Graduate development programme

Our two-year graduate development programme is your opportunity, as an enterprising, motivated recent graduate or Master's graduate, to help deliver Wellcome’s mission to improve health.

You’ll have the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals in a range of areas across Wellcome. These include funding, policy, investments, public engagement, communications and operations.

The next programme is scheduled to start on 2 September 2019.

There are two different streams in our graduate programme:

  • a specific investments programme
  • a broader general programme.

Both streams are full time with a salary of £26,000. 

Investments programme

As an independent global charity we fund our grants and other activities from a £21 billion investment portfolio.

In your first year as a member of our investment team, you’ll learn the basics of financial markets and investment analysis. You'll also learn how Wellcome's long-term investment philosophy generates returns to support our mission. 

In your second year you may be able to gain commercial experience working with one of the companies we invest in. Alternatively, you might work in another part of Wellcome that interests you – such as Innovations, Insight and Analysis or Science.

Our programme suits people who can think on their feet, enjoy being challenged, and are motivated to try new things and contribute ideas to team discussions.

General programme

We want your experience on our General Graduate Development Programme [PDF 2.2MB] to be varied and fulfilling. You’ll have the opportunity to work in a broad range of Wellcome’s activities to gain all-round experience, or you may be more specialised, working in funding and policy, engagement and communications or business operations. In this programme you can do four rotations during your two years here.

The rotations available are:

  • The Buildings, Environment and Workplace team is responsible for managing, operating and improving Wellcome’s buildings to ensure the safety and comfort of colleagues and visitors.

    We work with our service partners to provide a workplace that enables different ways of working and we’re continually seeking innovative ways to improve the service we offer.

    We cover all aspects of the buildings’ day-to-day running – from catering, cleaning, security and maintenance to the gym and building projects.

    Recent graduate projects have included exploring new environmentally friendly products and technologies to reduce Wellcome's environmental impact, improving the acoustic performance, audio-visual infrastructure and lighting of meeting rooms, and exploring how air quality can be measured for staff and objects in Wellcome Collection.

    A rotation in the Buildings, Environment and Workplace team will develop your skills in project management, stakeholder engagement and management, communication, teamwork and problem solving.

  • To enhance Wellcome’s mission and strategy, the Communications team works to inform, inspire and engage internal and external audiences with our continuing involvement in science and health.

    We have various teams working on creating content for our website, intranet and social media channels, running the busy press office, publishing stories for Mosaic, our online science magazine, and attending to the creative management of our brand. It’s a fast-paced and reactive environment – you will often be working on a range of projects at any one time.

    Graduates get involved with publication of our bi-monthly, all-staff newsletter, write press releases, help to manage Wellcome's social media accounts, and organise internal events.

    A rotation in the Communications team will develop your skills in digital marketing, social media management, writing and editing, project management and stakeholder management.

  • The Culture & Society (C&S) Directorate is responsible for driving the vision of Wellcome’s Culture & Society Division. A small team, the C&S Directorate reaches its objectives by providing leadership, challenge and support for strategic initiatives across the different teams within Culture & Society.

    Projects in the Directorate come from all teams within C&S, and recent graduates have been involved in organising and facilitating C&S funding committees, divisional meetings and steering groups, providing support to residents of the Wellcome Hub, and representing Wellcome at external  events.

    A rotation in the C&S Directorate will allow you to work with a range of Wellcome colleagues at different levels across the organisation, and develop your skills in communication, influencing, project management and presentation.

  • The Education and Learning team has a longstanding enthusiasm for and commitment to ensuring an excellent science education for all young people, inside and outside school. We take an evidence-based approach and are committed to widening opportunities for all young people.

    A recent graduate project was working on the launch of a major funding scheme in partnership with BBC Children in Need. This included helping to develop the scheme, creating communication materials, and organising and running largescale regional events across the UK.

    A rotation in Education and Learning will develop your skills in managing budgets, organisation, communication and stakeholder management. You'll also develop a good understanding of the UK's education system, the major challenges it is facing, and how Wellcome is working to address these.

  • The Public Engagement team is responsible for funding people, places and projects which encourage the public to explore biomedical science and health research.

