Register for updates about our 2022 SME Internship Fund is now open. Please review the "How does it work?" tab below for further details. 

The SME Internship Fund offers funding to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) offering Imperial students paid project based internships.

The SME Internship Fund offers a grant towards an SME (a company with 250 employees or less) providing an internship opportunity to an Imperial student or graduate. The internship must be paid (Greater London Living Wage), six weeks minimum and take place between July and September. Our full eligibility criteria is listed below, and is subject to change as the programme is being reviewed. 

Alongside the funding, the Careers Service Placement and Internship Unit will provide full recruitment support including project scoping, advertising and initial candidate shortlisting.

This internship programme provides you with the opportunity to attract innovative talent and get a different perspective on your projects. Our students will in turn gain invaluable insights into a wide range of industries and the value of working within a smaller company.

If you would like more information, or to discuss this internship scheme further, please email

If you'd like to know more about employing international students from Imperial College, please see the AGCAS handout Recruiting International Graduates A Guide for Employers for all the key information.

SME Graduate Internship Fund Tabs

How does it work?

Register your Interest

If you would like to be kept informed about the SME Internship Fund, please register for updates by completing the Expression of Interest form.

Step one: Project Scoping

Funding is limited and priority will be given to organisations that have not availed of the Imperial SME Internship funding in previous years. Project proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis and funding allocated accordingly. Please submit your form as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Upon receipt of your online form, a member of the Careers Service Placement and Internship Unit will contact you to discuss your internship opportunity. Collaboratively we will support you to scope the project and outline the skills and experience required. Using this, the Placement and Internship Unit will prepare a job description which forms the basis of the student internship advertisement.

Step two: Advertising

Once the job description is confirmed, the opportunity will be advertised through our Careers Service online system JobsLive for a minimum of two weeks. The Placement and Internship Unit will monitor applications throughout this period and publicise the internship through various marketing channels. 

Step three: Shortlisting and Interviews

When advertising is completed The Placement and Internship Unit will shortlist the applications and provide you with the applications of the most suitable candidates based on the criteria outlined in the job description. Once you’ve reviewed the applications, you will be able to contact the candidates to arrange interviews at your convenience.

Once you have selected your intern please advise the Placement and Internship Unit of your decision and directly provide feedback to the unsuccessful interviewees.

Step four: Agreements and Invoicing

Once you have confirmed the agreement made with the student regarding a start date, hours/days of work and total salary, the Placement and Internship Unit will send a funding agreement to the SME host. Further details of the internship shall be agreed between the intern and the company and the internship shall be subject to a separate agreement provided by the company.  

The SME will pay the intern their salary directly and invoice the Imperial College London for the SME Internship Fund contribution.  


In order to be eligible, your organisation must be:

  • Registered and based in the UK
  • SME (250 employees or less)
  • Annual turnover of less than £50 million

In order to be eligible, the project must be:

  • A minimum of six weeks duration
  • Paid Greater London Living Wage
  • Offered to an Imperial student or graduate
  • Suitable for STEM disciplines

The eligibility criteria are subject to change as the SME Internship Fund terms are being reviewed. 

How do I apply?

If you think your organisation and opportunity meet the relevant eligibility criteria, please complete the Expression of Interest form.

If you would like more information, or to discuss this internship fund further, please email