AMS-Wellcome Internship Scheme

The Academy of Medical Sciences London United Kingdom Medical Science Policy

Company Description

The Academy of Medical Sciences and Wellcome Trust are pleased to open applications to our policy internship scheme. Under the scheme, Wellcome Trust four-year PhD students will have the opportunity to undertake a three-month policy internship at the Academy offices in central London. 

The scheme is designed to give students first-hand experience of an influential medical science policy environment, to gain insights into how research can impact on policy, and to build valuable networks with the UK’s most eminent medical scientists and senior science and health stakeholders.

The details of the Academy scheme are set out below. In brief, interns will be supported by a three-month extension to their PhD maintenance stipend. All eligible candidates will be assessed through a competitive application process. 

COVID-19 notice
The Academy is carefully monitoring the developing situation and advice about the current global outbreak of COVID-19. The health, safety and appropriate support of candidates and interns is our first priority. The Academy is developing its flexible working practices and is currently working wholly remotely. We anticipate that interviews for this opportunity will be conducted remotely by video call. Successful candidates will be kept closely informed on any potential impacts on their internship period, and how these can be mitigated or managed.

Previous interns said the following about the scheme:
“The internship at the Academy was one of the best experiences linked to my PhD. This is such a unique opportunity, I would encourage all PhD students to apply for these limited positions.”

“I see the internship as a vital part of my education as a PhD student... It provides a unique insight into how medical science policy is formed; a chance to talk to influential people about policy issues... and it increases the understanding of policy within academia.”

“I’ve gained everything I had hoped to from the scheme... Very few PhD students get such a rich introduction to the policy atmosphere, and I really think my experience here will be of use to me in the future, whether I’m working in academia, science journalism or directly in a policy-oriented role.”

“I got to take responsibility for projects and develop my own skills, and was treated like a true member of the team.”

“All the supervision was brilliant, from all the staff that I worked with. I always felt very supported.”

“It’s a good way to network and meet people.”

“The Academy staff gave excellent careers advice and the opportunity to attend many ‘extracurricular’ science events. These aspects really helped me to decide to remain in the science sector after I finish the internship.” 

About the Academy of Medical Sciences
The Academy of Medical Sciences ( is the independent body in the UK representing the diversity of medical science. Our mission is to promote medical science and its translation into benefits for society. The Academy’s elected Fellows are the UK’s leading medical scientists from hospitals, academia, industry and public service. We work with them to: promote excellence in these disciplines; influence policy to improve health and wealth; nurture the next generation of medical researchers; link academia, industry and the NHS; seize international opportunities; and encourage dialogue about the medical sciences. 



The scheme is open to Wellcome Trust four-year PhD Programme students who will be in the third or fourth year of their studentship when their internship takes place. The scheme can also be undertaken in the three-month period immediately following the end of a student’s fourth year.
•    The scheme is presently not open to clinicians, veterinarians, social scientists, or to PhD students working at the Sanger Centre.
•    The scheme is currently not open to locally-funded students studying on Wellcome PhD programmes, however we are actively reviewing this position. We encourage students who are funded in this way, and who will be in their third or fourth year in spring 2021, to check for changes to this eligibility requirement at the next round of recruitment.
•    Applications must be endorsed by the candidate’s primary PhD project supervisor and the Programme sponsor. Candidates must ensure that they leave enough time to secure this endorsement before they submit their application.
•    Applicants must have the right to work full time (35 hours per week) in the UK.

Placements on the scheme are allocated on a competitive basis so withdrawal from the scheme once a place is accepted is likely to result in another potential intern being denied the opportunity to participate. 


Activity of interns

The Academy’s policy work addresses issues of medical science, healthcare and biomedical careers. Areas of policy work originate from within the Academy’s Council (the governing body made up of members elected from the Fellowship) and ideas coming from the wider Fellowship, as well as responses to issues raised by Government, Parliament and other relevant bodies, such as stakeholders in industry, medical research charities, the medical Royal Colleges and regulators. This work can take many forms: major reports, shorter position papers, seminars and workshops, correspondence, representation on Government and external panels, evidence to Parliamentary committees, private meetings and ‘roundtable’ discussions with key decision makers. Our major policy studies have tackled the challenges of team science, research reproducibility, the health of the public in 2040, and how we can best use evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines. Our ongoing projects are considering topics such as multimorbidity as a global health challenge, and the use of patient data in healthcare and research. Information on all our projects can be found on our website.

