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.
What we offer
There are two different, full-time streams in our graduate programme:
- a general programme
- a specific investments programme.
General graduate development programme
Our two-year graduate programme enables you to develop core transferable skills and experience different teams across Wellcome – from research and policy to support functions and the Wellcome Collection.
It is your opportunity, as an enterprising, motivated recent graduate (with a Bachelor’s or Master’s), to help deliver Wellcome’s mission to improve health.
We want your experience on our general programme to be varied and fulfilling.
You will have the opportunity to work broadly across Wellcome, gaining all-round experience to better understand each area and how they all work together in support of our strategy, or you may be more specialised.
The Corporate Affairs team brings together Wellcome’s strengths in public engagement and communications to advance trust, influence and reputation in service of the health challenges and discovery research, so Wellcome creates lasting social impact and behaviour change.
Corporate Affairs teams:
- The Communications team shapes Wellcome’s reputation, brand and influence with both internal and external audiences.
- The Public Engagement and Campaigns team focuses on building trust, social impact and behaviour change, with target audiences important to our vision and ambitions.
- The Planning and Insight team ensures that all the other teams in Corporate Affairs (and beyond) work effectively together to deliver Wellcome’s shared objectives.
The Digital and Technology (D&T) team is here to ensure we have the digital services, products, data, and technology all wrapped up in great support service and experience needed for the organisation to be able to deliver its strategic vision and ambitions.
Digital and Technology teams:
- The Digital and Data team will develop a data strategy for Wellcome and provide expertise around digital and data delivery.
- The Technology team develops and manages the strategic and long-term objectives of the Technology function that meet the needs of Wellcome and the delivery of our strategy.
- The Experience Design team is responsible for delivering products and services for our users that are user-friendly and solve business and user problems.
- The Information Security team continues to develop the tools, training and automation required to increase information security across Wellcome.
- The Strategy and Governance team is responsible for coordinating the work and activities needed to implement D&T’s strategy in support of Wellcome’s strategy and vision.
The Finance team provides expertise in areas of finance, risk, procurement, control and general business management, to enable informed decision-making and high-quality delivery of organisational goals across Wellcome.
- The Commercial Finance and Planning and Analysis team provide business partnering across the organisation to enable effective decision making, manage the financial planning process as well as producing analysis and reporting for the Executive Leadership team, the Board of Governors and to each area of the organisation.
- The Risk team has responsibility for monitoring risk in Wellcome’s investment portfolio and providing oversight of the risk environment across the whole of Wellcome, in line with our strategic ambitions.
- The Financial Accounting team ensures we manage our accounting and payments processes effectively and efficiently, play a huge role in producing the annual report and financial statements and work closely with the Investments team.
- The Procurement team are responsible for ensuring we have appropriate procurement policies and procedures in place and for helping the organisation navigate these.
- The Tax team have two main functions: to ensure compliance with our tax obligations and to provide expert input into business decisions or activities supporting both the Investments team and the rest of Wellcome whenever needed.
The Legal team’s purpose is to support the delivery of the new strategy with creative legal solutions, ensuring Wellcome complies fully with its legal, ethical, and regulatory obligations and upholds high standards of governance, ethics and conduct.
- The Investments Legal team will continue to offer high-quality legal and transactional support to the Investments division, in collaboration with Finance and Tax colleagues.
- The Ethics, Governance and Compliance team is here to ensure we comply with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements, uphold high standards of governance, and to work across Wellcome and beyond to ensure that we all focus on how we do things and not just what we do.
The operations team is here to support Wellcome’s vision through a range of functions: research funding, finance, legal, digital and technology, risk and the central team. It is also about the extensive operations that deliver our free museum and library, which aim to challenge how we all think and feel about health.
- The International Operations team supports the successful delivery of, and effective cross-Wellcome coordination on, Wellcome’s international programmes, working with colleagues in Research Programmes and beyond.
- The Internal Audit team provide risk-based assurance to both Executive management and the Board of Governors via the Audit and Risk Committee across all aspects of Wellcome activities.
- The Central team provides effective support to the Director and Chair, including delivery of secretariat functions to the Board of Governors, Executive Leadership team and its subgroups.
