Kew Gardens Science Festival Intern – Apply by: 14 Feb 2020




Royal Botanic Gardens Kew – Science Festival Intern

Deadline for applications: Friday 14th February 2020. 


There will be at least two placements, the first running roughly March to May and the second from early May to early August.


Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, (Richmond, London, TW9 3AE), with some travel to Wakehurst (Ardingly, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 6TN)

Directorate: Science

Department: Office of the Science Directorate

About The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Kew is a global resource for plant and fungal knowledge. As a volunteer Science Festival Intern, you will join a vibrant team of scientists, support staff and volunteers, contributing to the achievement of one or more of Kew’s three strategic science priorities:

  1. To document and conduct research into global plant and fungal diversity, and its uses for humanity
  2. To curate and provide data-rich evidence from Kew’s unrivalled collections as a global asset for scientific research
  3. To disseminate our scientific knowledge of plants and fungi, maximising its impact in science, education, conservation policy and management

These priorities enable us to curate, enhance, use, explore and share Kew’s global resources – providing robust data and a strong evidence base for our UK and international stakeholders.

Internship overview

Supervisors: Richard Gianfrancesco, Mimi Tanimoto.

Science internships provide valuable training and professional work experience. Interns work alongside Kew’s leading experts and have access to our world-renowned collections of plants and fungi, library and facilities.

You will contribute towards the planning and delivery of our annual Kew Science Festival; in 2020 it will run twice, once at Wakehurst in late May and subsequently at Kew in late July. You will work with our research, communications and events staff to help develop a range of hands-on science activities, games, interactive experiments, talks and behind-the-scenes tours suitable for different ages. Your responsibilities will also include support for marketing and promotion, developing and delivering communications plans, proofreading, copy editing, preparing briefings, evaluation, scheduling, general administration, purchasing, operations and help with running the event.

Training and professional development provided

  • Science communication including social media, writing, copy editing and public engagement
  • Event coordination
  • Administration skills

About you

You will be:

  • Over 18 years old
  • A PhD student seeking experience in public engagement with science

You will have:

  • A degree in a biological science-related discipline, which includes plant science or ecology components
  • A demonstrated interest in biodiversity, its sustainable use and conservation
  • An operating knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Powerpoint)
  • Excellent attention to detail, performing work to a high standard and using initiative to solve problems and troubleshoot
  • Flexible attitude to work as project activities may change/evolve
  • Evidence of the ability to work on your own initiative and as part of a team

What you can expect from us

  • A full induction and appropriate training with ongoing support
  • Well-rounded work experience within specific fields to develop knowledge, understanding and skills
  • To be allocated clear roles and responsibilities
  • To be treated fairly and with respect
  • A friendly and dedicated team
  • Access to Kew’s collections of living and preserved plants and fungi, as well as its economic botany and Library, Art & Archive collections
  • An opportunity to participate in Kew’s internationally renowned science and conservation programmes
  • Reimbursement of travel expenses between Kew and Wakehurst

What we expect from you

  • To carry out your activities in a way that corresponds with Kew’s aims and values
  • To attend training and meetings, as required
  • To learn about the work of Kew
  • To participate in the life of the organisation
  • Commitment to the hours and days agreed with your supervisor
  • To be reliable and punctual
  • To follow Kew policies and procedures

How to apply

Please send your CV and a covering letter detailing your reasons for applying for this internship, including details of an academic referee (e.g. your university tutor or supervisor). Applications should be sent to

Deadline for applications: Friday 14th February 2020. 

Shortlisted applicants will have an opportunity for a Skype discussion of the project with the Science Festival co-ordinators.


For further information, please contact:

Pat Griggs, Science Administrator (Education)

Phone: 020 8332 5625