituency/regional office, though this may be divided across two half days. Working hours are flexible to allow you to combine the internship with your academic studies and any other commitments.

Do I get to choose my host MSP?
No, the John Smith Centre will match successful candidates with host MSPs based on what we feel will be the most beneficial professional and personal development experience.

ONLINE APPLICATION PROCESS

How do I apply for the Programme?
Applications for the Programme are made online on our website. Please download the Application Pack before filling in the online application form.

What is the deadline for applications to the Parliamentary Internship Programme?

The deadline for applications is Sunday 8 October 2023. You must submit your application via our online application form.

Where can I find information about the online application form?
Please download our Application Pack which has details of the Programme including the essential and desirable criteria. There are also links to helpful resources including guidance on using the STAR technique.

You should also watch our video on the Application Process to find out how to write a strong application.

When will I find out if my application has been successful or unsuccessful?
All applicants to the Programme will receive an email to let them know if they have been successful or unsuccessful in their application in October 2023.

Who should I contact if I have a question about the online application process?
Please contact Alison Hopper, Centre Development Manager, on johnsmith-pip@glasgow.ac.uk (Monday to Friday business hours).

INTERVIEWS FOR THE PROGRAMME 

When will interviews for the Programme take place?

  • Interviews for internship positions in the North East of Scotland will take place on Monday 30 October 2023.
  • Interviews for internship positions in Greater Glasgow will take place on Tuesday 31 October and Thursday 2 November 2023.

How should I prepare if I am selected for an interview?
Please watch our video on how to prepare for an interview for the Programme and read the other resources in the Application Pack.

What happens if I am appointed to the Programme?
If you are offered a position on the Programme following interview, you will go through the process of onboarding. All interns on the Programme become employees of the University of Glasgow.

Onboarding will involve gathering your references, completing a right to work check and contracting.

Please note that all successful candidates will need to prove their identify by meeting with a member of the University’s onboarding staff in person in Glasgow. This cannot take place online.

Who should I contact if I have a question about the interviews for the Programme?
Please contact Alison Hopper, Centre Development Manager, on johnsmith-pip@glasgow.ac.uk (Monday to Friday business hours).

SUPPORT

What training will I receive if I secure a position on the Programme?
Prior to commencing your placement with your host MSP you will be required to attend an online induction session. This will take place on 8 December 2023.

The induction session will prepare you to undertake your placement with your host MSP, as well as give further details about the Programme. At the session you will have the opportunity to meet your fellow interns, meet John Smith Centre staff who will support you during the course of your internship, and get tips and advice from former interns.

What support is available to me throughout my placement?
John Smith Centre staff are available to support you throughout your MSP placement in person, by phone, by email and text.

We also hold regular informal drop-in sessions for interns wishing to ask any ad hoc questions during the course of the Programme. Drop-in sessions function a bit like lecturer office hours whereby John Smith Centre staff will be online and available between regular set hours.

Interns can also also opt to join their fellow interns in a moderated WhatsApp group to provide peer support to one another.

What happens after my internship placement?
Once you have completed your internship placement you will take part in post-internship evaluation activities as part of your role. This includes a closing session with your fellow interns. You will be paid for all evaluation activities you undertake.

All interns join the John Smith Centre’s Alumni Network in perpetuity. Members continue to receive invitations to events, networking opportunities and support from John Smith Centre staff while at university and during their careers.