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Summer Internship Programme

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Recruitment for the 2015 Summer Internship Programme has now ended and we are unable to process any further applications.

Details of the 2016 Summer Internship Programme will be available early next year.

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The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine. Our work is based in many countries and cultures across the world, and we are committed to inclusion and equality. We aim to create a culture that is open and respectful and where differences are valued and celebrated.

With our Summer Internship Programme for undergraduates, we hope to inspire, encourage and support a new generation who will go on to make a difference. During the eight-week internship in July and August 2015, you will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals and gain an understanding of how our organisation works.

In particular, you will have the opportunity to find out more about an area of work that interests you and see whether it is something you wish to pursue further in your career.

In return for a pro rata salary of £16,000, you will be given real challenges and your own project, and you will be expected to meet objectives and deadlines during your time here. You will be given an induction into the Trust on joining, and you will have an assigned line manager in your department who will support you, set and review your objectives, and oversee your work.

2015 Internships

Our wide variety of activities means we can offer internships in a range of areas. This summer, we have internships in the following departments:

Information about each internship and its specific requirements is given below.


The Editorial team is responsible for creating, commissioning, producing and improving content on Trust publishing platforms both print and digital including magazines, websites, social media, videos, apps and interactive. We create Big Picture, Mosaic and the Trust’s Annual Review.

Details of the internship
Your main focus will be on updating and creating content on the website for two Big Picture back issues: Addiction and The Cell. This could include reviewing past issues, extracting individual articles and sending them for review by experts and editing the copy in line with reviewers’ recommendations. It could also include commissioning and writing new content for the website and helping to edit copy. You will update the website and publish the content yourself.

You may also have the opportunity to get involved in other areas, schedules permitting:

  • researching and writing articles for the upcoming Big Picture issue on Fat
  • researching and writing extras for Mosaic.

Specific requirements
As well as meeting the general eligibility criteria, you will need a high standard of written English and an interest in science or education. It would be desirable for you to have experience of:

  • writing for a student publication or a blog
  • using digital platforms to publish content (knowledge of Drupal, the system we use, is not required, but an understanding of publishing digital content and some examples of systems would be useful).

Education and Learning

We are committed to making inspiring, high-quality science education available to all young people, helping them to meet their needs and achieve their aspirations in their chosen careers and lifestyles. We do this through: policy work; supporting teachers; producing high-quality, contemporary resources; and commissioning research and analysis.

We have a particular interest in: school governance; science in primary schools; better understanding what is learned about science outside the classroom, and considering how our understanding of neuroscience might improve education.

Details of the internship
Your project work may be drawn from:

  • research on how science is taught when children are home-schooled and how we might support this
  • exploring how new sorts of schools (particularly University Technical Colleges) are affecting science education
  • background research on organisations working with students from disadvantaged backgrounds which we would like to offer more science-related activities
  • a communications campaign, for instance: to convince schools of the importance of giving students high-quality, hands-on, experimental science experiences; to convey to primary schools the importance of science teaching; or to share findings of a public survey of attitudes towards biomedical science.

Specific requirements

Engaging Science - Food and Drink Initiative

Our Engaging Science department supports individuals, projects and ideas that enable people of all ages and all walks of life to enjoy, understand, challenge and shape biomedical science and the humanities. It is pivotal to making the Wellcome Trust a leader in public engagement with science.

The Food and Drink team is carrying out a major direct education and public engagement initiative, to help people in the UK better understand the connections between environment, nutrition and health.

Details of the internship
You will be helping the Communications Project Manager of the Food and Drink Initiative to develop a social media content plan for the Initiative (launching from autumn 2015). You will help to collate and develop the content as necessary, e.g. managing video editing, organising photoshoots, managing content editors etc.

The exact role will depend on your experience and the progress of the project at that time.

Specific requirements
As well as meeting the general eligibility criteria, you will need an interest in digital engagement/social media and content development. An interest in science communication would also be of benefit.

Engaging Science - Researchers’ Engagement

The Engaging Science department supports individuals, projects and ideas that enable people of all ages and all walks of life to enjoy, understand, challenge and shape biomedical science.

Details of the internship

You will be helping in the delivery of our work with universities, research institutes and other partners both in the UK and in countries across Africa and Asia to better foster public engagement with health research.

The exact role will depend on your experience and interests as well as the team’s needs, but it is likely to include:

  • researching and consolidating specialist resources and tools for researchers wanting to engage the public
  • supporting a pilot public engagement training course (events management)
  • analysing and reporting on the information provided by our researchers about their public engagement activities
  • grants administration and marketing for our International Engagement Awards (e.g. production of a showreel of our projects).

