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Zinc PhD Student Innovation Internships 2024

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1mo ago

🚀 Off-cycle Internship


AI generated summary

  • PhD students with passion for mission-driven innovation, expertise in various disciplines, strong communication and research skills, adaptability, teamwork, and proactive attitude.
  • The Zinc PhD Student Innovation Internships offer students the opportunity to work closely with founders in Zinc portfolio companies, gaining industry experience, advancing skills, and contributing to ventures in various mission areas. With guidance and support from Zinc, interns will spend three months applying their knowledge and expertise to innovative projects.

Off-cycle Internship

Business, Operations & StrategyLondon


  • Applications are open for our innovation internships, where UK PhD students join a 3-month internship to get first-hand experience of working with 1-2 mission-led, early-stage startups. This is an exciting opportunity for PhD students who want to apply their research skills and knowledge to work with entrepreneurs and ventures, and to learn what it takes to build and run a commercial start-up with a big social mission. Researchers will be 'matched' with 1-2 Zinc startups and have the opportunity to apply and advance their skills with these early, entrepreneurial teams.


  • Innovation Internships are open to any PhD student whose funding arrangements cover time spent on this placement. For the Innovation Internships, we can accept applications from students including from both SHAPE and STEMM disciplines. You might have expertise in data science or computer science; you might bring skills in design, or qualitative research, or psychometrics.
  • Passion for one of our missions is paramount and we are especially keen to hear from students whose research is in a field relevant to the mission they are interested in and/or who have relevant professional or voluntary experience in this area. We are also looking for students with a strong interest in learning more about how research can be used in evidence-based, mission-focused early-stage innovation.
  • Beyond this, we will look for evidence of the following skills and attributes:
  • Ability to help design and deliver high-quality research: You'll have experience in designing and implementing research projects from scratch and feel comfortable with the idea of doing that in a new context (with support, of course!).
  • Excellent communication skills: You’ll need to have outstanding written and oral communications skills and be comfortable initiating and holding conversations with people at different levels of seniority, and with people from different personal and professional backgrounds.
  • Information synthesis and report-writing skills: You’ll need to be able to process and synthesise information from different disciplines and fields, and to report key findings clearly and succinctly.
  • Flexibility and ability to respond positively to changing circumstances: You can plan and execute research in a fast-paced, agile environment, working to tight deadlines.
  • Team player: Although much of your work will be self-directed, you’ll be part of Zinc’s growing Research & Development team and will join a cross-disciplinary cohort of Innovation Internships placed across Zinc and our portfolio ventures. An interest in and ability to work with people from different backgrounds is important to the role.
  • Effective, positive and proactive: You are organised and hands-on, and able to use initiative to make decisions. A positive, “can-do” attitude is essential.

Education requirements

Currently Studying

Area of Responsibilities

Business, Operations & Strategy


  • Innovation Internships are three-month placements with Zinc, available to anyone whose funding includes provision for a period in industry as part of their studentship. Our Innovation Internships allow students to spend time working closely with founders in one of several Zinc portfolio companies. These Internships offer PhD students a chance to get a different sort of industry experience, an exciting alternative to joining a big corporate organisation or public sector body.
  • Innovation Internships are open to students interested in any one of our mission areas. Students will be matched with 1-2 ventures with whom they will apply and advance their skills, as well as having support and guidance from Zinc.


Work type

Full time

Work mode





  • Get a different sort of “industry” experience. This is a chance to gain commercial experience in a supportive, research-led environment where the primary focus is on addressing complex societal challenges.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of early-stage innovation and the role of research within that. At Zinc, we believe that the best way to learn is by doing. Being immersed in the work of an early-stage start-up will give you a deeper and richer understanding of research in innovation than any amount of theoretical training could confer.
  • Gain experience in translating research and research-based expertise into clear information resources for use in commercial contexts. Develop your ability communicate research findings and research-related insights in a clear, concise and accessible way that is useful in the context of early-stage commercial innovation.
  • Broaden your network in a multi-disciplinary, cross-sectoral environment. Zinc team members, venture founders and our wide network of expert Visiting Fellows come from diverse disciplinary and sectoral backgrounds. You'll have a chance to engage with people across our network and, in doing so, to build your own network.
  • Benefit from the support of our in-house Research & Development team. You’ll have access to Zinc’s in-house R&D team, all of whom have come from research backgrounds like yours and can provide help and advice.
  • Make a meaningful contribution to the development of new products and services in areas you care about. We want you to do something that feels important to you while you're with us. By joining a company that works in an area you care about, you'll have a chance to input to the development of products and services that you believe will deliver positive impacts in an important mission area.