The Science Media Centre has an active and popular internship programme for those looking to gain experience in science-media relations. The programme gives a flavour of working on the front line between science and the news media.
We pay the London Living Wage (currently £10.85/hour) and interns tend to be final-year undergrads, postgrad students or those looking for an early-stage career change. Our interns work full working weeks – typically 9AM to 5PM UK time Monday to Friday.
In order for the SMC and interns to make the most of these placements, our internships are competitively awarded and are four weeks in length. As such, they are not aimed at postgraduate students looking for three month placements.
Our interns get involved in all aspects of the SMC’s work. This includes assisting with press briefings, helping out at events run by the SMC, providing research and administration support for the team, and media monitoring. Please note, our internships do not offer experience of science writing or journalism.
For more detailed information about what the role entails, please see the role profile.
Applications for the next cohort of internships have opened. They will close at midday on Tuesday 2nd November 2021.
The available dates in this application period are:
- 4th January 2022 – 28th January 2022
- 31st January 2022 – 25th February 2022
- 28th February 2022 – 25th March 2022
- 28th March 2022 – 22nd April 2022
- 25th April 2022 – 20th May 2022
- 23rd May 2022 – 17th June 2022
- 20th June 2022 – 15th July 2022
Please note that, COVID-19 restrictions notwithstanding, the internship programme is currently taking place in-person in our office in central London. If restrictions are re-imposed, we do have the facility for our interns to work from home, but we hope that this will not be needed. Applicants for the currently advertised dates should consider this before applying.
Applicants should submit a CV and cover letter, attached in either DOC/DOCX or PDF format, to email@example.com, along with their availability for the above dates. Please bear in mind that the wider your availability, the greater the chance that we’ll be able to accommodate you. Applicants must have the right to work full time in the UK, even for in-person internships, as we unfortunately cannot sponsor visas.
We will aim to contact shortlisted candidates within a week to invite them for an interview. This will take place online or in-person, most likely in the week starting Monday 15th November 2021.
What previous participants have said…
“Working at the SMC gave me a crash course in media relations at arguably the best science press office in the country. I was able to see how effective communication skills can influence and improve the coverage of science in the news. I instantly felt like part of the SMC team, and helped to keep tabs on the controversial science being covered in national papers. This internship gave me a real boost in terms of finding my next job in sci comm, and I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested or worried about the way science is portrayed in the news media.”
“I loved every minute of my internship at the SMC. It’s a small team but I felt welcomed into the office and importantly felt like I had a role to play, even in just four weeks. The work itself was always stimulating, from meeting journalists and scientists at briefings – and seeing what each side got out of them, to researching that month’s hot topics in the press – comparing how the tricky and sometimes controversial science was being covered. There was a lot to learn and pick up simply from being in the busy press office but crucially, I felt I was able to ask questions and that support was invaluable. The internship helped shaped my understanding of the role science has in the media and vice versa; I fully recommend to anyone with a passion for science communication to intern at the SMC.”
“I really enjoyed sitting in on many press conferences while at the SMC. They helped me gain a better understanding of the relationship between science and the media. This has been really useful for my current job (making science podcasts) as I understand how best to contact scientists and accurately represent science.”
“I think the small team dynamic enables the volunteers to feel immersed very fast which is great, and the variety of work means it’s never dull.”
“It was a fantastic experience – it was really great being able to meet all the journalists, and keep in touch with what’s going on in the media and just the general atmosphere of the place was lovely.”
“I found the environment at the SMC very busy, passionate and intellectually challenging. Despite everyone being busy, I felt that everyone had time for me which I think is really important when you are interning. Also, I felt my input and work at the SMC was welcomed and I really felt part of the team.”
For a lengthier testimonial, see this blogpost from a former participant about ‘The SMC Experience’.
If you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment and are interested in applying for an intern placement, please get in touch to find out more.