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 working remotely, or in-person at the host employer's premises. These arrangements are considered carefully according to the circumstances surrounding each placement.

Contact: summer-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk

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Although every internship offers a unique experience, it is expected that they will involve 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 2022 we offered our students internships in 36 countries including  Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, India, Japan, Thailand, and Sierra Leone as well as within the EU and the UK. 

Opportunities come from many different fields and sectors including: Arts and Heritage, Academia, Education, Charities and Think Tanks, Sustainability and the Environment, Scientific Research, Government and Public Services, Law, Finance, Consultancy, Publishing, Marketing and Communications, Tech, IT, Machine Learning, and more.

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 Guide for International Recruiters.
2. If you are a new employer, the Internship Office Team will arrange a 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 2023

ROUND 1 (INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIPS ONLY)

2023

Deadline for employers to submit internship proposals

6 January

Placements advertised to students

16 January

Student application deadline (3 applications MAX)

13 February

Applications sent to employers

15 February

Employers to shortlist and inform students and Internship Office

By 1 March*

Employers to interview students, select candidate(s); inform all applicants of outcome; inform Internship Office of selection

By 22 March

Internships start

19 June onwards (Trinity term ends 17 June 2023)

 

ROUND 2 (UK INTERNSHIPS ONLY)

2023

Deadline for employers to submit internship proposals

4 February

Placements advertised to students

14 February

Student application deadline (2 applications MAX)

13 March

Applications sent to employers

15 March

Employers to short list and inform students and Internship Office

By 29 March*

Employers to interview students, select candidate(s); inform all applicants of outcome; inform Internship Office of selection

By 19 April

Internships start

19 June onwards (Trinity Term ends 17 June 2023)

*If employers do not shortlist by the date provided without good reason, students will be advised to make applications to other internships.

 

INTERNSHIPS ROUND

ADVERTISING START DATE

STUDENT APPLICATION DEADLINE

Round 3 (late UK & Int’l internships)

14 March

10 April

Round 4 (late UK & Int’l internships)

11 April

1 May

Round 5 (late UK & Int’l internships)

2 May

22 May

 

LATE-ADVERTISED INTERNSHIPS (INTERNATIONAL AND UK)

Applications sent to internship employer within one week of application deadline

Employers will be asked to shortlist candidates within two weeks

Employers will be asked to select candidate/s within three weeks

Internships can start from 19 June 2023 onwards

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, online or in-person 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(s) before their arrival, supervise the intern(s), and act as the primary contact for communications with the University of Oxford. Should the summer intern complete the placement remotely from home, please assure a similar level of supervision is provided (i.e. regular telephone catch-up, etc).
  • 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) including liability arising from accident and/or injury to the intern and third parties.
  • 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 case of disability or additional needs, in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 and the University of Oxford Equality Policy.
  • Have in place effective procedures and arrangements to ensure that the internship takes place in a safe environment, including appropriate procedures for interns to raise concerns and complaints, including in relation to bullying and harassment.
  • (For UK and European internships) ensure equal and equitable access and opportunities to interns from all backgrounds, including when selecting interns, and ensure that interns are not disadvantaged for reasons including one or more of the following factors: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation and socio-economic disadvantage.
  • (For international internships) ensure equal and equitable access and opportunities to interns from all backgrounds, including when selecting interns, and ensure that interns are not disadvantaged for reasons related to their personal characteristics.
  • Please note that the Summer Internship Programme is open to all matriculated students, including those who have suspended their studies for the time being. More information can be found on students who have suspended their studies here.

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 wage legislation, and we recommend that internship providers cover UK national living wage for interns. The UK Government webpages have a useful guide to an intern's legal status when it comes to pay.

As the University of Oxford is a Living Wage Employer, colleges and departments offering internships must pay living wage or above.

Please note that all remote-working internships must be paid at the rate of national living wage, as we expect that many interns working remotely will be based in the UK.

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 accommodation, meals, transport costs, or a bicycle to get to work!

 

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

Working with Oxford students is always a privilege. It always amaze us how well prepared students we welcome every year at CEEweb. Oxford students are always up to date, enthusiastic, polite, determined and great people with excellent manners, brilliant professional background and skills. The Internship Office provided excellent support throughout the application and selection procedure. It was a great opportunity for us to welcome excellent students and they are truly grateful for the knowledge on return.

CEEWeb for Biodiversity, Budapest, Hungary 

We have been participating in the Summer Internship Programme for several years and are always happy to welcome motivated interns who support our projects.

TNG Technology Consulting, Munich, Germany

Overall, our experience has been great. The interaction with the Careers Service has been outstanding and I could not be more happy there - I much appreciate their organisation, responsiveness and the helpful guidance offered at all stages of the process. Thank you.

