Christmas Lectures PhD Intern

A unique opportunity to join the Ri for 3 months at its’ busiest and most exciting time of year: the planning, filming, and broadcasting of the Christmas Lectures.

Audiences in the Theatre at the Royal Institution

Job Title:            Christmas Lectures PhD Intern

Location:            Albemarle Street and other locations as needed

Contract type:   3-month, full-time PhD internship, 35 hours per week, September to December 2022

Salary:               Payment through University/Research Council Stipend

About the project and the role

This placement will involve joining the Ri at its busiest and most exciting time of year; the planning, filming and broadcasting of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES.

Started by Michael Faraday in 1825, and broadcast on national television every year, the CHRISTMAS LECTURES are the UK's flagship science series. This three-part series is filmed in front of a live audience in the Ri’s famous lecture theatre and watched by millions on the BBC over the festive period and after, on BBC iPlayer and the Ri YouTube channel.

They will be a key part of the delivery team for the Christmas lectures, working alongside Ri colleagues. They will assist with preparations for the creation, development and implementation of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES and associated activities. The role will involve working with, a TV production company, partner organisations around the UK, and a variety of unpredictable children, animals, academics and props.

Every day will be different but potential tasks and responsibilities will include helping to coordinate the various partners who come together to make the Lectures happen. This may include researching items for scripts, sourcing and building props, and managing events.

You will also be provided with the opportunity to work with Ri staff in other departments, so that you gain a full understanding of how we realise our vision.

Who are we looking for?

This placement would be ideal for anyone interested in learning more about science communication and informal education through demonstrations, live events, and mass media. There is no need to have any prior TV or presenting experience, but the following experience is highly desirable:

  • Experience working on projects, with multiple stakeholders, to a rigid timetable.
  • Experience of taking science communication and/or informal education projects from conception through to delivery.



This opportunity is open to PhD students who are eligible to undertake an internship as part of their studentship and are in receipt of a stipend from their Doctoral Training Programme (DTP). Please check with your relevant DTP to ensure funding is available before applying.

Participating Research Councils include (but may not be exclusive to): BBSRC, NERC, MRC, AHRC, EPSRC, ESRC.

Please note there is no formal agreement in place between the Ri and UKRI, and each placement will be reviewed by the grant holder and approved at their discretion. You will need to obtain the grant holder’s written permission to undertake the placement, outlining any funding arrangements, before a position can be offered.

Unfortunately, the Ri is unable to assist with accommodation costs; applicants need to be able to arrange accommodation in London or the South East for the duration of the 3 months. Some assistance with travel costs may be available.

How to apply

To apply, please review the full role description below and send your CV and a supporting statement (of no more than 500 words) explaining why you are interested in applying and how you meet the requirements specified in the role description to by 9.00am on Wednesday 20 July 2022

Interviews will be held week commencing 25 July 2022.

Please also include a copy of the equal opportunities form with your application.

Equal opportunities

We ask applicants to complete and return the recruitment monitoring form along with their application. The Ri is committed to equality of opportunity at all stages of the recruitment process. The information supplied in this form will be treated in strict confidence and not form part of the selection process. You may choose not to disclose some or all of the information requested in the form, and this will not affect your application in any way.

Hear from past interns

Meet our past interns and read about their experiences on our blog.

  • Kate Rogerson was our Programmes Assistant for the 2018 CHRISTMAS LECTURES series 'Who am I?'  with Alice Roberts
  • Sarah Madden was our Media Assistant for the 2017 CHRISTMAS LECTURES series 'The Language of Life' with neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott
  • Jim Whiting was our Media Assistant and Abby Guillermo our Demo Assistant for the 2015 CHRISTMAS LECTURES series 'How to Survive in Space' with space medicine expert Kevin Fong

About the Royal Institution

The purpose of the Royal Institution is to connect as many people as possible with science. We've been doing it for well over 200 years and have an international reach, working with world-leading scientists, from Hannah Fry to Carlo Rovelli.

We talk, and listen, to the public. We help scientists talk, and listen, to the public. We develop critical thinking and a spirit of exploration in young people through our educational work.

Our activities include the world-famous CHRISTMAS LECTURES, talks from leading scientists and thinkers, explosive science shows, engaging school programmes, the Faraday Museum, our archival collections, and our innovative digital engagement activities, including live-streamed talks and our YouTube channel, which has over one million subscribers.

We believe that science is transformative. It shapes our world, and everyone should have a say in how it is used in our lives.