The Summer Internship Programme - Employer Information

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 Summer 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 employers offering internships receive dedicated support from the Careers Service’s Internship Office.

Internships can take place remotely with the student based at home, or in-person at your premises. These arrangements are considered carefully according to the needs of the project, and the circumstances surrounding the placement.

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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 Summer Internship Programme
  • Full-time work for 2-12 weeks, generally undertaken during the summer vacation  Undergraduates (or postgraduates on a course that exceeds one year) should not do an internship exceeding 8 weeks in duration unless they are finishing (final-year) students
  • A defined project, which creates real value for the host organisation and a valuable learning experience for the student
  • Interaction with an assigned supervisor or mentor within the host organisation
  • A stipend, or some assistance with travel or accommodation. Internships in the UK must comply with National Minimum Wage legislation.

For further guidance on the elements of a successful internship, please see our Internship Best Practice webpage.

If you need inspiration when writing your internship project, please see our summer internship project example.

 

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 2020 we offered our students internships in 34 countries including  Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, India, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, USA and Zambia as well as within the EU and the UK. Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, not all of these internships went ahead in-person, however many of them were completed remotely instead.

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.

Process

1. All organisations should register on CareerConnect, our online vacancy system. For instructions on how to do this, and how to post an internship opportunity, UK based organisations should refer to our Guide to submitting a UK Internship. For those outside the UK, please see our CareerConnect Guide for International Recruiters.
2. If you are a new employer, the Internship Office Team will arrange a telephone or Skype call with you to discuss the internship and answer any questions you may have.
3. The internship advertisement will be released to students. You will be advised of the closing date and timeline.
4. Students will view the advertisement and upload their application documents. The Internship Office will respond to students’ queries on your behalf.
5. After the closing date, we will send you the applications for review. We ask you to shortlist, interview, select and reject candidates directly.
6. Advise the Internship Office of your chosen intern/s.

Timeline - Key Dates for 2021

International Internships

  • Deadline for internship proposals: 4 January 
  • Students can apply: between 18 January-15 February 
  • Applications sent to employer: By 19 February
  • Employer to shortlist, and inform students and Internship Office: By 5 March
  • Employers to interview students, select candidate(s); inform all applicants of outcome; inform Internship Office of selection: By 2 April

UK internships

  • Deadline for internship proposals: 8 February
  • Students can apply: between 16 February-15 March
  • Applications sent to employer: By 19 March
  • Employer to shortlist, and inform students and Internship Office: By 2 April
  • Employers to interview students, select candidate(s); inform all applicants of outcome; inform Internship Office of selection: By 30 April

Please note that if employers do not shortlist by the date provided without good reason, the applications will be withdrawn, and students will be advised to make applications to other internships.

Late-Advertised Internships (International and UK)

Placements submitted after the initial deadline will be advertised from April – May 2020.

Information for Oxford Colleges and Departments

If you are a department or college of the University of Oxford, it is your responsibility to consult the employment guidance for setting up internships within departments, as set out by the university.

For information on the difference between interns and volunteers, please see the agreed university guidance on volunteers.

The host organisation has the following responsibilities:

  • 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)
  • The internships should only be for Oxford students who apply through the programme. You may advertise similar internships elsewhere, but those entered into the programme should be set aside with the intention of taking students from Oxford.
  • Select intern(s) from the pool of applicants who apply through the programme within the timeline provided. If employers do not shortlist by the date provided without good reason, the applications will be withdrawn, and students will be advised to make applications to other internships. Telephone (or face-to-face) interviews should be conducted, and direct contact established with potential interns. Reasonable travel expenses must be provided for face-to-face interviews.
  • Provide the internship project as described (or an appropriate alternative project subject to prior discussion with the Internship Office 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), as agreed with the Internship Office prior to the start 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)
  • Where necessary, sponsor the student for a visa covering the duration of the placement
  • Provide feedback to the University of Oxford by evaluating the intern(s) at the end of the placement.
  • Make any necessary and reasonable adjustments to accommodate interns in the case of disability or additional needs, in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 and the University of Oxford Equality Policy.

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.

In the UK we expect private sector employers to abide by minimum wage legislation. The UK Government webpages have a useful guide to the minimum wage policy.

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!

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

If you are a UK-registered and UK-based organisation with 250 employees or less, and with a turnover of fifty million pounds or less, you may be able to offer an internship through the Summer Internship Programme which is fully, or part funded by Santander. See the next section for details.

Santander-funded or part-funded internships may be offered by organisations with 250 employees or less which have an annual turnover of fifty million pounds or less, also known as “SMEs”. They must be registered and based in the UK. Eligible organisations include companies, sole traders and, partnerships. The funding is not to be used for internships in charities.

Eligibility

  • The internship/s must be offered through the Oxford University Summer Internship Programme.
  • The internships are available only to students in their final year of study. This includes both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
  • The internships will be for a duration of between 4 and 8 weeks with the intern working on a full-time basis.
  • Participating SMEs can recruit a maximum of 2 interns through each cycle of the Programme
  • SMEs cannot apply for further Santander UK plc funding to either extend an intern contract or employ the same student or graduate after the internship is completed.
  • All SMEs whose internships are funded or part-funded through this scheme must register their details with Santander
  • The Summer Internship Programme can also offer a maximum of 3 fully funded internships for interns to work in start-ups based in the University incubator
  • Santander Universities disclaims all liability for breaches of employment laws and regulations by partner universities and SMEs. Each participating partner university and SME agree to operate the internship scheme in accordance with all employment laws and regulations and to indemnify Santander Universities in relation to all loss or damage it may suffer as a result of their failures to comply with such laws or regulations.

Funding and payment

For details of payment required as part of the SME programme, please see the Funding and payment section of the Santander SME Programme website.

Please also see the government webpage on employment rights and pay for interns.

 

 

The Internship Office manages the advertisement, identification, and recruitment professionally. In the context of a global pandemic, the office's flexibility allowed interns to adapt and required the UN Regional Office to deploy new communication channels, supervision and management so the intern was able to excel. The result was a win-win, exposing the intern to how a UN Regional Office must adapt to a global pandemic.

United Nations Regional Volunteers Office, Amman, Jordan

It was an excellent experience interacting with this year's interns, even remotely. I noted professionalism, full commitment as well timeliness in their assignments. I want to congratulate the interns for great achievements and cooperation in their assignments.

The Companionship of Works Organization (CoWA), Kenya

I didn't know what to expect from an online internship but am very pleased we decided to have one. It has worked very well for all parties and has, hopefully, paved the way for future in presence opportunities.

UWC Adriatic, Duino, Italy

We have been involved for a few years now and each year we have had a positive experience. The calibre of applicants is extremely high and they have been a real asset to our small team. 

2Degrees, Oxford, UK

Oxford interns are dedicated to their aim, which is to learn and achieve as much as they can during a short period of time. We had a great experience with the students. They are creative, supportive with problem solving thinking, and very proactive in their chosen field of interest.

CEEWeb for Biodiversity, Budapest, Hungary 

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