Kew Gardens – State of the World’s Plants & Fungi Symposium – Deadline: 11 Mar 2020

The closing date for applications is 11 March 2020.

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew have hosted several DTP students as interns within Kew’s Office of the Science Directorate over the past couple of years and have found that they made a huge contribution to the areas they were working in.  This year, Kew have opportunities associated with their State of the World’s Plants and Fungi symposium which takes place in September.  This high profile international science and policy symposium is a key event in Kew’s calendar, accompanying the publication of a major scientific report:

Internship Role: State of the World’s Plants and Fungi Symposium Intern. Two placements, each lasting three-months, are available – the first running approximately mid-April to mid-July 2020 and the second from early July to end of September 2020.

Location: Kew Gardens (Richmond)

Directorate: Science

Department: Office of the Science Directorate

Supervisors: Mimi Tanimoto and Robyn Price

Kew is a global resource for plant and fungal knowledge. As a volunteer 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

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 support the planning and delivery of Kew’s State of the World’s Plants and Fungi Symposium, taking place in September 2020. This high profile international science and policy symposium is a key event in Kew’s annual calendar, accompanying the publication of a major scientific report:

Working with our events, communications, operations and research staff, your responsibilities will include:

  • liaising with speakers, chairs, delegates and other project stakeholders
  • handling abstract submissions and responses
  • marketing and communications
  • procurement of symposium materials
  • database management
  • writing and editing
  • project evaluation and reporting
  • preparing briefings
  • assembling delegate packs
  • supporting venue operations
  • general administration
  • help running the two-day symposium

Training and professional development provided

  • Event planning and operations
  • Project management
  • Administration
  • Communication skills including writing, copy editing and brand awareness

About you

You will be:

  • Over 18 years old
  • A PhD student seeking experience in event management and science engagement

You will have:

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

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

How to apply

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

Applications should be sent to

Shortlisted applicants will have an opportunity for a Skype discussion of the project with the project manager.

The closing date for applications is 11 March 2020.


Any questions should be directed to Dr Patricia Giggs at

Science Administrator (Education)

Phone: 020 8332 5625