Internships

The RSA has an internship programme which provides successful candidates with the opportunity to experience a unique organisation dedicated to civic innovation and social progress.

Our work combines cutting-edge thinking and research, practical action and the talents of our network of 27,000 Fellows. Our interns have the chance to explore our distinctive interdisciplinary approach to social change in one of our teams across our Action and Research Centre or the wider organisation.

We are proud to announce that our internships are paid opportunities, based on the London Living Wage.

Current Opportunities

There are no current intern opportunities but do keep checking this page.

 

 

Who can apply

The RSA welcomes new perspectives on its work and our interns will come from many different backgrounds and disciplines - from recent graduates and those wanting a sabbatical, to people who have on the ground experience and may not have considered this type of work before. We're looking for hard-working, open-minded and collaborative people who want to change the world.

We will usually advertise specific opportunities in our teams as they arise here on the Internships page and via a network of partner organisations.

When and Where

Internships will usually last between three and six months. The start and anticipated duration of internships will be advertised with each opportunity, along with details of how to apply.

The majority of our interns will be based with us at our headquarters on John Adam Street, London, although this might differ on a project by project basis

Other information

Other jobs at the RSA
Some principles of our intern policy

Tips and a pep-talk from an ex-intern

1.    You are awesome and you know far more than you think you do. Be confident and do not play down your skills.
2.   
Really read the job advert. Then read it again. Maybe read it a third time for luck. And then read up about us. 
3.    
Look at the essential requirements.  These are not optional: if you don’t fit the list, you’re not coming in. If you fit, tell us!
4.   
Most things count as relevant experience. But not everything. 
5.    Make sure your CV fits the role. What is in it for us?
6.    Make it easy for the reader
7.    Do a spellcheck. Remember to check your grammar.  
8.    Be unforgettable, but don’t be cheesy
9.    You are interviewing us too
, but do practise the interview
10.   Don’t Miss the Deadline!

1. You are awesome and you know far more than you think you do. Be confident and do not play down your skills.

Don’t over-do it though! If you’re good enough to run a small country and win a Nobel prize for your writing /science/peace skills, we might decide you're over-qualified for this role. But only just.

2. Really read the job advert. Then read it again. Maybe read it a third time for luck. And then read up about us.

Make sure you have researched what we do, and possibly what similar organisations do.

Think about why you’d want to work for us. It probably helps if you know what 21st Century Enlightenment means to you, and it’d be great if you can maybe explain it to us!

Make sure you know what all the relevant words are and mean. For example, social network analysis does not mean analysing facebook.

3. Look at the essential requirements. These are not optional: if you don’t fit the list, you’re not coming in. If you fit the list, tell us!

If you are perfect for the job, make sure your application tells us that. Even if it seems obvious that you can do something, if the job advert states “Intermediate working knowledge and experience of MS Office applications”, somewhere in your application you need to address that.

It is somebody’s job to go through all the applications and sort them into three piles:  1. "Has all essential requirements"; 2. "Has all essential requirements PLUS desirable requirements;" 3. "Does not fulfil criteria". You don’t want to be in the third pile because of something as stupid as not having made your amazing Microsoft Word skills obvious.

4. Most things count as relevant experience. But not everything.

Some examples:

“Ability to work flexibly within a busy team environment”: when have you had to multitask and negotiate things with other people? This could be a sports team; a busy home-work balance; or a summer job or volunteering role.

“Ability to communicate clearly and concisely with people at all levels”: In these roles you may need to be able to speak to everyone from vulnerable adults in community project settings, to young people, to policy makers.

When have you had to make sure a message makes sense to loads of different people? This could be teaching; any customer facing role such as working in a café; or informal things like being good at giving directions, or being the kind of person who often ends up as a go-between in friendship or family arguments.

“Some experience of different research methods”: Are you a Google search whiz, have you ever researched your family tree, did you have to go interview many people for your Geography A-level? These are different types of research (desk-based, archival and question-answer research) and we need to know if you have done them already.

5. Make sure your CV fits the role: what is in it for us?

Your CV and cover letter need to show us why your skills are useful to us. Make sure it isn’t just a list but something along the lines of “I have (x skill) that you need. This is shown by (x piece of evidence) where I did (x thing really really well.). This will help you in (this way).

One size does not fit all with CVs. Make sure all the information in your CV is relevant to the role. If we are looking for the communication, flexibility and research experience above, your CV needs to proudly proclaim “I am a flexible and unflappable person who will do you some high-grade research and communicate the results effectively”.

A really great tip is to have a word document where you have standard paragraphs for the kind of skills that are often required, so you can copy and paste as needed, and then tailor the whole to make sure it is consistent and coherent.

Make sure the finished product does not feel like a cut and paste job! It helps if the file name is role specific i.e. YourName_RSAinternship.

6. Make it easy for the reader.

We get loads of applications: you apparently get an average of one minute attention per CV.

  • Clear formatting!
  • Loads of text is scary. Keep it simple, concise and to the point.
  • Attachments. Make sure you have attached them. So, CV, cover letter AND anything else we might have asked you for, check!


7. Do a speelcheck and then again. And then check you’re grammar. (Yes, those mistakes were deliberate. Did you notice?)

Read over it. It is always useful to also get someone else to read over your writing to ensure that it is understandable.

8. Be unforgettable, but don’t be cheesy

As these tips point out, trying to be funny often doesn’t work, as there really is no accounting for taste. We do, however, want to see how you are creative and different. The cover letter is your chance to tell why we can’t do without you. Surprise us.

9. You are interviewing us too, but do practise the interview.

What kind of things would you like to know about us?

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to either contact us before your application, or to ask them at interview.

The interview is your chance to win us over. Practise some answers: we’ll want extra details based on the job spec and your application documents. If any of the questions seem difficult don’t worry: we just want to know how you think. No-one ever really wants to know how many ping pong balls you can fit in an ice-cream van!

10. Don’t Miss the Deadline!

Nothing says disorganised like missing the deadline… and we do not accept late applications. 

Good luck!