Working to make government more effective

FAQs about IfG internships

What you need to know about applying for an internship at the IfG.

How often do you recruit for interns?

We recruit for interns once a year. Applications normally open between February and April, with separate application forms for communications and for research. Each new intern cohort (both communications and research) begin their contracts in September. Interns are recruited on 12-month contracts, which include a three-month probation period. 

If you would like an email notification when applications open, you can sign up to receive IfG recruitment updates.

Can I apply for both the communications and research internships in the same year?

No. Candidates should apply for either the communications internship or research internship. Candidates who have applied for the communications internship will not be considered for a research internship within the same application period. 

Do I need to have studied politics, government or another specific subject to apply?

No. You don’t need to have studied any specific subjects at school or university to be eligible for our internships. Our only requirement is that you have received or are predicted a 2:1 (or international equivalent) in your undergraduate degree, and that you have a clear interest in and understanding of our mission to improve government effectiveness.

I have a postgraduate degree. Can I apply for an IfG internship?

Yes. Candidates don’t need to have a postgraduate degree in order to be eligible for our internships, but those who do are welcome to apply. 

I am still at university – can I apply for an IfG internship?

We will consider applications from candidates who are still studying at the time of application, but we require candidates to have completed their university studies by the time their internship starts. 

I am looking for a sandwich year placement/year in industry as part of my degree. Can I apply for an IfG internship on that basis?

No – you need to have completed your undergraduate degree by the time the internship is due to start. You cannot complete an IfG internship as your year in industry or otherwise as part of your degree. 

Does the Institute sponsor visas for intern candidates?

We do not sponsor visas for intern candidates. In order to be eligible for the internship programme, applicants must be a UK citizen, or otherwise entitled to work in the UK without a visa, or hold a relevant visa which allows them to work in the UK without sponsorship.

Can internships be undertaken remotely?

Interns need to be based in London, or within commuting distance of London, and able to work in the office at least three days a week for the duration of their internship. We believe that there is no better way for both the interns and the Institute to maximise the benefit of their time with us.

Interviews for the internship take place online. We appreciate that if successful candidates are not already based in London, moving there can be very expensive. To assist with those costs, a loan of up to the first month’s gross salary will be available to new interns once they have started at the Institute.

Can successful research internship applicants express a preference for which team or project they would like to work on?

We ask applicants at interview if there are any teams or projects they are particularly interested in. This is taken into account when team allocation decisions are being made, but we can’t guarantee that successful candidates will be allocated to their preferred choice.

How much are interns paid at the Institute, and do interns receive any benefits? 

We revisit the salary offered for interns each year to make sure it aligns with the London Living Wage – most recently, intern salary has been £27,000 per annum. Interns are entitled to the same benefits as permanent staff: 30 days of annual leave (in addition to bank and public holidays) and life assurance of 4x salary.

We also offer other non-contractual benefits, including lunch provision when working in the office. A full and up-to-date list of contractual and non-contractual benefits is always included in the information pack that will be available on the Current Vacancies page when applications are open. 

How does the Institute assess applications?

The Institute does not select on the basis of educational institutions attended, highest level of educational qualification achieved, or previous work experience. Our process is designed to assess your aptitude for our work. The online platform we use is designed to eliminate bias and be as fair as possible.

What is the application process for an IfG internship?

Internship applications are made up of two main parts.

The first part is a timed multiple-choice test designed to assess the fundamental skills we need: verbal comprehension, basic numeracy, and data interpretation and attention to detail (see some questions that we’ve used in the past). There are no trick questions and no advanced skills are required. This section mostly tests how closely you read and understand the information presented to you in the time available.

The time limit should not put candidates under undue pressure and additional time is available for anyone who requires it due to a disability or learning difficulty. We just want to be sure that you are equipped to fully participate in the Institute’s work.

In the second part, candidates answer some short written questions relating to motivation and aptitudes. These are not timed, and candidates can save their responses and return to edit them as often as they like, provided they submit their application before the closing date. No applications can be accepted after the advertised deadline.

When the deadline has passed, we look at candidates’ multiple-choice test scores first. Candidates whose score does not reach the required level will not progress to the second round of assessment.

In the second round of assessment, a candidate’s answer to each written question is reviewed by three different members of Institute staff, of varying levels of seniority, and the three scores are averaged to reduce the impact of subjectivity. Applications are reviewed name-blind, and reviewers have no access to any other identifying information about candidates. 

Once we have selected our shortlist, we will invite candidates to an online interview where we will ask you to build on some of the answers given in your application and explore your motivation and aptitudes in more detail. We may ask you to prepare to discuss a specific issue in your interview, or complete a short task before or after the interview.

Are there differences in the application processes for the communications internship and the research internships?

The application process for the research and communications interns follow the same structure and have the same stages as outlined above, but the questions asked in the application and at interview will be different. 

Are interns guaranteed a job at the Institute after their internship is completed? 

Interns are free to apply to permanent roles at the Institute when vacancies arise – and a number of members of staff were first employed as interns. However, there is no guarantee that an internship will lead to a permanent position with us. The majority of interns move on to new roles elsewhere, well equipped with the skills and contacts they’ve developed over their 12 months with us.