Partners Group, London

As always, the calibre of candidates was high, and it was challenging to narrow down who would be the best fit for us. But we were very happy with the performance of our interns, and how enthusiastically they threw themselves into their roles. What's been really lovely is how much self-starting and initiative our interns have shown. The process has been very smooth for us, as an employer, and the service has been very helpful in providing guidance and resources.

Cocoa Runners, London

Innovation Gateway have taken part in the Summer Internship Programme for many years, and each year is just as special as the last. We have worked with many students over the years and they are all passionate, enthusiastic members of the team who is it hard to say goodbye to at the end of their time with us! The value the interns bring to our company is almost impossible to quantify and we are looking forward to next year already.

Innovation Gateway, Oxford

We have taken students for the summer internship for a number of years now. Every student we have had has been of exceptional quality and contributed greatly to the work of the department. I have found the Internship Office to be very helpful and supportive in the recruitment process. Thank you.

Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford

As ever, the programme has been extremely well managed. We have felt well supported, and the efficiency of the team is to be commended! You do an incredible job, and we are enormously grateful for all your help.

 Ashmolean Museum, Western Art Print Room, Oxford

It's been a pleasure to work with our intern, they've been enthusiastic and engaged throughout the placement. We received fantastic support from the Internship Office in arranging the opportunity and we will certainly be participating again in the future.

Global Centre on Healthcare and Urbanisation, Oxford

 

Can I offer unpaid internships through the Summer Internship Programme?

No. We do not offer unpaid internships, be it in-person or remote.

For-profit organisations in the UK are expected to pay their interns UK National Living wage or above. International for-profit partner organisations should provide remuneration similar to equivalent entry-level roles within their industry and country.

Not-for-profit organisations are expected to provide something towards the costs of the internships, such as free accommodation, meals and/or transport. The Internship Office can sometimes support not-for-profit organisations with scholarship funding to strengthen placement offers. However, funds are limited and are allocated on a first-come first-served basis at the discretion of the Internship Office. Please discuss funding opportunities directly with the Summer Internship Office team at summer-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk.

I am unsure if my intended project is suitable for the Summer Internship Programme. What should I do?  

For 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 also see our summer internship project example. If you have questions about an internship project idea, please email us at summer-internships@careers.ox.ac.uk and a member of the Internship Office will be more than happy to discuss the idea with you.

Can I submit more than one internship proposal?

Yes. Organisations are welcome to submit more than one summer internship project, providing that adequate projects and supervision are arranged.

How many summer interns can I host?

In line with our Internship Best Practice, we ask that one supervisor oversees the work of a maximum of three students. If you need advice, the Internship Office can make recommendations based on your project, and for new hosts, we advise starting with a lower number to assess capacity. Employers can specify the number of places offered on the summer internship advert, but this number can remain flexible and dependent on the applications received.

I am an existing employer and already have an Oxford student in mind. Can I take part in the Summer Internship Programme? 

No. If you already have an intern in mind, it would not be fair on other applicants. Internship opportunities advertised through the programme must be wide open to all Oxford students. In this case, we would suggest you offer a placement directly to the student without going through the programme.

Can I offer internships of 4-6 months duration through the programme?

No. Internships offered as part of the Summer Internship Programme can be of a maximum duration of 12 weeks. Therefore, if you would like to offer internships longer than 3 months, your opportunity might be better suited as a ‘general opportunity’ rather than specifically within our programme. Instructions on how to post a general vacancy can be found on the following dedicated page: www.careers.ox.ac.uk/advertise-your-vacancies. For further support, please contact our Employer Engagement team at recruiters@careers.ox.ac.uk.

We are a third-party organisation who would like to offer your internships to some specific companies. Can we take part in the programme?

No. The role of the Internship Office is to create working relationships with the organisations who directly host interns, so that we can communicate effectively and easily solve any potential issues. For this reason, we are not working with third-party organisations.

Are there any contract or paperwork to be signed to participate in the Summer Internship Programme?

No. There is no paperwork to sign although to participate in the programme you have to agree to the Roles and Responsibilities  when you submit the internship details. See: https://www.careers.ox.ac.uk/the-internship-programme-employer-info for details. If you wish to put in place a contract between your organisation and the students which sets out the expectations of both parties during the internship, you are more than welcome to produce your own version of this according to your organisation's policies.

Can I offer internships to students from other Universities as well?

It depends. As part of the Summer Internship Programme, your internship will be advertised exclusively to Oxford students through the programme, meaning that the same project should not be advertised elsewhere. For example, you cannot advertise a place through the Summer Internship Programme and then offer that place to another intern outside the programme. You are welcome to advertise similar internships through alternative channels, but those entered into the programme should be set aside with the intention of taking Oxford students only.

What is the equivalent of Health and Safety induction for remote internships?

The University’s health and safety regulations require that employers must confirm that they will give interns an induction for health and safety procedures at the place of work, in line with your usual induction processes for new staff. The equivalent of a health and safety briefing for remote internships is to check your intern has everything they need, equipment, a suitable workstation and space to work. 

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