The Summer Internship Programme (Employer Info) | The Careers Service The Summer Internship Programme (Employer Info) – Oxford University Careers Service
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Update: April 2020 

In light of the constantly evolving coronavirus pandemic, and in order to safeguard both students and partner employers, the Internship Office will be adding new entrants to our programmes only where the work can be completed remotely.

The University of Oxford is a global institution, and our students and host partners are based all over the world. We have therefore left some existing internships open, should there be an opportunity to proceed. We will assess this on a case by case basis in communication with students and partners. We have reminded both hosts and students taking part in our programmes that it is their responsibility to check the official guidance that relates to their location.

Why offer a summer internship?

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 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.

Recommendations from partner employers
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“The interns we received were absolutely excellent. They came ready to work and ready to try out anything new. Their work attitudes were fantastic, they were prompt and professional, eager to learn and cheerful throughout the whole experience. We loved having them and they dramatically assisted and advanced our educational programs”. – Natalia Kolnik, Montana Science Center, Bozeman, Montana, USA

“Quick question from Cyprus…  What are we going to do without our Oxford interns?  Do you have an antidote?  We are simply addicted and cannot thank you and your office enough for the productive partnership this summer. I want to tell you what a difference these four students have made.  Caritas Cyprus would not have been able to provide uninterrupted support to the hundreds of migrants that visited us each day this summer without them… nor would we have been able to develop new programming or revamp our social media presence.  They have been a tremendous help and have left their mark. Thank you to them and thank you to the Oxford Internship Office”. – Elizabeth Kassinis, Caritas Cyprus

“It was great to have somebody who has different perspectives and fresh ideas. Even though our intern’s stay was short, it was impactful. He shared his experience with our community and helped to improve some processes of our start-ups. The Summer Internship Programme team was very helpful and supported us throughout the process. We highly recommend the program and would be happy to participate again”. – Aurelle Noutahi, EtriLabs, Benin

“Since 2015, Oxford’s Summer Internship Programme has been an excellent opportunity for our organisation to receive highly motivated students with good technical scientific background to collaborate in projects and activities. 100% of the interns that have already come to Brazil were very satisfied with the experience. On the other hand, we are also very satisfied with the students’ great contributions. We highly recommend to other potential employers to join this fruitful effort!” – Kleber Pinheiro Naccarato, the Center of Earth System Science (CCST) of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil

“We are grateful for this wonderful partnership opportunity with Oxford University through the Summer Internship Programme. All the past interns played an important role in successfully completing our projects to contribute to the community. 2019 is our 5th year to host the internship programme and we would love to remain as a host company”. – Kaoru Ishimatsu, Aso Corporation, Japan

Suitable internships
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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.

About our host organisations
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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 2019 we offered our students internships in over 40 countries including, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, China, Ghana, India, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, New Zealand, Peru, Russia,  Malaysia, Uganda, USA and Zambia 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 and when to offer an internship
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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

International Internships

  • Deadline for internship proposals: 6 January
  • Students can apply: between 20 January-17 February
  • Applications sent to employer: By 21 February
  • Employer to shortlist, and inform students and Internship Office: By 4 March
  • Employers to interview students, select candidate(s); inform all applicants of outcome; inform Internship Office of selection: By 27 March

UK internships

  • Deadline for internship proposals: 9 February
  • Students can apply: between 19 February-11 March
  • Applications sent to employer: By 20 March
  • Employer to shortlist, and inform students and Internship Office: By 1 April
  • Employers to interview students, select candidate(s); inform all applicants of outcome; inform Internship Office of selection: By 24 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.

Role and responsibilities of host organisations
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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.
Remuneration for interns
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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 funding for internships in UK SMEs
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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.

For full details please see Santander’s Terms and Conditions.

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.

This information was last updated on 14 May 2020.
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