- Wellcome Collection is Wellcome’s free museum about health and being human. Its vision is to be a place that challenges the ways people think and feel about health by connecting science, medicine, life and art.
The delivery of our new strategy is fundamentally dependent on the skills, wellbeing and motivation of our people. We know we can’t hope to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone without investing in our people.
- The Culture, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team brings direction, accountability, expertise and support to our journey to become an inclusive employer and funder, and build an internal culture that supports our people and drives behaviours that further our mission.
- The Environment and Workplace Services team provides specialist, person-centred expertise to Wellcome and our partners in our buildings, global events and global travel.
- The People Operations team provides expertise and guidance on all people and employment matters.
- The People Strategy and Transformation team enables the organisation to connect so that complex team and organisation-wide people projects and major BAU (business as usual) are implemented effectively, reflecting lessons we’ve learned from past initiatives.
- The Reward and Wellbeing team contributes to the attraction and retention of the talent needed to deliver our strategy by making Wellcome a great place to work. We create, implement and manage inclusive, coherent, competitive, market-facing, fit-for-purpose and equitable compensation, benefits, health, safety and wellbeing strategies.
- The Talent team focuses on recruitment, development and performance within a culture that is owned by everyone.
Research Funding (previously called Grants) enables, supports and manages all of the funding operations for Wellcome.
Research Funding teams:
- The Funding Management team comprises our teams of grants advisors. They manage and deliver the end-to-end grants application and award process.
- The Funding Operations and Governance team provides the underlying operational and governance framework for Wellcome’s funding activities.
- The Funding Logistics team provides specialised support for discovery research and the health challenge programmes in their directed and discretionary funding and implementation of funding calls.
Research, in all its forms, is central to Wellcome’s vision to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone.
To this end we fund discovery research across a wide range of disciplines, with the intention of coming to understand life, health and wellbeing at their deepest levels. We also support research, resources and innovation across three health challenges: mental health, the health impact of climate change and infectious diseases.
Research Programmes teams:
- The Discovery Research team brings together open mode and directed funding to achieve significant shifts in our understanding of life, health and wellbeing – both through research and through the generation of new tools.
- The Climate and Health team bring together a wide range of activities to achieve the long-term vision that climate change does not harm health in the most affected communities, while keeping the needs of these communities at the heart of the programme.
- The Mental Health team brings together a wide range of activities to achieve the long-term vision of a world in which no one is held back by mental health problems. The team’s mission is to find better ways to prevent and treat anxiety, depression and psychosis globally.
- The Infectious Disease team bring together a wide range of activities to achieve the long-term vision of a world in which escalating infectious diseases are under control in the communities most affected.
- The Translation and Portfolio Integration team coordinate translation support for discovery research and the three health challenges and ensure that the four programmes form an integrated portfolio in line with Wellcome’s vision and ambitions.
- The Data for Science and Health team support trustworthy data science that transforms how science solves health challenges and makes discoveries.
- The Research Environment team leads Wellcome’s coordinated activities to shape the research environment in pursuit of Wellcome’s vision and ambitions.
The Strategy team’s job is to help all of Wellcome to set and implement an inspiring strategy, to work across Wellcome to develop and champion the ambitious changes we want to see in the world, and to build the partnerships we need to deliver this.
- The Strategy and Programme Office helps to implement Wellcome’s strategy, set our future direction and priorities, and understand whether we are achieving the long-term impact that we want as an organisation.
- The Transition and Legacy team leads Wellcome’s work to close the areas of funding and direct activities that don’t fit with our new strategy.
- The Policy team leads Wellcome’s efforts to set our influence priorities for decision-makers on each of the health challenges and discovery research programmes and develop our arguments and act as expert advocates to deliver these goals.
- The Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships team leads Wellcome’s efforts to establish and deepen its strategic partnerships and influence key organisations who can help us to deliver our mission.
General programme key dates
Applications open: 3 October to 13 November 2022
Video interviews: week commencing 9 January 2023
Assessment centre: 13 February to 5 March 2023
Final interviews: 8 March to 28 March 2023
The general graduate development programme is closed for applications.
