The Internship Programme – Information for Sponsors

The Internship Programme was established in 2008 to offer Oxford University students access to high quality global summer internships. Due to its popularity with both students and recruiters (sponsors) it has rapidly expanded to include hundreds of placements both overseas and in the UK. Each year it facilitates contact between thousands of Oxford undergraduates and postgraduates and a wide variety of companies and organisations.

If you are a student interested in applying for an internship please visit The Internship Programme page

Why participate in the programme

“The programme is great, superb in fact.”  Julien Hofer – Datascope, London

Hiring a full-time summer intern can be of value to any type of organisation. You gain an additional member of staff at a relatively low cost who can be assigned to a specific project. In return the intern is exposed to new skills and work in a specific industry sector. Our students are bright, inquisitive, analytical, talented, hard working, energetic and ambitious and can provide you and your organisation with creative input and quality results.Participating in The Internship Programme is also a great way to promote your organisation among our students and to develop a direct link with Oxford University. Internships advertised through the Programme receive a huge amount of attention from both undergraduates and postgraduates and all aspects of the promotion of the opportunities and the application process is managed by The Internship office.

What makes a suitable internship for this programme?

Although every internship offers a unique experience, it is expected that they will comprise the following common elements:

  • An internship for one or more students which will be exclusively offered to Oxford students and only advertised through the Oxford University Internship Programme;
  • Full-time work for 4-12 weeks, generally undertaken during the summer vacation.  Undergraduates should not do an internship exceeding 8 weeks in duration unless they are finishing students.
  • A defined project, which creates real value for the sponsoring organisation and a valuable learning experience for the student
  • Interaction with an assigned supervisor or mentor within the sponsoring organisation
  • A stipend, or some assistance with travel or accommodation.  Internships in the UK must comply with the National Minimum Wage Act.

Click here to see examples of internship vacancies that have been successfully advertised by our existing sponsors.

Who sponsors our internships?

Many of our internships are offered by alumni or current recruiters who find it rewarding to maintain a relationship with the University. We have also welcomed large multinationals and world-leading organisations and charities to the programme, due to the recruitment opportunities it facilitates, as well as smaller organisations at home and abroad who are keen to experience the kind of dynamic cultural, academic, and professional exchange that a student intern can provide.

Whatever your organisation’s area of work, if you can offer a specific project that will give a student an insight into your company doing real work that is of benefit to the organisation, we would love to hear from you.

We are looking for internship placements in small, medium and large organisations and from as many diverse areas, and regions, as possible. In 2014 we were able to offer our students internships in 39 countries including, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Jordan, Malawi, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, and USA as well as within the EU and the UK.

Opportunities come from many different fields and sectors including: Education, International Development, Not-for-Profit, Social Care, Government and Agencies, Natural Resources and the Environment, Law, Finance, Luxury Travel, Retail, Museums and Galleries, Publishing, Research, Marketing, and Film and Digital Media.

How much should interns be paid?

Feedback from partners suggests that hiring an intern from the University of Oxford significantly benefits our internship providers. Oxford interns are enthusiastic, highly motivated, and work hard to contribute to projects within their host organisations.

The Internship Office is committed to providing a broad range of global internship opportunities in different industries and sectors. We also expect interns to be paid for their work; and for the costs of an internship to be met.

In the UK we expect internship sponsors to abide by minimum wage legislation. There is a useful guide to the minimum wage policy on the Government’s webpages.

From an international point of view, whilst legislative expectations differ between countries, partner organisations should provide remuneration similar to equivalent entry level roles within the industry.

Private sector
We encourage all partner organisations to pay the going rate for their particular sector and country. While not everyone will be able to pay above a minimum wage level, the more generous the remuneration the more interest it will generate amongst the brightest and best.

For example, high income hedge funds/finance sector organisations and established private sector businesses often offer competitive weekly stipends or packages including accommodation, flights etc. in order to attract high calibre candidates.

Not for profit organisations
We also work with public bodies and charities with minimal budget to reimburse interns. The Internship Office has access to scholarship funds to strengthen placement offers, which means students are effectively paid for their work, and their costs are covered. Funds are allocated on a first-come first-served basis at the discretion of the Internship Office. In all cases we ask non-profit organisations for a contribution towards placements, such as transport costs, accommodation, meal donations or a bicycle to get to work!

How to get involved

The Internship Office accepts offers of internship placements from October each year. If you would like us to contact you about the programme this October, or would like more information, please email us at internships@careers.ox.ac.uk.

The Internship Office manages the student application process for the Programme.

We will advertise your internship to our students and collect their documents.  After the internship application deadline has passed we will present you with the details of the applicants for your internship position.  You can then select an intern, conducting interviews of short-listed applicants if required, from among the candidates.

For additional information or queries, please email Fiona Whitehouse who manages the programme.

