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Summer Internship Programme

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Applications for 2014 internships have now closed. Details about our 2015 internship programme will be available in January 2015.

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The Wellcome Trust supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. 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, we hope to inspire, encourage and support a new generation who will go on to make a difference. During the eight-week internship in June-August 2014, 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 establish 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. We will give you 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.

2014 internships

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

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

Culture & Society

The department is responsible for grant-making across the medical humanities and health-related social sciences and bioethics.

Details of the internship
You will be asked to work on 'Project Zhou', the goal of which is to design and pilot an innovative methodology for measuring and assessing the long-term impact and significance of research in the humanities and social sciences.
You will be responsible for desk research investigating the feasibility of using social and digital technologies in this methodology. You will also work alongside the rest of the team to design and implement a survey of key stakeholders in academia.

Specific requirements
As well as meeting the general eligibility criteria for this internship, you will need to be:

  • studying for a degree in the humanities or social sciences, preferably with an area of specialism relating to health or medicine
  • familiar with social media, and both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

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 focus our work in three areas: 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
We have a range of possible projects for you:

  • explore the impact of a new methodology we have tried for producing scientific illustrations
  • research how science is taught when children are home-schooled and how we might support this
  • explore how new sorts of schools (particularly University Technical Colleges) are affecting science education
  • develop plans for a youth consultative panel
  • consider ways in which students from disadvantaged backgrounds might be more engaged by science outside of school
  • identify education outputs from our Engaging Science grants to promote online
  • research what resources primary schools use to improve their science teaching.

Specific requirements

Grants Management - Studentships

Grants Management handles grants from the application to the award stage across the Trust's remit. Its core activities include: managing the grant-giving processes; helping and advising applicants; running the Trust’s decision-making committees; building positive relationships with grantholders and their institutions; developing policies, systems and processes; and introducing innovative ideas about the way we fund.

Details of the internship
Working with the Grants Management Studentships team, you will be involved in several projects. You will collate and analyse data relating to different aspects of our non-clinical studentship programmes. Using this data, and additional research if required, you will produce a clearly written report outlining your findings and highlighting trends in the data.
An example of a project you may be involved in is reviewing the cost of animal work across our basic biomedical Four-year PhD Studentships over the past few years. This work will help us to set appropriate benchmarks for animal costs for future applications.
You will be trained on our information systems and given other support as needed. You will gain an understanding of the Trust's portfolio of early-career funding.

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

  • good writing skills
  • good communication skills
  • good attention to detail
  • experience of data management
  • good knowledge of Microsoft Excel.

Grants Management - International

Grants Management handles grants from the application to the award stage across the Trust's remit. Its core activities include: managing the grant-giving processes; helping and advising applicants; running the Trust’s decision-making committees; building positive relationships with grantholders and their institutions; developing policies, systems and processes; and introducing innovative ideas about the way we fund.

Details of the internship
Working with the Grants Management International team, you will undertake an analysis of application and award data for Public Health and Tropical Medicine Fellowships, the Trust's suite of schemes for supporting researchers from low- and middle-income countries. Using these data you will write a review categorising the fellowships by scheme, host institution location and scientific discipline. The data resource generated by this analysis will provide an on-going framework and monitoring tool for future evaluation of the fellowships.
We will train you on our information systems and provide all the support you need. You will gain an understanding of the Trust's international funding portfolio.

Specific requirements
As well as meeting the general eligibility criteria, you will need to be undertaking a biomedical science degree, to enable you to categorise the applications according to scientific discipline.

Grants Management - Grants Services

Grants Management looks after the grant application and award process from the point where a researcher is interested in applying for funds through to the end of the award, if successful.

Details of the internship
There are a lot of data associated with applications and awards, which require continual management, including cleansing, and frequent report requests are made. We envisage that you will assist with a variety of tasks relating to these grant data - in particular, the checking and merging of duplicate name records. We also envisage you will undertake desk-based research to acquire and then update information we maintain on UK universities.

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

  • to be comfortable with Excel and the prospect of using databases in general
  • strong attention to detail.

Grants Management – Culture & Society

Grants Management handles grants from the application to the award stage across the Trust's remit. Its core activities include: managing the grant-giving processes; helping and advising applicants; running the Trust’s decision-making committees; building positive relationships with grantholders and their institutions; developing policies, systems and processes; and introducing innovative ideas about the way we fund.

Details of the internship
You will design and create a database of reviewers used in peer review for our Medical Humanities and Engagement (MH&E) grants. Working with the MH&E grants team, you will agree on the types and numbers of fields to be included within the database (including specific area of expertise, general categories, institution etc.). You will then be responsible for researching and populating this dataset.