As an independent global charity, we fund our grants and other activities from a £38 billion investment portfolio.
As a member of Wellcome’s Investments Team, you’ll undertake investment analysis, learn about financial markets, develop your investment judgment, and understand how our long-term philosophy seeks to generate returns to support Wellcome’s mission.
You will have a front-row seat at the team’s weekly Investment Decision Meeting, regularly chaired by our Chief Investment Officer, where all the key portfolio decisions are debated and made. Through this, and through interacting with other members of the team, you will get substantial exposure to financial markets and the various asset classes in which Wellcome invests.
Our programme suits people who can think on their feet, enjoy being challenged and are motivated to try new things and contribute ideas.
Soon after joining the team, you will map out a personal development plan with your manager. This plan will set out your specific training and development goals, to be obtained both through experience and through relevant training from internal and external providers.
Suggested areas of training include, but are not limited to, the below:
- Investment Management Certificate (IMC) qualification
- financial analysis and modelling
- public speaking and presentation skills
- debating and negotiation skills.
Graduates benefit hugely from being a part of the Investments Team weekly meeting from day one, where all the most important decisions about the portfolio are discussed and debated.
Soon after joining you will also be assigned a mentor to help you navigate your career development and make the most out of your time at Wellcome.
The salary is £35,000 in the first year.
Hello and welcome to the Wellcome Investments Graduate Program presentation my name is Fabian Teos and I'm one of the two managing directors in the investment team/ I've been at Wellcome for a little over 16 years and I like talking about what we do, so thanks for making a little bit of time for us.
In this presentation we will give an overview of Wellcome, it's charitable mission and how we fund our groundbreaking medical research by generating returns on our 38 billion pounds Investment Portfolio. We will then tell you a bit more about graduates that are at Wellcome before handing over to our current Investments graduate Saba Sharma to share her perspectives with you.
Wellcome is a politically and financially independent global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We are funded from one private endowment established in 1936 by our founder Henry Welcome and aim to exist in perpetuity. Our mission is to support science to solve urgent health challenges across the world.
Our Investment Portfolio is valued at around 38 billion pounds as of the end of September 2021. This portfolio is our only source of funds. It's, therefore, a very simple structure. We make money to give away money. To improve health we've given away about 16 billion pounds over the last couple of decades and we aim to do the same again over the next 10 years
Going into a little bit more detail on Wellcome's mission, we support three strategic areas of science as well as our support for core Discovery Research. Discovery Research is the majority of our funding today representing around two-thirds of our charitable spend.
This is bold research across any field with the potential to change the way we understand life, health and well-being. Our aim is to enable researchers to be ambitious in their search for new understanding about the world. On top of that we have three strategic priority areas. The first is infectious disease, this involves working with communities affected by infectious diseases to bring those diseases under control and stop epidemics. The second is climate and health, this is a new and growing area for us. Our goal is to work with the community's most affected by climate change to explore the harmful effects of global heating on health. We want to improve people's health by funding science that can inform the world's response to climate change. And the third is mental health, this is another new and very exciting area of our work. We're working with people who have lived experience of mental health issues to improve research understanding and treatment so that no one is held back by mental health problems
Bringing this to life a little bit with some examples of the important work that we have funded. One of our major contributions to society was funding the Human Genome Project back in the early 2000s. When the first human genome was sequenced around a third of that happened on the Sanger campus just outside of Cambridge which we fully fund.
Sanger is still one of the preeminent sequencing facilities in the world and more recently the Sanger Institute has played a pivotal role in the sequencing of the Covid-19 variants. As part of the Covid-19 genomics UK Consortium Sanger enabled the sequencing of over one-third of covid samples and led to the ability to track in real time the emergence of new variants.
Elsewhere in covid, we were very active via the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, CEPI, which we co-founded in 2017. CEPI finances and coordinates the development of new vaccines. It has launched an ambitious plan to cut vaccine development time to 100 days. During covid, CEPI funded the AstraZeneca and University of Oxford vaccine and invested in Moderna's vaccine through COVAX, a mechanism for distributing covid vaccines. CEPI has developed and delivered over 600 million doses to over 140 participating countries as of the end of December 2021.
