Internship
Government Office for Science – Rosa Kowalewski

Government Office for Science - UKRI Policy Internship

Type of internship:

UKRI Policy Internship with the Government Office for Science

What did the internship involve?

During my internship I conducted desk research in cross-cutting and fast paced areas of international policy, including com­pute and data sharing/access for Artificial Intelligence. This involved gathering evidence/information from different complex sources, such as government strategies, reviews, and articles, to produce literature reviews and gap analyses which summarise the policy landscape in the UK and the US. The information was vital for informing further briefings and information sheets, which I led on developing. My outputs ensured that council members were thoroughly briefed on these policy areas ahead of council wide meetings with the head of research at Google and the director of the EPCC, leading to an insightful discussion. My information sheet was also critical in highlighting areas of shared US/UK interest, guiding CST and PCAST members to have the most impactful discussion points at their joint meeting.

I assisted with drafting an advice framework from the CST on compute for AI. I used desk research and prior knowledge of the topic to clarify the questions to the secretariat team and identify areas of the commission that required further information to answer. My reflections on the secretariat’s stakeholder engagement and evidence gathering were important to guide the structure and content of CST’s advice, and gave helpful steers on how to make the recommendations clearer and more accessible. I sat in on fast paced and high-level meetings with various stakeholders, and produced formal records of the meetings, capturing complex and nuanced discussions. Throughout my internship I worked flexibly and across the team, adapting to and assisting with projects outside my immediate remit when reactive support was required. This required me to work at pace, often with short-term deadlines.

Rosa’s reflections on the internship:

Through the internship I gained insight in science-driven policy and decision making, and learned first-hand about the role and ways of working of the Council for Science and Technology. The experience manifested my aspiration of a career at the intersection of science and policy and is highly valuable for future job applications. I highly recommend the internship to PhD students who are curious about research impact and policy and who are looking to gain work experience beyond academia and industry. I believe this experience will be valuable both for students aiming to stay in academia and to those who are considering other career paths.

Comments from Rosa’s supervisor:

The Internship was an excellent opportunity for Rosa to engage with the process of converting research outputs into policy. Rosa gained substantial experience and transferable skills and training relevant to the future career paths that are likely to involve science as well as policy.

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