During the three-month internship, students will be involved in a wide variety of activities that will give them experience of many aspects of medical science policy. This will include one or more discrete projects led by the intern as well as other activities that might include:

  • Writing, editing, proofreading and referencing policy papers, e.g. responses to public consultations, papers and summaries for working groups, Council or Officers meetings.
  • Desk-based research and scoping, e.g. preparing project proposals or undertaking literature reviews.
  • Evidence gathering and preparation, e.g. preparation of contacts lists, drafting calls for evidence, collating and summarising evidence.
  • Events organisation, e.g. arranging venues, preparing conference materials, helping to co-ordinate activities on the day.
  • Attending internal and external events, e.g. Parliamentary Committees, working group meetings, PolicyNet and other lectures.
  • Opportunities to spend time with the Wellcome Trust Policy Team and with another organisation involved in medical science policy.

Structure of the scheme
The three-month internships will be full-time positions based at the Academy’s offices at 41 Portland Place, London. To facilitate this time away from research, students will be supported by a three-month extension to their Wellcome Trust PhD stipend while they are based at the Academy. Further financial support to cover travel or subsistence costs will be decided on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of £2000 per intern and subject to agreement by the Academy and Wellcome Trust. In certain circumstances, we will consider exceeding this limit if candidates can provide documentary evidence of the costs incurred above £2000. 

Each intern will be allocated a supervisor from among the Academy staff who will:
•    Provide line management and guidance.
•    Conduct entry and exit interviews.
•    Co-ordinate reviews of the documents produced by the intern.
•    Carry out relevant administration in accordance with the Academy’s Human Resources policies. 

Internships will be offered in three-month time blocks from October 2020 to September 2021. Candidates are invited to indicate their preferred time to undertake the placement, although we cannot guarantee the timing of placements.

Application procedure 
Candidates are asked to supply – all in pdf format:
•    A completed application form, including an endorsement and a supporting statement from their supervisor, and an endorsement by the Programme sponsor (the PhD Programme Director). You can download this from the link below. 
•    A short covering letter briefly describing their reasons for application.
•    A CV.
•    A short article, of no more than 800 words in length, on a medical science policy topic. Candidates may choose a topic related to their PhD, one of the suggested topics below. Alternatively, candidates can choose any topic that they think would be of interest to the Academy of Medical Sciences. 

Translating research into healthcare       Scientific education and training 
Medical research and economic growth       Use of animals in medical research
Research regulation                                Communicating risk in research 

The article should highlight the main policy issues of the chosen topic and the implications for the key stakeholders who are required to make decisions in the area, which may include government, industry and/or funding organisations. The article should demonstrate candidate’s ability to write in a style suitable for a policy (rather than academic) audience.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview with a selection panel of Academy and Wellcome Trust staff. 

Applications must be received by 5pm on Sunday 26 July 2020.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview on 12 or 14 August 2020.

Queries about the internship and application should be directed to Dr Sarah Ritchie, Senior Policy Manager at the Academy of Medical Sciences:, or 020 3141 3242.  

If you are experiencing technical issues please contact Maksi Vicheva at

Other information

For more information, please download our Frequently Asked Questions Document from our webpage about internships, here.



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MAY 2020



We are The Academy of Medical Sciences (Registered Charity No. 1185329 Incorporated by Royal Charter. Registration No. RC000905, Register Office: 41 Portland Place).

We are committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information. We want you to be confident that your information will be properly protected whilst in our possession.

This privacy notice describes how we, and carefully selected parties we work with, will collect and use personal information about you.

We are a data “controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. We are required under data protection legislation to notify you of the information contained in this privacy notice.


You are being sent a copy of this privacy notice because you are applying for work with us as an intern. It makes you aware of how and why your personal data will be used, namely for the purposes of the recruitment exercise, and how long it will usually be retained for. It provides you with certain information that must be provided under the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR).