Elsewhere in infectious diseases we helped to develop the first global vaccine for malaria. With our research activities in Kenya, Wellcome also developed a highly effective Ebola vaccine following the 2016 outbreak. This is now stockpiled and ready for use in any future outbreaks. In mental health we were early funders of the first new schizophrenia drug in 50 years that has recently shown to be effective in Phase 3 clinical trials.
And one particularly ambitious initiative is the Wellcome Leap fund. Wellcome Leap built unconventional research programs that aimed to deliver breakthroughs in five to ten years which change existing practices and deliver transformative health benefits that don't fit the traditional research funding model.
As mentioned initially, our only source of funds is our Investment Portfolio. It is therefore important that our portfolio maintains its real value after inflation and delivers a return that allows us to maintain our spending target output. Our Investment Portfolio stands at around 38 billion pounds as at the end of September 2021.
The idea of delivering a four percent real return. So a return that maintains the value of our portfolio and enables our spend is captured by the red line on this chart.
Over the same time period since inception of our portfolio in the mid-1980s, global equities have delivered what's represented by the green line.
Our own investment portfolio's performance is captured by the turquoise line. We are set up to exist in perpetuity, so this is only a beginning but a return of about ten thousand percent over the first 36 years is a good start.
The most frequent question we get on this chart is how do we generate these strong investment returns. We do this by playing to a number of key competitive advantages, the most important one is probably our long-term time horizon. As I mentioned before Wellcome is set up to exist in perpetuity, this is really powerful. We generated a 19 times return on our Apple shares that we first bought in 2008. A nine times return on our shares in Google and Microsoft that we bought at the same time. Our ideal holding period for a company or stock is forever.
We first bought shares in companies like Nestle or Johnson Johnson in 2008, haven't sold a single share since then and occasionally added to our position on weakness. This ability to be a little bit counter-cyclical, to be a little bit contrarian, is another expression of our long-term time horizon. We can be buying when others are selling and quite often, it's a good idea to be selling a little bit when others are very eager to buy. We think of this as the interplay between greed and fear. We can be greedy when others are fearful and we are naturally a little bit fearful when others are greedy.
Another key advantage that we have is that we're very much unconstrained. We can invest in anything, anywhere globally, any sector, any region, any structure any asset class. We invest in startup companies all over the world.
We were early investors in Alibaba in China, but today have a much bigger, better, bigger position in TikTok. Our best performing stock this year to date is an Indonesian Bank. Closer to home we are one of the biggest owners of marinas in the UK and of high-end residential property in South Kensington.
You will get a much deeper insight into this portfolio if you end up joining our team because we look for people who have a broad interest in a range of topics, sectors, and asset classes. Quite frankly Wellcome is not an ideal place for someone who wants to be a deep sector expert in one particular area. But for anyone who is interested in becoming a well-rounded investor, across many asset classes there's hardly a better place that we could think of.
We are passionate about productivity and we're obsessed with the idea of continuous Improvement. So we look for people who challenge conventional wisdom, who help us think outside of the box, who offer new perspectives, who help us do what I just spoke about before: be greedy when others are fearful and who remind us to be fearful when others are greedy.
We also look for genuine team players because what we practice is a team sport.
We work across one team, we help each other, we share information across the team, we make decisions as a team, we passionately, passionately believe that teams – especially diverse teams – make better decisions and we've worked really hard over the years to assemble a team that has a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Our mantra is "one team, one portfolio, one mission".
Now, we will tell you a bit more about what investment graduates can expect from Wellcome. After your two years in investments what happens next in terms of our outcomes. So far 10 graduates have joined Wellcome's investment graduate scheme, of those four have stayed in investments and two are currently on the scheme, other destinations include Cambridge Associates with Jetty Asset Management and Cincona Investment Management. Across Wellcome's broader graduate program other candidates have gone on to work for the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine amongst many others.