    The team also works to build relationships with arts organisations, the broadcast, games and film industries, researchers, museums, festivals and community groups.

    Recent graduates have been involved in projects including working on a portfolio review of international engagement funding, helping to review the grant evaluation process, producing a video for an online international engagement network and producing a report on how scientists engage with the public.

    A rotation in the Public Engagement team will build your skills in event organisation, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, video editing and writing for different audiences.

  • Wellcome spends over £800 million a year on grants across three areas – Science, Culture and Society, and Innovations.

    The Grants Management team works to manage grant application processes throughout the entire grant lifecycle, from advising potential applicants to post-award grant management.

    Graduates working in the team learn how awards are made and gain an understanding of how to manage a grant and the administration behind this process. Graduates are exposed to a broad range of our grant-related activity and gain an appreciation of the skills required to succeed in a key central business role.

    A rotation in Grants Management will develop your skills in data analysis and presentation, verbal and written communication, stakeholder management, analysis and research, and you will learn how to work independently within a larger team.

  • The Policy team influences organisations, policy and legislation to create a great environment for research and to tackle global health challenges.

    The team works with a wide range of partners – including governments, research funders, learned societies, charities and organisations – to build strong relationships in the UK, Europe and, increasingly, globally.

    A recent graduate project was organising a Question Time-style event that explored topics including the impact of Brexit, immigration and the economy on science careers.

    A rotation in the Policy team will help to develop your skills in analysis, research, communication and prioritisation.

  • The People team consists of human resources (business partners, recruitment, systems and operations), diversity and inclusion, reward, transformational development, continuous improvement and travel teams.

    As a group we ensure that Wellcome considers the people implications of everything it does, and we use our expertise in areas such as employee development, reward, recruitment and retention to help Wellcome achieve its vision and mission.

    Graduates will have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and to experience day-to-day operational issues, including gathering data for our annual staff survey, supporting our volunteering seasons and attending campus recruitment events. 

    A rotation in the People team will develop your skills in stakeholder management, project management, written and verbal communication, and time management.

  • The Humanities and Social Science team funds research to help advance understanding of the social, cultural and historical contexts of medicine, health and wellbeing.

    We’ve funded work on the ethics of public health emergencies like Ebola and Zika, the social and legal implications of developments in neuroscience and genetic medicine, as well as major histories of the NHS, malaria and the global drug trade.

    A recent graduate worked on a project examining the merits and limitations of research conducted on museum collections and using museum spaces, as well as a re-evaluation of our strategy for collecting research outputs.

    A rotation in Humanities and Social Science will develop your capacity to work independently, and your skills in analysis, organisation, project management, writing and presentation.

  • Innovations work with people and organisations around the world to develop disruptive technologies, products and interventions that advance science and improve human health.

    The team consists of people with varied backgrounds in science, business development and management, law and finance, which makes it a great work environment as everyone has a different perspective.

    Recent graduate projects include researching treatments for diseases caused by parasitic worms, scoring and reviewing applications to our Innovator Awards, and engaging with scientists to encourage them to think about how their research can impact health.

    A rotation in Innovations will improve your presentation, teamwork, and analytical and research skills.

  • The Insight and Analysis team delivers new ‘insight’ or understanding of the accomplishments achieved through Wellcome's funding, activities and strategic partnerships, and provides rigorous evidence to support decision making throughout Wellcome.

    The team is also responsible for producing an annual analysis of Wellcome's progress and accomplishments in relation to our strategic framework, and helps to identify potential strategic priorities for the future.

    A recent graduate project involved working with the Our Planet, Our Health team to create a detailed qualitative analysis of grant applications to provide context for future decisions.

    A rotation in Insight and Analysis will develop your technical skills in quantitative and qualitative research, and your softer skills in effective communication and managing relationships.

  • The ever-evolving Digital and Technology (D&T) department is accountable for developing and delivering D&T initiatives across Wellcome.

    D&T is home to various sub-teams including: Digital Strategy & Innovation, Software Development, Business Engagement, Change & Transformation, Administration, and Service and Architecture.

    Recent graduate projects have involved working on an Apple Mac upgrade with Office 2016, digitalisation of our meeting rooms and heading up the rollout of a specialist password manager software.