If you have any questions about our use of your personal information, or you wish to exercise one of your rights under data protection legislation, please contact us. A summary of your rights is detailed in this notice. 


In connection with your application for work with us, we will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:

•     The information you have provided to us in your curriculum vitae and application form.

•     The information you have provided on our application form, including name, title, address, telephone number, email address, date of birth, gender and qualifications.

•     Any information you provide to us during an interview.

We may also collect, store and use the following “special categories” of more sensitive personal information:

•     Information about your race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and political opinions.

•     Information you may choose to disclose about your health, including any medical condition.


We collect personal information about candidates from the following sources:

•     You, the candidate.

•     Your PhD supervisor and programme director, from whom we collect the following categories of data: confirmation of academic stage, funding arrangements and availability for the internship.

•     Your PhD funding organisation, with whom we may confirm the details above.


We will use the personal information we collect about you to:

•     Assess your skills, qualifications, and suitability for the role.

•     Carry out background and reference checks, where applicable.

•     Communicate with you about the recruitment process.

•     Keep records related to our recruitment processes.

•     Comply with legal or regulatory requirements.

It is in our legitimate interests to decide whether to appoint you to a role since it would be beneficial to our business to appoint someone to that role. We also need to process your personal information to decide whether to enter into an internship agreement with you.


Having received your CV and your application form, we will then process that information to decide whether you meet the basic requirements to be shortlisted for the role. If you do, we will decide whether your application is strong enough to invite you for an interview. If we decide to call you for an interview, we will use the information you provide to us at the interview to decide whether to offer you the role.

If we decide to offer you the role, we will carry out a right to work check before confirming your internship.


If you fail to provide personal information

If you fail to provide information when requested, which is necessary for us to consider your application (such as details of your academic stage and funding arrangement), we will not be able to process your application successfully. For example, if you fail to provide us with evidence that your PhD supervisor and programme director support your application, we will not be able to take your application further.

Also, any offer made to you may be conditional upon you providing evidence of your identity and your right of work in the UK. This is a legal requirement. If you fail to provide this information we may not be able to offer you an internship.


We will use your particularly sensitive personal information in the following ways:

•     We will use information about your disability status to consider whether we need to provide appropriate adjustments during the recruitment process, for example whether adjustments need to be made during an interview. We have a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments in certain circumstances.

•     We may ask you for information regarding your health to establish whether you will be able to carry out a function that is intrinsic to the work concerned, pursuant to the Equality Act 2010.

•     We will use information about your race or national or ethnic origin, religious, philosophical or moral beliefs, or your sexual orientation, to ensure meaningful equal opportunity monitoring and reporting.


We do not envisage that we will process information about criminal convictions.


We do not envisage that any decisions will be taken about you using automated means, however we will notify you in writing if this position changes.



Why might you share my personal information with third parties?

All our third-party service providers and other entities in the group are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal information in line with our policies. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.



We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need-to-know. They will only process your personal information on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.


We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.




How long will you use my information for?

We will retain your personal information for a period of six months after we have communicated to you our decision about whether to appoint you to a role. We retain your personal information for that period so that we can show, in the event of a legal claim, that we have not discriminated against candidates on prohibited grounds and that we have conducted the recruitment exercise in a fair and transparent way. After this period, we will securely destroy your personal information in accordance with our data retention policy and applicable laws and regulations.


If we wish to retain your personal information on file, on the basis that a further opportunity may arise in future and we may wish to consider you for that, we will seek your explicit consent to retain your personal information for a fixed period on that basis.




Your rights in connection with personal information

Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:


•     Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.

•     Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.

•     Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).

•     Object to processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes.

•     Request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.

•     Request the transfer of your personal information to another party.

If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal information, object to the processing of your personal data, or request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party, please contact Jemini Prajapati, HR Manager in writing.



When you applied for a role with us, you consented to us processing your personal information for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. You have the right to withdraw your consent for processing for that purpose at any time, if you no longer wish for us to involve you in the recruitment process. To withdraw your consent, please contact Jemini Prajapati, HR Manager. Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your application and, subject to our retention policy, we will dispose of your personal data securely.


If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact the Jemini Prajapati, HR Manager.

You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues.

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