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Summer internship programme

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Our 2016 summer internship programme for undergraduates is now open for applications. For more details about the programme and how to apply, please see below.

Find out more about what life is like as a Wellcome Trust intern and what past interns have enjoyed most about their placements.

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Our summer internship programme for undergraduates is designed to inspire, encourage and support a new generation who will go on to make a difference.

  • You'll work alongside our experienced staff in the area that most interests you, building on your existing skills and gaining new ones. We value your insights and ideas, and during your time with us you’ll have every opportunity to make a real contribution.
  • You’ll work on real projects and earn a prorated salary of £17,150.
  • You’ll be part of a group of fellow interns and get to share your experiences together.
  • You’ll have a dedicated line manager who’ll support and mentor you, and oversee your work.
  • You’ll have lots of opportunities for development – including the chance to meet people from across Wellcome, hear from industry experts, attend career development workshops and participate in group volunteering days.
  • You'll gain insight into how a global charity works and leave your internship with some great connections and experience.

Our next summer internship programme starts on 27 June 2016.

2016 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:

Director’s office/strategy

The Director’s Office supports our Director and Chair and helps with strategic activities. The length of this placement is 8 weeks.

You will be:

  • pulling together information from a range of internal and external sources to brief the Director and Chair
  • working on strategic activities eg preparing for Executive Board and Board of Governors meetings.

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

You’ll need:

  • a good standard of written English
  • an interest in science and medicine.


The editorial team creates content for print and digital media - everything from magazines to animations and films. Big Picture is our publication aimed at post-16 biology students and their teachers. The length of this placement is 8-12 weeks.

You will be:

  • reviewing, updating and creating new content for the Big Picture website, as well as helping to disseminate it to websites like TES Resources.

You may also have the opportunity to get involved in researching and writing for other Wellcome digital publications.

You will need:

  • a high standard of written English
  • an interest in education
  • an A-level (or equivalent) in biology
  • experience of writing for a student publication or a blog
  • experience of publishing using a content management system (CMS).

Education and learning

The Education and Learning team works to improve science education across the UK by influencing policy, developing teacher expertise and building the research base. The length of this placement is 8-12 weeks.

You will be:

  • carrying out desk research to support the team’s work in education policy eg reviewing how science is referred to in Ofsted reports
  • supporting the team’s work on improving primary science eg exploring how science is taught in primary schools in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
  • assisting the team’s project managers with day-to-day activities and communications work.

You will need:

  • good interpersonal skills – you’ll be speaking with lots of people
  • good organisational skills – there are lots of things to keep on top of
  • an interest in UK education
  • an interest in developing your research skills.

Education and learning (informal science learning)

The Education and Learning team works to improve science education across the UK. We have a particular interest in helping young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to access, engage with and participate in science outside of school. The length of this placement is 12 weeks.

You will be:

  • helping the team to deliver an event in September, which will bring together professionals from the informal science learning and youth sectors.
  • acting as a point of contact for participants and collaborators in the run up to the event
  • supporting the delivery of key elements of the project, including attending the event.

You might also have the opportunity to get involved with a training programme for youth workers across the country.

You will need:

  • good interpersonal skills – you’ll be speaking to lots of people
  • good organisational skills – there are lots of things to keep on top of
  • an awareness of some of the challenges around engaging young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds
  • an interest in informal science experiences (eg science museums, science shows).

Engaging science (national programmes)

The Engaging Science department works in partnership with lots of different organisations and individuals to create new spaces and opportunities for the public to enjoy, understand, challenge and shape biomedical science.

The National Programmes team focuses on funding and working with museums, science centres, science communicators, schools, and community and patient groups. The length of this placement is 8 weeks.

You will be:

supporting the development of a themed season or priority area for the team, such as genomics, which will involve online research, writing reports, and social media analysis.

You will need:

  • an interest in public engagement
  • strong written and verbal communication skills.

Engaging science (researchers’ engagement)

The Engaging Science department works in partnership with lots of different organisations and individuals to create new spaces and opportunities for the public to enjoy, understand, challenge and shape biomedical science.

The Researchers’ Engagement team focuses on supporting researchers in their public engagement activities. The length of this placement is 12 weeks.

You will be:

  • helping our partners, both in the UK and in countries across Africa and Asia, to engage the public with their health research.

Your role might include:

  • analysing and reporting on our researchers’ public engagement activities
  • internal and external communications and marketing
  • reviewing and developing public engagement resources and tools for researchers.

You will need:

  • an interest in public engagement by researchers.


The Finance team works with both the investment and charitable-giving sides of Wellcome, supporting the delivery of over £800 million of grants a year throughout the UK and abroad.

The team covers commercial finance, financial accounting, investment accounting, financial planning and analysis, taxation, and work alongside internal audit. You’ll have the opportunity to work across some or all of the areas of finance and internal audit.

There are two placements available. The length of these placements is 8 weeks.

You will be

  • assisting with operational and grants payments
  • preparing internal and external financial reports
  • assisting with credit control and cashiering
  • internal audit testing
  • helping with the financial management of Trust-funded projects
  • providing support for procurement projects.

You’ll need to be:

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

Grants management

The Grants Management team oversees our grant application and award processes throughout the entire grant lifecycle - from advising potential funding applicants to post-award grant management. The length of this placement is 8-12 weeks.

You will be:

  • analysing and reporting on our grant funding activities
  • updating our costs repository database.