Specific requirements

Finance - Financial Accounting

The Finance department is a team of 50 staff, who work in partnership with all of the departments in the Trust. This is a great place to get an overview of the Trust's work and exposure to many aspects of it.

Details of the internship
You will work in the Financial Accounting team. Your 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
As well as meeting the general eligibility criteria, you will need to be:

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

Science - International Activities

The Science Funding Division is responsible for supporting excellent science and identifying opportunities to maximise the benefits of our funding.
The cross-cutting International Activities theme represents a portfolio of awards which support research on a wide range of communicable and non-communicable diseases in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs), as well as awards which aim to strengthen health research capacity in these countries (particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and India).

Details of the internship
Although about 11 per cent of the global burden of disease can be treated by surgery and 80 per cent of deaths from surgically correctable disorders occur in LMICs, research in surgery is a neglected area. For example, of more than 235 million patients who undergo surgery every year worldwide, less than 1 per cent are enrolled in surgical clinical trials (of whom a very small number are in LMICs). The Trust could potentially use its influence to promote the development of a research-based approach to surgery.
During your internship you will help to do the preparatory work for a Frontiers Meeting on research in surgery in LMICs. The aims of the meeting are: to explore the reasons for the limited capacity for research in surgery in LMICs and the low level of research activity in this area; to identify important issues in research in surgery in LMICs; and to encourage researchers to develop and submit proposals for funding in these areas.

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

  • an interest in global health research
  • the ability to work independently
  • good written and verbal communication skills.

Please note: a science degree is not required.


The Investments team manages the Trust’s £17 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 general eligibility criteria, you will need:

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


The Legal team is responsible for managing legal risk for the Trust. Using our legal expertise and working in active partnership with our colleagues, we safeguard the Wellcome Trust's interests and think beyond the legal detail to enable the extraordinary.

Details of the internship
There are a number of Trust-wide (e.g. Values based Policies and Contracts process) or Legal team projects (Know How and working smarter) where during your internship 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 during that time where you will be able to assist with research, producing documents and attending meetings etc.

Specific requirements
Any kind of legal background would be useful - but not necessary.

Marketing Communications

The role of the Marketing Communications team is to collaborate with internal partners across the Trust to:

  • strengthen understanding and support of our vision and priorities among the Trust's audiences
  • promote a coherent and coordinated approach to marketing communications
  • ensure that key initiatives are supported by appropriate marketing materials
  • provide marketing communications advice.

Details of the internship
Mosaic is the Wellcome Trust's new digital publication, launching in March, dedicated to exploring and explaining the science of life: support during the post-launch marketing plans, monitoring of social media and other KPIs.

  • Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize 2014: support during the shortlisting process, judges' packs and judges' lunch, and also coordinating the invite list for the ceremony taking place later in the autumn.
  • Other marketing and desk research-related projects: e.g. research into the games market, where the Trust is also active.
  • Big Picture magazine populations issue - researching tactics and third parties to support our communications plan.

Specific requirements
As well as meeting the general eligibility criteria, it would be desirable for you to:

  • be currently studying a communications or marketing-related degree
  • have some understanding of the marketing mix and other communications techniques, including social media.


The Editorial team is responsible for creating and organising content on all Trust publishing platforms, both print and digital, including magazines, websites, blogs, social media, videos, apps and interactives.

Details of the internship
You will organise, update and create content for the new Big Picture website and upcoming Big Picture printed magazine. This could include reviewing past issues of Big Picture, extracting individual articles and sending them for expert review and editing the copy in line with reviewers' recommendations.
It could also include commissioning and writing new content for the website, reviewing the scope comments for the print magazine, and helping to edit copy. You will also create content for the main Wellcome Trust blog and other Trust blogs, including text, audio and video.

Specific requirements
As well as meeting the general eligibility criteria, you will need a high standard of written English and an interest in science and/or education.
Experience writing for a student publication or for a blog is desirable.

Broadcast, Games and Film

The Broadcast, Games and Film department works with mainstream media (television/film/games) to improve the quality, quantity and visibility of science in entertainment aimed at mass audiences.
It does this in a number of ways, including initiatives that foster collaboration between the science community and the creative industries, and grant schemes that support the development and production of mass entertainment with biomedical themes.

Details of the internship
You will be helping in the delivery of the department's key initiatives in TV, film and games. The exact role will depend on the your experience and interests, and will involve elements of research and event organisation.

Specific requirements
An interest in broadcast media and specifically film would be a benefit.

