Kew Internship in Horticulture
Download and complete the application forms to apply for an Internship, which is ideal for individuals with limited practical horticultural experience or newly qualified horticulturists requiring additional practical experience to further their careers.
Early applications are encouraged to improve the chance of attaining your preferred trimester and placement and also as the application and selection procedure can sometimes take up to eight weeks to conclude.
Four programmes are run throughout any given year. The dates for the next five trimesters are as follows:
Trimester C: 8 April - 21 June 2013
Trimester D: 8 July - 20 September 2013
Trimester A: 30 September - 20 December 2013
Trimester B: 6 January - 21 March 2014
Trimester C: 31 March – 13 June 2014
Horticultural internships are based at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew working in a single specialist unit for the duration of the programme amid Kew’s world renowned plant collections and landscapes.
There are no fees payable for participating in the horticultural internship, however interns are responsible for financing themselves for the full duration of their programme. Please note that as we are unable to provide intern accommodation you will be responsible for making your own arrangements and funding local accommodation. See the following guidance notes for estimated living expenses and planning for coming to the Kew area.
Funding opportunities can be grants from universities/colleges, employer-sponsored grants, scholarships, bursaries or self-sponsorship. For more information about scholarships and funding please visit the Grants for Horticulturists website.
Your horticultural work will involve regular plant maintenance (which can include hard physical labour) for which you are required to provide your own steel toe-capped boots and suitable work clothing. All other necessary personal protective equipment will be provided.
All Kew staff and interns working out of doors are reminded of the necessity of gaining protection against the risk of tetanus infection. In the UK a primary course of 3 doses/injections usually takes place in infancy, pre-school and teenage; later boosters, at the recommended 10 year intervals, are given on request or perhaps following an injury.
The current guidance from the Department of Health is that a total of 5 doses in a lifetime are sufficient to provide you with protective immunity. Further boosters are only necessary if you sustain a deep wound or injury which may be prone to tetanus, especially if contaminated with soil or manure. In which case, clean the wound thoroughly and seek medical advice.
If you think that you may not currently be protected you are advised to seek preventative treatment from your own doctor. We recommend you get this arranged prior to starting the horticultural internship programme.
Eligibility to visit the UK to undertake a voluntary horticultural internship (work experience)
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew welcomes applications from overseas candidates for the Kew Internship in Horticulture. We consider all applicants on the basis of their skills, experience and merits and, if required, would look to provide visa sponsorship for the duration of the internship in line with our sponsorship allocation. For more information regarding visa requirements please visit the UK Border Agency website for the latest regulations. Overseas applicants should note that it can take extra time to process applications that require Kew to apply for visa sponsorship.
Please be aware that in order to comply with Home Office regulations Kew is obliged to confirm your visa status if you do not have eligibility to stay and work in the UK. On the first day of your internship you will be required to bring the original copy of your passport and visa allowing you to participate in an unpaid internship.
How to apply
If you wish to apply please complete the following individual forms on Microsoft Word and send electronically:
- Application form (MS Word)
- Horticultural Reference Request form (MS Word)
- Horticultural Internship Sponsorship form (MS Word)
- An essay of 250-500 words (MS Word)
- Equality and Diversity questionnaire (MS Word)
or complete the following full application pack and send electronically:
- Full application pack (MS Word)
For further information or to send your completed application please e-mail the Horticultural Internship Coordinator.
Alternatively you are welcome to print off, complete by hand and return the entire application pack (pdf) in the mail to the Internship Coordinator together with:
a colour passport-size photograph
a completed sponsorship form (it may be sent direct to Kew by your sponsor)
a completed reference form to confirm your previous practical horticultural experience
an essay of 250-500 words describing the career you wish to follow in horticulture
You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, available here, to view the pdf format forms above.
Please write to the following address:
Horticultural Internship Coordinator
The School of Horticulture
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Surrey TW9 3AB
Tel: + 44 (0)20 8332 5354
Additional information regarding further training and courses available at Kew can be obtained from the 'Learn' section of our website.
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