    A rotation in D&T will enable you to learn how best to apply project management principles to deliver projects using different methodologies, to work on a range of hardware and software products, and to improve your technical infrastructure knowledge.

  • The Science division is accountable for science funding decisions, mechanisms for supporting and developing individuals and teams, and influencing national and international policy.

    It is organised into scientific knowledge teams: Genetic and Molecular Sciences; Cellular and Developmental Sciences; Neuroscience and Mental Health; Infection and Immunobiology; Clinical and Physiological Sciences; Population Health. And also into integration teams: Research Careers; International Operations and Partnerships. 

    The science knowledge and integration teams operate flexibly in a matrix to catalyse outstanding science and maximise its health impacts.

    A rotation in the Science division involves understanding the global scientific landscape, and analysing and developing our research portfolio to seek gaps and seize opportunities.  

  • Wellcome Collection is the free visitor destination that explores the connections between medicine, life and art.

    The venue offers visitors contemporary and historic exhibitions and collections, lively public events, a café, a shop, a restaurant and conference facilities, as well as publications, tours, a book prize, and international and digital projects. 

    Recent graduate activities include planning and delivering two projects as part of the RawMinds programme, an engagement initiative for teenagers aged 14-19 to experiment with art and science, supporting the planning and delivery of a symposium for 120 A-level students, and leading on communications for the Youth Programmes teams by creating content for e-flyers and schools brochures.

    A rotation in Wellcome Collection will develop your skills in project management, print and digital communications, networking and budgeting.

  • Part of Wellcome Collection, the Wellcome Library is one of the world's greatest cultural treasures – a unique and irreplaceable collection that documents medicine and its role in society, past and present.

    A recent graduate project involved spending six months with the Collections and Research team. This team acquires objects for the library’s collections, documents them, and then helps researchers and the wider public access, understand and use these objects in their work.

    During a rotation in the Wellcome Library you will develop your skills in data analysis and presentation, and communication.

You can apply if you:

  • have an undergraduate or Master's degree (2:2 or above)
  • expect to graduate in 2018 or 2019
  • will be available from 2 September 2019
  • have the right to work in the UK.

We can't consider your application if you:

  • have any qualification beyond a Master's degree
  • graduated before 2018
  • have a gap between your undergraduate and Master's degree of more than a year.

What we're looking for

Our programmes are development programmes, designed to give you opportunities to learn on the job, and to develop and hone your skills in a variety of areas. 

They suit candidates who enjoy being challenged, are excited by trying new things and can come up with fresh ideas.

  • On the general programme your rotations will place you in several departments, each working with others across the organisation. On the general and investment programes you’ll need to build relationships at all levels, and show strong communication and interpersonal skills.

  • We’re looking for graduates who are keen to get to grips with a range of different challenges and bring a fresh perspective.

  • Our mission is very ambitious – to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We expect you to take the same attitude to your own development, setting yourself high standards and striving to excel.

  • On both programmes you’ll experience several roles and projects. So you'll need to be adaptable as you work with different teams – for example, paying close attention to detail but also being able to think about the bigger picture.

  • You'll need to be able to make decisions, solve problems and see a task through to completion.


  • We recognise the value of hearing diverse views, one of which will be yours. On the investments programme you'll be expected to express your opinion and contribute to our decision-making process.

    On both programmes you'll be analysing information, and writing and presenting to various audiences in a clear, concise and persuasive way.

Applications for the 2018 graduate development programme are now closed. The 2019 programme will open on 1 October 2018. Applications will be open to candidates who complete their undergraduate or Master's studies in 2018 or 2019.

If you have any questions, please email Natalie Hannan, Wellcome's early careers manager.

"It wasn’t until I started working at Wellcome that I realised how much of an impact it has on health on a global scale. Being even a tiny part of that is really inspiring."
Yasmin, 2016 graduate (studied History)
"I really like the flexibility of the graduate programme. It feels like real effort is made to tailor the scheme to your personal interests and career development."
Charlotte, 2016 graduate (studied Social Anthropology)
"You have something to add, whatever background you have."
Kalaiyashni, 2015 graduate (studied Psychology)

Videos about our development programme

Watch graduates and their Wellcome colleagues explain more about the programme.

Contact us