Specific requirements

As well as meeting the general eligibility criteria, an interest in public engagement by researchers would be desirable.

Finance (Financial Accounting)

The Finance department is a team of around 50 staff, working with all of the departments in the Trust. This is a great place to get an overview of the charity’s work and gain exposure to many aspects of it.

Details of the internship
You will work in the Financial Accounting team. This work may include assisting with operational and grants payments, month end processes, the review and implementation of financial controls, investment accounting, and the preparation of internal and external reports.

Specific requirements
In addition to meeting the standard eligibility criteria, you will need to be:

  • numerate
  • very keen to understand how finance works and helps an organisation to be successful
  • self-motivated and inquisitive.

Humanities & Social Science

The Humanities & Social Science department (H&SS) is responsible for funding health-related research in the humanities and social sciences, principally through the Medical Humanities and Society & Ethics schemes. It also supports innovative, cross-cutting interdisciplinary research – including the exciting Hub Award (based in Wellcome Collection) – and provides grants to libraries and archives (through the Research Resources scheme) to open up access to important primary source material.

Details of the internship
An internship in H&SS offers an exciting opportunity for someone with an interest in health-related research in the medical humanities and social sciences. You will gain a unique insight into the cutting-edge work that the Wellcome Trust funds in these areas and into the wider research landscape, both within the UK and internationally. Particular responsibilities might include:

  • scoping areas of research under-represented in our funding portfolio, and identifying the individuals and groups to whom we might want to reach out to address this
  • conducting a review of the department’s web pages, in the context of the development of a new Wellcome Trust website
  • participating in the general grant-making work of the department, which may include visits to universities across the UK and attending academic conferences and workshops.

Specific requirements
In addition to meeting the standard eligibility criteria, for this internship you should have:

  • an interest (though not necessarily a background) in humanities and social science research
  • an understanding of how the work of humanities scholars and social scientists can lead to improvements in human and animal health.

Information Technology (Systems Development)

The IT department provides a wide range of services to the Trust, including service desk support, monitoring and maintenance of the Trust’s network, computing infrastructure and specialist systems, as well as project management and business analysis relating to new systems. The Systems Development team is responsible for the development, procurement and delivery of new systems and modifications to existing systems.

Details of the internship
You will be helping to deliver some of the key initiatives from the IT Development Agenda, supporting business analysis and project management. The exact role will depend on your experience and interests, but it will involve elements of requirements elicitation and analysis, project management and testing.

Specific requirements
In addition to meeting the standard eligibility criteria, it would be advantageous for you to have an interest in information technology and how it supports the business.


Innovations aims to bridge the gap between fundamental research and commercial application by funding applied research and development projects to a stage where they are attractive to a follow-on funder, such as venture capital firms, industry and public-private partnerships. Using specific funding schemes, we fund projects in universities or companies. Innovations team members are involved in the funding process as well as the oversight and management of the funded projects.

Details of the internship
The exact role will depend on your experience and interests. It will involve elements of research to help review the outputs of one of our funding schemes and contributing to the delivery of the team’s outputs.

Specific requirements
In addition to meeting the standard eligibility criteria, for this internship you will need an interest in healthcare, science, technology or engineering.


The Investments team manages the Trust’s £18 billion investment portfolio, which spans the globe from Silicon Valley to Shenzhen. Our aim is to maximise our returns from global economic activity. From start-ups to goliaths, private equity to hedge funds and property to currencies, we look for opportunities to grow our portfolio in order to fund medical research now and in years to come.

Is Facebook really worth almost $200 billion? Are young people able to buy houses in London? Will Indian consumers buy more chocolate? These are some of the questions we consider as we think about the investment universe.

We are a team of 30 people and, between us, speak more than a dozen languages. We come from a range of disciplines, including finance, politics, chemistry and medical microbiology.

Details of the internship
You will be involved in communicating ideas and information within the team, reviewing the current portfolio, analysing new investment opportunities, and meeting existing and potential investment partners.

Specific requirements
As well as meeting the standard eligibility criteria, you will need to be:

  • hands-on
  • able to offer fresh perspectives
  • keen to learn – and to have fun.

Learning and Organisation Development

The Learning and Organisation Development team focuses on enhancing individual development and organisational performance. We support a wide range of initiatives including leadership development, performance management, coaching and team building.

We run an innovative summer initiative focusing on career development for everyone working at the Wellcome Trust.

Details of the internship
You will work with the team to deliver our summer career season, ‘My Career’, which runs through July and August. The team is drawn from people across the organisation including Learning and Development, Internal Communications and Facilities.

