Innovation Internships

What is the Innovation Internships scheme?

The Innovation Internship programme (formally Innovation Placements) has been designed to enable part or fully EPSRC-funded doctoral students to engage with real world projects. The projects allow students to demonstrate impact from their research, develop and utilise transferable skills and competencies to work effectively and collaboratively with companies to solve business and societal challenges.

Internship Project Areas

Internships are typically 1-3 consecutive months in duration and should be within the scope of the UK’s Industrial Strategy’s 4 Grand Challenges: i) AI and data; ii) clean growth; iii) the future of mobility and iv) ageing society and the core industrial challenges aligned to these.

Challenge Areas

 For example, the range of activities relevant to the Industrial Strategy could consist of:

- Entrepreneurial training internships
- Industry internships
- Policy organisation internships
- Small projects with SMEs
- Summer schools and conference internships relevant to the Industrial Strategy challenges
- Other internships to support and increase the impact arising from doctoral research



About the scheme - What you need to know

Do I have to be EPSRC-funded to be eligible for the scheme?

Due to the nature of the funding of the scheme you must be EPSRC-funded. If you are unsure, please check with your departmental administrators or student funding. 

Does the internship have to be aligned exactly to my research?

If you are taking the internship as 'External Study Leave' it should be related to your research and/or be able to demonstrate transferable skills in order to be approved by your supervisor. 

Can I undertake an internship abroad?

This scheme can only support internships that take place within the UK. If a trip overseas is required as part of the internship then please speak to the Innovation Internship team to discuss further. 

Are the internships paid?

The internship is signed off as External Study Leave, which means you will still continue to receive your usual funding. Therefore, you cannot be in paid employment for the purposes of undertaking an internship. 

If you are looking for paid internships, you will have to interrupt your studies which means your funding stops for the time you are on the internship. However this option falls outside of the Innovation Internship scheme. This is because you will not be classed as a current student and therefore we would be unable to provide remuneration in the form of expenses incurred whilst you are on an internship or pay an industry grant to the internship provider. 

We would encourage you to consider unpaid internships particularly in instances where your internship has been signed off as external study leave. The internship will give you valuable experience, may be time flexible and your grant money may equal or exceed a salary. Case studies of past Innovation Internships are available to view here

The scheme will reimburse all reasonable travel and subsistence expenses associated with the internship. Any expenses incurred beyond travel and subsistence must be checked with the Innovation Internships team .

How long is an Innovation Internship?

The internships can range from 1-3 months in duration. Internships can last beyond this time but will not be funded by the scheme. The time spent on the project will vary from company to company and may be on a full or part-time basis. We recommend that you discuss project hours with the company as early in the process as possible. 

The internship period runs from 1 September 2019 - 31 July 2020 and all internships must be completed by this date.

Who needs to sign off my internship and how do I go about doing this?

The Innovation Internship team will send both you and your supervisor a Department sign-off form when you complete the Notification of Internship form to indicate that you secured an internship. Your supervisor will need to sign off the internship and/or escalating to other department members, if required. 

Once the internship has been signed off by the supervisor, a Risk Assessment and a three-way Innovation Internship Agreement will also need to be completed and signed off before the internship commences. Please see the 'Student Process' via the 'Current Opportunities' webpage. 

How can I view the opportunities available?

Internship opportunities can be viewed via Imperial webpages.* You can also propose your own project to a company or find your own company for an Innovation Internship. 

If currently there are no opportunities suited to you, but you are still interested in the scheme, please register your interest here.

*Please note we are no longer using Blackboard.

Can I propose my own internship?

If you would like to propose an internship you have sourced yourself, please do so by completing the Internship Proposal form.

Alternatively if you would like to propose a project to one of our current internship providers then please do so by completing the following form. 

You can view the processes for all application routes into the scheme via the 'Current Opportunities' page. 

I am a company and am interested in hosting a student, where can I find more information?

Please head to our Company webpages to find out how you can get involved.