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Student placements in Science

To provide practical work experience for students and recent graduates, Kew offers a range of internships across its science departments.
Photo of student Emily Marr recording bees on Aconitum
A student recording bees visiting Aconitum.

Science opportunities

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is pleased to offer opportunities for short- and long-term placements for the academic years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 in the following science departments: Collections, Identification & Naming, Comparative Plant & Fungal Biology, Conservation Science, Natural Capital & Plant Health, Biodiversity Informatics & Spatial Analysis. 

Kew's science strategy

Internship opportunities: Identifying Bolivian Important Plant Areas

The Americas team in the Identification and Naming Department at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is offering opportunities for student interns to take part in a project to identify Important Plant Areas in the Chiquitano ecoregion of Bolivia. The project’s objectives are to digitise and georeference specimen data held at Kew and four Bolivian herbaria; to increase capacity in Bolivia in seed banking and storage techniques; to fill gaps in knowledge about potential IPAs in Chiquitano; and to identify priority forest sites for conservation and promote their inclusion within a Bolivian conservation and land-management framework. Interns will be involved in databasing specimen data, carrying out literature searches and compiling georeferencing data for IUCN Redlist Assessments.


Prospective interns must have a BSc degree in Biology, Geography, Bioinformatics, Environmental Science or a related subject. Enthusiasm for nature, including biodiversity conservation is essential. After training the intern(s) will be given a high level of responsibility and should be willing and able get on with activities independently. 

These intern placements will be a minimum of three full days per week (24 hours/week), but full-time (40 hours/week) is preferred, for a minimum of six months, but up to 12 months is desirable. The placements will provide an opportunity for interns to gain substantial experience in an action-driven plant conservation project in a world-class plant conservation research institution.

How to apply

Please send a covering letter, CV and a completed 'Voluntary internship application form' to Dr Nicholas Hind by 19 September 2016. 

Voluntary internship application form

Bolivian TIPAs internship - further information

International Conservation Policy internship

Kew’s Science Policy team is looking for interns to work on a range of projects related to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), specifically helping in the preparations for the17th Conference of the Parties and producing materials to assist the UK Overseas Territories in implementing CITES. 


Interns must have a postgraduate degree in biology, science, environmental law or a related subject such as geography or environment science. Interns should be IT proficient and have strong research and database skills. Common sense, initiative and an eye for detail are also desirable. Interns will have a significant level of responsibility, and should be confident at working independently. Enthusiasm for biodiversity conservation and international environmental policy is essential. 

Placements will be for a minimum of 3 months, although 6 months is preferred as it provides an opportunity for interns to gain substantive work experience in international conservation policy and research. Please note that this a voluntary position. Lunch and travel expenses (within the Greater London area) will be reimbursed. 

How to apply

Please send a covering letter and CV to Noeleen Smyth by 16 September 2016 


International Conservation Policy internship 2016

Summer internships

Short-term voluntary internships are available with Kew scientists for 4–8 weeks from mid-July. These internships can be based either at Kew Gardens, London or at the Millennium Seed Bank, Wakehurst Place, West Sussex. Short projects will use Kew’s collections and facilities and will be based in one of the six scientific research departments. Projects will relate to the science outputs in Kew’s Science Strategy. A modest contribution towards travel expenses will be provided. 

Applications for 2016 are now closed

Due to an overwhelming response, successful applicants will now be contacted by the end of May 2016.

How to apply for 2017

Applications for 2017 summer internships will open on 4 January 2017 and close on 31 March 2017.

Kew Intern application form 2017

General advice for applicants

Successful applicants will be contacted by the end of May 2017.

One year sandwich placements

A number of one year places for College Based Sandwich Course Students (CBSCS) are available for undergraduate students between their second and final year. These voluntary internships can be based either at Kew Gardens, London or at the Millennium Seed Bank, Wakehurst Place, West Sussex. They will all include an extended project using Kew’s collections and facilities and will be based in one of the six scientific research departments. Projects will relate to the science outputs in Kew’s Science Strategy. The placements are unpaid but provide valuable experience and have often led to students returning to Kew for employment or postgraduate research.

How to apply

The application process for students wishing to undertake a sandwich placement in the academic year 2017-2018 will open in October 2016. We will be offering a maximum of six places, spread across Kew’s science departments and contributing towards Kew’s 2020 Strategic Outputs.

 Kew Intern application form

For further details email Kew Science.