You’ll need:

  • to be familiar with and interested in working with data
  • strong attention to detail
  • a good knowledge of Excel
  • an aptitude for systems-related work.

Humanities and social science

The Humanities and Social Science team identifies, supports and funds visionary research in the humanities and social sciences that improve and inform experiences of health. The length of this placement is 12 weeks.

What you’ll do

You’ll gain a unique insight into the exciting research we fund, both in the UK and internationally.

Particular projects include:

  • helping to connect our community of researchers, who span diverse disciplines and career stages
  • scoping new research communities, particularly in Brazil and India.

You will need:

  • an interest in humanities and social science research and an understanding of why it plays an important role in improving health.

Information technology (systems development)

The IT department works with all areas of the organisation to provide a wide range of services – everything from service desk support to the project management and analysis of new systems. The length of this placement is 12 weeks.

What you’ll do

You’ll be helping to deliver our IT Development Agenda and improve the usability of our services, which might involve:

  • requirements gathering and analysis
  • project management
  • testing.

You will need:

  • an interest in information technology and how it supports the business.

This is not a software development role so no programming experience is required.


The Innovations team works with academics, companies and investors to turn research innovations into healthcare benefits. It supports projects in a wide range of areas, including vaccines, drug discovery, medical devices and regenerative medicine. The length of this placement is 8 weeks.

You will be:

  • learning about how the team chooses which projects to fund and how they support them, and be involved in the decision-making process
  • working on the Innovations Strategic Plan
  • helping to develop new funding programmes.

Your field of study will need to be related to the life sciences or chemistry.

Internal communications

The Internal Communications team provides information about what's going on across Wellcome, including events, campaigns, key projects and need-to-know news. It also ensures that people working at Wellcome are engaged with our strategic vision. The length of this placement is 12 weeks.

You will be:

  • researching and organising staff talks
  • managing and writing copy for our LinkedIn groups
  • interviewing staff for TrustFM (our internal audio-sharing platform).

You will need:

  • experience of organising and marketing events
  • strong written communication skills, ideally with experience of writing for blogs or social media
  • confidence in talking to people and building relationships.

Insight and analysis

The Insight and Analysis team uses research and evidence to provide a joined-up perspective of Wellcome’s achievements, potential and opportunities, and to help inform future strategic directions that will support our mission. The length of this placement is 12 weeks.

You will be:

  • carrying out research and analysis using a variety of sources and methods
  • contributing to the reporting and communication of results.

You will need:

  • A-levels (or equivalent) in maths or science
  • experience of using Microsoft Office, especially Excel
  • experience of carrying out internet-based research.


The Investments team manages our £18bn investment portfolio, which spans the globe from Silicon Valley to Shenzhen. From start-ups to goliaths, private equity to hedge funds and property to currencies, we look for opportunities to grow our portfolio to fund medical research now and in years to come.

Is Facebook really worth over $300 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. The length of this placement is 8 weeks.

You will be:

  • communicating ideas and information within the team
  • reviewing the current portfolio
  • analysing new investment opportunities
  • meeting existing and potential investment partners and companies.

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 enhance employee development and organisational performance – focusing on everything from leadership development and performance management to coaching and team building. The length of this placement is 8-12 weeks.

What you’ll do

You’ll work with the team to deliver our summer initiative, My Career, which looks at the range of opportunities on offer across the organisation, and at how employees can develop their careers.

You’ll be involved with all aspects of the project, including:

  • planning and running events
  • follow-up and evaluation
  • communicating with staff.

You’ll need to be considering a career in learning and development or HR.


The Legal team works in partnership with colleagues across Wellcome to manage legal risk, provide strategic, practical legal advice and implement cutting-edge projects and transactions. It has a range of expertise in charity, tax, commercial, corporate, intellectual property and technology law.

There are two placements available. The length of these placements is eight weeks.

What you’ll do

Your role might include:

  • legal research
  • reviewing and drafting documents
  • assisting with organisation-wide and Legal team projects
  • preparing templates and training sessions for our business partners.

The exact role will depend on your experience and interests as well as the team’s needs.

You will need:

  • to be studying for a law degree or committed to undertaking the Graduate Diploma in Law
  • strong written and verbal communication skills
  • good attention to detail.


The Policy team works with the government, policy makers and other research funders to create a sustainable environment for biomedical research, both in the UK and internationally. Current projects include data sharing, genome editing and research regulation. The length of this placement is 12 weeks.

What you’ll do

Your work might include:

  • preparing briefing notes and responses
  • engaging parliamentarians and other policy makers
  • conducting research.

You will need:

  • strong written and verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work independently
  • good analytical skills
  • an interest in science policy and parliamentary process.

Application process


You should:

  • be a current undergraduate partway through your studies (the scheme is not for people in their final year)
  • be available for the entire programme
  • have the right to work in the UK.

You’re not eligible if you’ve already completed a Wellcome internship.

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 to apply

If you meet the requirements for the internship you’re interested in, follow the link on our current vacancies page to apply.

You’ll need to send us your CV and a covering letter (1,000 words maximum). It should answer the following questions:

  • How do you meet the general eligibility and specific requirements (if applicable)?
  • Why have you chosen this internship, and why do you want to work at Wellcome?
  • What will you bring to your placement?
  • What relevant skills, experience or interests do you have?
  • How will the internship benefit your studies and future career?

The closing date for applications is Monday 29 February 2016.

Interviews will be held 11- 22 April 2016. Applicants must be available to attend interviews.

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we’ll only contact you if you’re selected for interview.

Interns’ 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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