You will be involved with all aspects of the project including planning and running events, follow-up and evaluation, updating and communicating with employees.

Specific requirements
In addition to meeting the standard eligibility criteria, an interest in pursuing a career in the area of Learning and Development or HR would be advantageous.


The Legal team is responsible for managing legal risk for the Trust. We work in partnership with all areas of the Trust (other than our Innovations division, which has a separate legal team).

We pride ourselves on going beyond the legal detail to provide strategic, practical legal advice that supports the mission of the Trust.

Details of the internship
The nature of legal work makes it hard to predict, but there are a number of Trust-wide projects (e.g. values-based policies and governance) and Legal team projects (e.g. training) where you will work with a team member on research, producing documents and populating our Know How SharePoint site. In addition, it is expected there will be a number of activities and transactions taking place where you will be able to assist with research, producing documents, attending meetings, etc.

Specific requirements
In addition to meeting the standard eligibility criteria, for this internship an interest in a legal career and any kind of legal background is useful but not necessary.


The main roles of the Marketing team are:

  • providing marketing communications advice to departments across the Trust
  • strengthening understanding and support of the Trust’s vision and priorities among our audiences
  • ensuring that key initiatives are supported by appropriate marketing.

Our main activities include funding promotion, event marketing, launch of new initiatives, science engagement, and commissioning audience surveys.

Details of the internship
You will be helping in the delivery and promotion of our key initiatives. The exact role will depend on your experience and interests, but will involve elements of research, promotion and event organisation.

Specific requirements
In addition to meeting the standard eligibility criteria, for this internship you will need an interest in communications (ideally, in marketing).

Neuroscience and Mental Health

The Neuroscience and Mental Health team oversees a portfolio of research that spans how the brain functions at the cellular and molecular levels through to the cognitive level, as well as finding better approaches for treating brain and mental health disorders.

Details of the internship
You will contribute to categorising and analysing the Trust’s portfolio in neuroscience and mental health. You will also be involved in seeking out, analysing and comparing this with other UK and international funders. The output will be a written report to help the Trust consider our future strategic role in supporting key areas in neuroscience and mental health.

Specific requirements
As well as meeting the standard eligibility criteria, you will need:

  • at least one science A level and to be working towards a degree in psychology or neuroscience
  • the ability to work independently
  • strong numerical skills
  • good analytical skills
  • good written and verbal communication skills.

Strategy - Evaluation

The Evaluation team monitors and evaluates Wellcome Trust-funded activities using a range of quantitative and qualitative approaches, including metrics, consultations, surveys and case studies. We also work with the Trust’s funding departments and external collaborators, as well as developing monitoring and evaluation infrastructure to enable the sourcing of key evidence.

Details of the internship
You will be involved in a number of Evaluation team projects. Specific tasks will include:

  • data analysis, research information gathering, and charting of research outputs (e.g. publications)
  • talking to Wellcome Trust-funded researchers on the phone to get feedback as part of the Trust's Career Tracker project
  • production of clearly written reports as part of the team's reviews of schemes and initiatives.

Specific requirements
In addition to meeting the standard eligibility criteria, for this internship you will need:

  • strong writing and communication (including telephone) skills
  • excellent numeracy skills, preferably including good knowledge of statistical methods or knowledge of quantitative research methods
  • extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office packages, particularly Excel
  • attention to detail.

Wellcome Library (Exhibition Liaison)

Part of Wellcome Collection, the Wellcome Library is one of the world's greatest cultural treasures: a unique and irreplaceable collection which documents medicine and its role in society, past and present.

As part of the Conservation and Collection Care Department, the Exhibition Liaison team manages national and international exhibition loan requests for all the Library’s collections, including books, paintings, prints, drawings, archives and manuscripts.

This position involves working with a library collection using a museum approach and would suit someone keen to gain experience in this field.

Details of the internship
You will be based in the Exhibition Liaison team, gaining experience in the practical, rather than curatorial, side of exhibition planning.

The internship will involve a short project, tailored to suit your experience and interests, which will include elements of collections care and object handling within an exhibition loan setting.

Depending on the loans schedule at the time, there may also be the opportunity to make local couriering trips. You will also gain experience of working across the Library, including spending some time with other team members from the Conservation department.

Specific requirements
In addition to meeting the standard eligibility criteria, you will need a genuine interest in the heritage sector, with a view to pursuing a career in it. A specific interest in collections care within an exhibition setting or registrar work would be an advantage.