Taking a step back, the graduate program was introduced to create age diversity at Wellcome and so much more Wellcome benefits from development and learning from a new generation. Our programs are rotational and for investments and investments career-specific route you'll have access to great support networks, including a former business mentor and line manager and an informal buddy. In terms of Learning and Development you will develop a personalised learning and development plan in collaboration with your line manager, you'll have exposure to the Wellcome induction process, core skills courses, investment specific training and financial sponsorship and study leave for the IMC investment qualification. In terms of other benefits, on top of your salary, offered by Wellcome, this includes pension contributions, a free gym, subsidised restaurants, a great working environment and volunteering days, and with that, I'll hand it over to our current investments graduate Saba Sharma to share her perspectives.
Hello my name is Saba and I'm in the second year of the Investments graduate program. In terms of my background, I'm originally from Singapore and I studied at King's College London in the UK before joining Wellcome.
So what makes Wellcome's investment graduate program unique? You will be exposed to holistic view of our investment universe, learning about a globally diversified portfolio and different investment asset classes spanning geographies and sectors, you will have weekly interactions with our CIO – our chief investment officer. The entire investment team attends our weekly meetings, which are chaired by our CIO and are a forum to debate, investment ideas and make investment decisions. You will be asked for your opinion from your very first meeting because we value multiple perspectives and our voices. We want to hear your opinion.
In terms of your personal Learning and Development plan, this will be mapped out after joining. Examples of training include support for the IMC qualification, basic financial analysis and modelling, public speaking and presentation skills, and debating and negotiation skills. You will also have a Graduate Development Fund which you can use and tailor to your learning development program. You'll work with a small, highly motivated team who enjoy working to serve Wellcome's purpose to improve health. Being part of such a small team gives you the benefits of developing strong relationships that will prepare you well for your future career.
As a graduate you'll work on a variety of interesting and exciting projects. Graduates have made important contributions across a variety of investments in the past examples including analysing stocks, for instance Apple, meeting company management teams, reviewing existing privacy equity funds, contributing to our sustainability analysis, due diligence and venture capital funds and working alongside the healthcare team – one of our many other sector teams.
Graduates have played an important role in designing and launching our net zero strategy. As part of our internal Net Zero working group you will also have the opportunity to attend various external events such as conferences and workshops at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and the investor forum. Our internal meeting schedule is also very stimulating and creative which includes weekly investment decision meetings, blue skies big picture discussions, dedicated industry sector teams and asset class team meetings. In a nutshell there's never a dull moment.
Thank you for listening to our investments graduate presentation, we hope you'll end up applying to Wellcome. Here are some further links to further information. We wish you the very best of luck with your application and for your future career journey.
The graduate investments programme is closed for applications.
Who can apply
To apply to the general programme or the investments programme, you must:
- have an undergraduate or Master's degree (2:2 or above)
- have graduated between 2021 and 2023
- be available from 6 September 2023
- have the right to work in the UK.
We are looking for individuals whose values, beliefs and attitude are aligned to those of Wellcome and are demonstrated in their behaviour.
- Working with others: The ability to relate to co-workers, inspire others to participate, and mitigate conflict with co-workers.
- Analytical and research skills: The ability to assess a situation, seek multiple perspectives, gather information and identify key issues that need to be addressed.
- Communicating with clarity and confidence: The ability to write, speak and present effectively and facilitate communication.
- Creativity and innovation: The ability to identify and create novel approaches to generate solutions.
- Flexibility and ability to cope with change and ambiguity: The ability to manage multiple assignments and tasks and adapt to changing conditions and work assignments.
- Project management, planning and organising: The ability to plan and organise oneself and others to deliver work and prevent future problems.
- Initiative, decision making and judgement: The ability to make timely, informed decisions that consider the facts, goals, constraints and risks.
Adjustments for applicants
No one should face barriers when applying to work at Wellcome. We’re keen to make sure our application process is accessible to everyone. This includes making adjustments for people who have a disability or long-term condition.
Email Silver Chida, Early Careers Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can support you.
How to apply
Complete an online application form – you’ll be asked to answer a series of scenario-based questions.
Please note, that our application process is anonymised. So please ensure you fill out all the required fields, as they will be collected for use later in the process. We do not accept CVs as part of the application process.
- Complete the online application form for the general graduate development programme.
- Complete the online application form for the investments programme. You can also register to attend our in-person open evening on Tuesday 11th October which will provide an introduction to our graduate investments programme.