Internship Programme Timeline

The dates on this timeline are illustrative and relate to the advertisement and application process for The Internship Programme’s placements. The internships are separated into three batches: International; UK; Late-Advertised internships (International and UK).  We continue to advertise later received proposals until June; however, please bear in mind that internships advertised in the first two batches receive the maximum publicity, and greatest number of applicants.

INTERNATIONAL PLACEMENTS – BATCH 1 2015
Deadline for internship proposals* 9 January
Placements advertised to students 18 January – 22 February
Student applications deadline Midnight 22 February
Applications sent to internship sponsors By 8 March
Sponsors provide Internship Office with shortlist of candidates By 15 March
Interview Students and select candidate(s) By 1 April
Internship start End of June onwards (Trinity Term ends 20 June)

* Internship proposals received after this date will be advertised from 16 March in the Late-Advertised internships batch.

UK PLACEMENTS – BATCH 2 2015
Deadline for internship proposals* 13 February
Placements advertised to students 23 February – 15 March
Student applications due Midnight 15 March
Applications sent to internship sponsors By 29 March
Sponsors provide Internship Office with shortlist of candidates By 12 April
Sponsors interview Students and select candidate(s) By 26 April
Internship start End of June onwards (Trinity Term ends 20 June)

* Internship proposals received after this date will be advertised from 16 March in the Late-Advertised internships batch.

LATE-ADVERTISED INTERNSHIPS (INT’L AND UK) – BATCH 3
Late placements can be advertised from 16 March 2015
We will accept late internship proposals up to and including 25 May 2015
Placements are advertised to students for a two week period after the placement goes live
Applications sent to internship sponsors within one week of application deadline
Sponsors will be asked to select a candidate within three weeks
Internships can start from the end of June onwards (Trinity Term ends 20 June 2015)

Recommendations from Sponsors

“For the past five years we’ve sponsored interns from Oxford. They’ve all been absolutely fantastic: hard working, agreeable, and fun to have around. You’ll be surprised the insight you’ll gain seeing your business through the fresh eyes of a young Oxford student.”
Morgan Murphy  Murphy Media Inc, Alabama USA
“Well presented and with clear supporting documentation, which made it easier to choose students that fitted well into the small community that comprises our university.  Excellent caliber of students, which of course is only to be expected from Oxford. ” 
Harry Wilson – Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology – Okinawa, Japan
“All 3 interns were ‘thrown in at the deep end’ with challenging projects such as judgment-drafting and complex legal research in an area of law that none of them had studied. They all took to it very well and produced high quality work which greatly assisted us. ” 
Katya Melluish – United Nations Dispute Tribunal Nairobi, – Nairobi, Kenya
“Such a good idea for us and the students.  We are happy to say that most of the students who came in years past have found jobs in publishing.” 
Michael Katz – Tradewind Books – Washington USA
“Oxford’s Internship program is a very powerful one to provide opportunities for both the students and international non-profits to get in touch with each other, understand and provide solutions to many rising issues around the globe. It is a great initiative and I hope that this will add much more value to every student’s career who opts for it.” 
Selva Ganapathy – AIDIndia – Tamilnadu, India 
“The group of people you sent to our Tsinghua English Summer Camp is marvellous. Their devotion, intelligence and hard work left great impression upon our students and faculty members. We greatly enjoy their time with us. We hope they feel the same.” 
Dr. Professor Lu Zhongshe – Tsinghua University – Beijing, China

The role and responsibilities of the sponsoring organisation

We ask sponsoring organisations to:

  • Fill in a sponsor internship form providing details of the project(s) offered, and including an overview of the skills required by the ideal candidate
  • Provide an accurate and reasonably detailed description of the internship project(s) offered and the duties associated with it (them), including an overview of the skills required by the ideal candidate(s)
  • Select intern(s) from the pool of applicants forwarded by the University. Telephone (or face-to-face) interviews should be conducted, and direct contact established with potential interns
  • Provide the internship project as described (or an appropriate alternative project subject to prior discussion with the University and the student(s))
  • Provide intern(s) with an appropriate work-space and equipment necessary to carry out the internship project work
  • Designate a point of contact within the organisation, who will discuss practical arrangements with the intern before their arrival, supervise the intern(s), and act as the primary contact for communications with the University of Oxford
  • Provide the intern(s) with a stipend and/or other assistance (for example, accommodation)
  • Where necessary, sponsor the student(s) for a visa covering the duration of the internship
  • Comply with local health and safety obligations in relation to the internship(s)
  • Provide assurance that your organisation’s insurance will cover potential liability that may arise from the internship(s)
  • Provide feedback to the University of Oxford by evaluating the intern(s) at the end of the placement.

Information for University of Oxford departments and colleges providing internships

Please see the guidance for setting up internships within university departments.