Application process


General eligibility criteria for all internships
You should:

  • have a minimum of 300 UCAS points (International Awards: please confirm conversion of UCAS points)
  • be a current undergraduate (this scheme is aimed at those who are partway through their studies and is not intended for those just completing their final year)
  • not have already completed an internship at the Wellcome Trust
  • be available for the entire Summer Internship Programme period, which is 29 June 2015 to 21 August 2015
  • be eligible to work in the UK for this period.

Information for overseas applicants

Specific requirements for some internships
Some internships require you to be studying in a specific subject area or to possess skills relevant to the internship area. Please see individual internship details for further information.

How do I apply?

If you meet the general eligibility criteria and any specific requirements for the internship you are interested in, you can apply online by sending us a CV and a covering letter (no longer than 1,200 words) that addresses the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in the Summer Internship Programme at the Wellcome Trust?
  • Which internship are you applying for and why?
  • What will you bring to this internship and to the Trust?
  • How do you meet the general eligibility requirements for the scheme and any specific requirements for this internship, and what other relevant skills, experience or interests do you have?
  • How will the internship benefit your studies and future career?

The closing date for applications is 25 February 2015.

Apply online

Assessment process

Applications will be shortlisted and interviews will take place between 13 and 24 April 2015. Offers for the places will be made shortly after, and internships will commence on 29 June 2015.

Internship experiences

Some of our previous summer interns share their experiences.

Scout Davies, Engaging Science

My internship has allowed me to use my passion in making science accessible and relatable to different audiences. It has been great working on the Food and Drink Initiative and in a team that is so heavily focused on engaging the public with science.

Eloisa Tovee, Legal

Imagine that your time at the Wellcome Trust is like you won a ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and you managed to avoid being the kid who falls into the chocolate river but are the one who makes it to the glass elevator instead. It really is that good!

Jamie Gore, Communications

During my time at the Wellcome Trust I have been involved in an interesting and diverse range of tasks, from promotional work at a video games conference to working on logistics for an event in Alaska. I’ve learned a huge amount and would recommend it to anyone keen to work hard and develop new skills whilst enjoying their professional surroundings.

Katherine Sherratt, Investments

Curiosity and an open mind are much supported in Investments: I’ve loved learning how micro company details feed into macro global trends in an incredibly diverse portfolio. The team really helped me, even with very little training – I’ve trained to use Bloomberg, written quarterly earnings reports on stocks, and enjoyed meeting experts across the financial industry.

Imogen McHarg, Grants Management

My internship has been an amazing experience, which involved incredibly diverse tasks and lots of fun! Being such a large global foundation, the Trust is a unique environment that gives you experience of a corporate business within a very supportive structure. The staff have been fantastic at ensuring you get the most out of your internship.

Sophie Ward, Education and Learning

Interning at the Wellcome Trust has been an amazing opportunity. I have had the chance not only to get involved in the Trust’s work in Education and Learning, but also to meet some very interesting people, both within the Trust and from further afield. You really are encouraged to learn as much as you can while you are here!

Ben Stockton, Communications

During my time here, I’ve met many interesting people and had the chance to develop my skills as a writer. I’ve mainly been working on ‘Big Picture’ magazine, writing articles and editing other people’s work. Discussions with the team about stories have changed the way I look at science writing and how I might approach it in the future. I’ve had a thoroughly enjoyable two months and wish I could stay.

Noor Alabdulbaqi, Science

The staff here are a collection of the friendliest people. I am ending my internship scared that my future internships or jobs will not meet the standards that have been set so high so early in my career.

Thomas Clarke, Finance

My experience of the Trust has been wholly positive and inspiring. I have a science background and have found that Finance has allowed me to really understand how the Trust makes such a difference in the research community. My understanding of accounting, financial processes and controls has developed through my work on mini projects. Everybody is really committed and enthusiastic, and has made this summer enjoyable and rewarding.

Darshikah Gnanakumar, Grants Management

I have gained a range of transferable skills, from creating spreadsheets using various data systems to forming my own deadlines to complete my project. I’ve really enjoyed my summer working in such a friendly environment and encourage anyone interested to apply, as it is an experience you will not regret!

Bethany Summers, Science

As part of my work I’ve been looking at past funding and future directions in adolescent mental health. This has involved lots of background reading, getting to grips with the Wellcome Trust database software and speaking to researchers to get their perspectives. I’ve learnt so much in such a short time, mainly thanks to all the staff here that allow me to ask millions of questions and are always willing to help.

Jia Jun Lim, Investments

Working for the Investments division has been truly unique – I have been able to develop my research and financial skills from working on a macro overview of India and a project on commodities exposures. I’ve also had experience in equities through covering some public stocks and communicating ideas to the team.
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