If your initial application is successful, you will be invited to participate in a video submission answering competency-based questions. You will be sent the relevant information including a link which will contain instructions on how to complete and submit the video interview via email.
If you’re successful at the video interview stage, you will be invited to an assessment day which will be held at our office in Euston, London. This will be a full day which will consist of a series of exercises that reflect the types of activities you would experience in the role. It’s also a great opportunity to see where we work and meet some of our current employees to talk about their experiences.
Following the assessment centre, you will be invited to the final interview where we will use this opportunity to learn more about you, you can also use this time to ask any questions, and learn more about Wellcome and who we are.
Following the final interview stage, you will find out if you have been successful or not – we provide feedback to all candidates that make it to this final stage.
Working at Wellcome
I'd say the best thing about working at Wellcome is just how friendly and open everyone here has been at sharing what they do here, and helping you to know how to engage with their work as well.
The most surprising thing for me about working at Wellcome is how much I've developed in the past year, and how my interests have changed compared to how I thought they might lie at the start of the scheme. I started working Wellcome Collection, but I found I really enjoyed all the roles across the Trust.
So for me, the best thing about working Wellcome is that you have a really good balance of working in a really big organisation that is really well known around the world, and so it gives you a lot of kudos when you're going out and interacting with people outside of Wellcome. But at the same time, it doesn't feel like a big organisation where no one cares about you as an individua. It feels like somewhere where you can genuinely feel part of a community and there's a lot of cross talk between different departments here. It doesn't feel alienated or isolating in any way, even though there's a lot of people working under the same roof.
What has surprised me about working at Wellcome, is the difference and kind of working practice and culture between teams, which you really get to understand when you're a graduate and you kind of move from rotation to rotation to those teams. Different divisions can work in very different ways and look for very different things in their kind of day-to-day practices, basically, and that's been really interesting to get an understanding of.
So, one of the best things that I absolutely love about working at Wellcome is the opportunity to kind of get involved with lots of things kind of outside of your day to day job. There's so many kinds of social committees sports committees to get involved with. I've started on the Wellies committee this year which is Wellcome’s own kind of sports and social committee, and there's the opportunity to kind of run events and to kind of organize competitions and just meet lots of different staff from all over the Trust, which is brilliant.
There are a lot of great things about working at Wellcome, but one of the really nice extra things that we have are a lot of great benefits. So, for example, we have a free gym in the building which is really great for keeping healthy and keeping good mental health as well. We also have some really great subsidised delicious food available and there are a lot of discounts available through our benefits portal, for example eateries and cinema, which is also great.
What the grads say
So, my top tip for the application process is to really prepare well. I actually think preparation really pays off and so, for example, if you're preparing for a video interview or an assessment day or even preparing to write your application form, it's a really good idea to do some solid research on Wellcome find out a little bit more about what they do. What sort of activities they're involved with at the moment. What their priorities are. You can do this through a lot of different ways. We have a great website, but it also might find it useful to attend career's events and speak to people who work here or to attend webinars.
My top tips for application process would be to be explicit and really use those key skills that are listed and also to not be afraid in showing your enthusiasm and by making your application unique to you and genuinely showing your interest in Wellcome.
So, one of my top tips for the application process is to really think about why this scheme suits you right now. Because it's the opportunity to try out lots of different things, you're kind of not being trained just for one particular role, it's the opportunity to kind of like experiment with different activities. So, you have to really think about why is that important to you. Why does the structure of the scheme really work for you?
When you are doing your application my top tips for the application process would be to be as self-reflective and self-aware as possible when answering our questions for the Graduate Development Scheme at Wellcome. We’re really keen to hear what you'd like to achieve over the two years with us, as well as your strengths.
One of my top tips for the application process would be to make it perhaps as unique as possible. I think that something I drew on was kind of unique experiences I've had through work experience I've done in the past or kind of a project that I did at school that kind of stood out from other things in my life. I think that kind of gives you a bit of an edge and it kind of shows that you are doing things outside of just schoolwork that's on the curriculum as it were. So, yeah, I would definitely recommend picking unique things about yourself that really make you stand out against other applicants.
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