Engaging Science – Seasons and Major Initiatives

The Engaging Science department comprises:

  • Grants - supporting innovative work in public engagement through a variety of funding schemes, including international public engagement
  • Broadcast - influencing and supporting the broadcast community to promote scientific content in popular culture
  • Supporting researchers - promoting and supporting effective public engagement within academic settings
  • Seasons and Major Initiatives - commissioning the delivery of public engagement projects to large and diverse audiences.

Details of the internship
The Seasons and Major Initiatives team is embarking on a large-scale public engagement initiative on the topic of Food and Drink, within the theme of Connecting Environment, Nutrition and Health. This is a multi-million-pound project, which aims to engage mass audiences with the global issues associated with the food cycle – from provenance and production through to behaviour change and nutrition. Our audiences will include:

  • schools - sending a practical science kit to every UK school
  • families - targeting underserved groups with exciting experiences in public spaces across the UK
  • adults - engaging wider demographics with a more in-depth look at global food issues through creative practices
  • researchers - creating a national network of 500+ ambassadors
  • public engagement sector - a research strand to begin to understand the impact of our work on people's attitudes and intentions.

Your internship project will focus on one of our largest and most challenging audiences, teachers. You will plan and implement some informal research, e.g. surveys and focus groups, to understand teachers' existing knowledge and potential misconceptions about this topic, their attitudes towards the changing school curriculum, and their needs and preferences for this initiative. This important research will feed into the development of the kits for schools, our teacher-facing online activity and our communications work with this important audience.

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

  • good communication skills
  • an interest in public engagement and/or education
  • quantitative and qualitative research skills.

Science - Neuroscience and Mental Health

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

Details of the internship
One of the Trust's key strategic challenges is understanding the brain. This includes an improved understanding of how the brain functions as well as improving treatments for mental health disorders. The importance of childhood and adolescence is increasingly recognised as a key factor in adult mental health.
Your project will involve reviewing and compiling a directory of the Trust's portfolio of research in this area. It will also include reviewing major initiatives by other UK and international funders. The output will be a written report for use by the Trust as a starting-point for considering our future strategic role in supporting this line of research.

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

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

Strategic Planning and Policy Unit - Policy and Advocacy

SPPU is responsible for coordinating strategic planning and providing analysis, research and advice on policy and evaluation issues to help ensure that we can achieve our mission in the most effective way.
The Policy and Advocacy team works with government, policy makers and other research funders to create a sustainable environment for biomedical research in the UK, Europe and internationally.

Details of the internship
You will be involved in current projects in areas such as public health data sharing, avoiding mitochondrial disease, or peer review.
You will be exposed to a variety of different types of policy work, with key activities including preparation of briefing notes and responses, engaging parliamentarians and other policy-makers, and conducting research to inform the development of Wellcome Trust policy and strategy.

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

  • to demonstrate a good level of writing ability
  • analytical skills
  • initiative
  • attention to detail
  • enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.

An interest in science policy and parliamentary processes would be an advantage.

Strategic Planning and Policy Unit - Evaluation

SPPU is responsible for coordinating strategic planning and providing analysis, research and advice on policy and evaluation issues to help ensure that we can achieve our mission in the most effective way.
The Evaluation team conducts high-quality research and analysis to support the monitoring and evaluation of Wellcome Trust-funded activities. This includes the development and implementation of the Assessment Framework to assess progress in delivering the Trust's ten-year Strategic Plan.

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

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

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

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

Innovations - Business Development

The Technology Transfer Division 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, projects are funded in universities or companies and staff are involved in the funding process as well as the oversight and management of the funded projects.

Details of the internship
One of the Technology Transfer funding schemes - Seeding Drug Discovery - will shortly be up for renewal and a case is being made for the continuation of the scheme. As part of this, research is required on funding available through other sources, particularly the EU. You will be asked to work on information gathering and analysis of EU funding schemes in the drug discovery and development area.
You will also participate in relevant Technology Transfer committee, project and group meetings.

Specific requirements
None, but an area of study relevant to drug discovery would be an advantage - e.g. chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology or medicine.

Application process


General eligibility criteria for all internships
You should:

  • have a minimum of 300 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 Summer Internship Programme period, which is 30 June 2014 to 22 August 2014
  • 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 1200 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? Please detail how you meet the general eligibility requirements for the scheme and any specific requirements for this internship, as well as providing details of any other relevant skills, experience and/or interests you have.
  • How will the internship benefit your studies and future career?

The closing date for applications was 12 March 2014.

Apply online

Assessment process

Applications will be shortlisted and interviews will take place between 31 March 2014 and 11 April 2014. Offers for the places will be made shortly after, and internships will begin on 30 June 2014.

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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