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Warwick Summer Internships (WSI)

WSI 2020 Update: COVID-19 Impact on WSI

We are currently in the process of working with senior management to establish definitive guidance regarding the programme. We will share this with you at the earliest possible moment, but it is likely that there will be a continued version of the programme available, with considerable relaxation of our usual format, in order to support your businesses during this difficult time. Please consider the parameters within which you would consider continuing with a Warwick intern this summer.

In the meantime, stay safe and positive, Internships Development Team


The Warwick Summer Internships (WSI) programme brings together UK-based small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), charities and Warwick undergraduates (including finalists) with the opportunity to benefit from the many advantages afforded by a high-quality summer internship.

WSI takes place over a minimum of 6 weeks, during the summer vacations, thanks to generous donations from Warwick alumni and friends.

Grants are fixed at (£2100/£2500), but are based on WSI minimum wages of £9 per hour (£10.55 in London, local Unitemps rates at Warwick) for 37 hours per week + employer costs. Internal Warwick departments share the cost of the internship with Student Opportunity, paying for the final two weeks from their own local budget, and run a 36.5 hour week. Internships take place once students have finished their exams in June and may exceed 6 weeks at additional cost to the host organisation. Access to grants is competitive, subject to successful recruitment of a Warwick undergraduate student, and terms and conditions apply.

The overarching aims of the Warwick Summer Internships Programme:

  • Employers to resource a project or idea with an enthusiastic and capable student, at little cost. Benefit from fresh ideas and a new perspective, with the possibility of future student employment in the medium and longer term.
  • Students to gain valuable work experience and a learning opportunity; to develop their knowledge of the work place and develop transferable skills that will help them with career decisions.

Key elements of support for host organisations:

  • Support with defining an attractive internship opportunity, quality assurance process for vacancies, including detailed feedback and editing

  • Targeted, free student marketing for your internship across 2000+ undergraduates from all faculties
  • Good practice-informed resources and support around recruiting and hosting a student
  • Supporting appointed interns with preparatory and on-internship resources during the programme

Considerations before you commit

Internship providers must satisfy the eligibility criteria - see the WSI 2020 Programme details

Your responsibilities as a Warwick internship host are:

Before recruitment
  • Decide on the purpose/content of your internship opportunity in line with business needs, i.e. role objectives. Think about how it will provide professional experience/development, and check it's not just a substitute for low-level temp work
  • Develop a job description/person specification on our Word template (using the mandatory programme wording where provided) and upload to our myAdvantage jobs platform by the programme deadline (online and 1:1 support provided)
  • Carry out your usual selection process, by the programme deadline
  • Recognise normal recruitment risks: your role may not attract a suitable candidate; your chosen candidate may select another opportunity
  • Recognise programme risks: you may lose funding eligibility if you do not follow programme actions and deadlines; funding is limited to around 80 internships and will be allocated to the first internships confirmed by both host organisation and student - there is a risk that you will not secure funding.
  • Recognise funding risks: Make an advance decision about how you will proceed if not allocated funding. Ensure that you are able to pay the intern yourself if making firm offer, or that you are clear your offer relied on being awarded a programme grant. Warwick departments should be aware that 1-2 weeks of their own funding will sit within the current financial year.

If you successfully recruit
  • Begin your internship within the programme's start date window (2 weeks at the end of June/start of July)

  • Directly employ the intern at or above programme minimum (£9/h or £10.55 in London, Unitemps scale for internal Warwick departments) for at least 6 weeks, full-time (37 hours, 36.5 within Warwick), on your payroll, with appropriate PAYE contributions, provision for holiday and sick pay, as per any other employee. NB The grant is intended to cover 6 weeks at 37 hours, with a small buffer for your on costs.

  • Line manage them as you would your other employees, although prolonged periods of unsupervised, lone, home or remote working are not allowed (i.e. no more than one day per week)
  • Provide training and reviews for the intern, who may have little prior experience.
  • Pay the intern’s salary on time, then claim back any grant (available in arrears, via valid invoice).
  • Provide a professional, safe place of work - home offices and virtual teams are not acceptable; suitable equipment; appropriate Health & Safety considerations, insurance and confidentiality processes in place.

If you do not secure funding

  • Subject to your commitment to pay the intern the wage in your vacancy advert, you can still benefit from the key elements that the programme has to offer, including feedback on your advert and internships plans, access to Warwick student talent and employer support throughout.

If you are interested in finding out about WSI 2020 and to register interest please visit WSI 2020 info for external hosts or WSI 2020 info for Warwick departments

Click on the images below to learn about the experiences of some former interns and their hosts

Stats from WSI 2019

over 2,000 students expressed interest in the programme and work experience

Distinct views across 129 vacancies - 7428
Applications made - 17% first years; 14% mid years; 46% penultimate years; & 23% finalists
53% of roles were based in the West Midlands
90% of hosts cited that the WSI internship delivered positive impact on their organisation.
61% of hosts either offered or would have offered (if intern not committed elsewhere)
  • 6% offered a permanent contract
  • 34% offered an extension to the internship
  • 38% offered part-time work during vacations and around study
  • 13% offered freelance (self-employed contract)

Both interns were brilliant: they were full of life, worked hard and got involved.

Neelam Gill, Circles Network’s HR Manager

Click on the images below to learn about the experiences of some former WSI host employers