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.

What we offer 

There are two different streams in our graduate programme:

  • a general programme
  • a specific investments programme.

Both streams are full time. 

General programme

We want your experience on our general graduate development programme to be varied and fulfilling.

You’ll have the opportunity to work in a broad range of Wellcome’s activities. To find out more, you can:

In this programme you can do four rotations during your two years here.

The salary is £26,000 in the first year and £27,500 in the second year.

Investments programme

As an independent global charity we fund our grants and other activities from a £29.1 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 a 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 
  • basic 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. 

As one graduate commented: "There are three things that set the Wellcome investments graduate scheme apart: fascinating projects across a broad range of sectors and asset classes; learning to think in the truly long term; and the fact that all this varied, exciting work is contributing to an incredible mission. That is why I was thrilled to be offered a full-time role." (Ailsa, one of our graduates)

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 £30,000 in the first year. This will be reviewed in the second year.

Who can apply 

You can apply if you:

  • have an undergraduate or Master's degree (2:2 or above)
  • expect to complete your studies one year before or in the same year as the programme start date
  • have the right to work in the UK – if you are an international student you must have a student visa that is valid at the start date of the graduate programme.

We can't consider your application if you:

  • have any qualification beyond a Master's degree
  • completed your studies more than 15 months before the start of the graduate programme
  • 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.

The key skills that we look for, and want to develop through our programmes, are:

  • Building relationships

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

  • Creativity and innovation

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

  • Initiative and drive

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.

  • Flexibility and adaptability

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.

  • Delivering results

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

  • Presenting and communicating

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.

Diversity and inclusion 

Diversity and inclusion underpins everything we do. As such, we welcome graduate applications from a diverse range of individuals and we work to ensure that our recruitment process is as inclusive as possible. Find out more about diversity and inclusion at Wellcome.

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 Nicole Randal, Early Careers Manager, at, to find out how we can support you.

Working at Wellcome 

Hear why some of our graduates love working at Wellcome


General programme 2021

Applications for roles starting in September 2021 have now closed.

Investments programme 2021

Applications for roles starting in September 2021 have now closed.

How to apply 

Submit an online application

Applications for roles starting in September 2021 have now closed.

For the general programme, you should say which rotations you’re interested in, describe your strengths, tell us what skills you would like to develop and write about a recent news story that has a connection to Wellcome’s work.

For the investments programme, you should give details about your previous work experience, answer a commercial awareness question and tell us what you think would make a good investment opportunity for Wellcome.

We will give you a decision within four weeks of the application deadline. If you are successful in reaching the next stage, we’ll invite you to take part in a video interview.

Video interview

For both programmes, the next stage is a video interview on an online platform. You will be asked four pre-recorded questions. You'll have a set amount of time to plan each answer before you record it. Be prepared to talk about why you want to work at Wellcome and to give examples of how you've demonstrated the skills we look for

If you're applying to the general programme, you'll be asked to expand on the news story you wrote about in your application form. So, you’ll need to keep up to date with the story and how it continues to link to Wellcome’s work.

If you're applying to the investments programme, you'll be asked to expand on the good investment opportunity you wrote about in your application form.

Your interview will be reviewed by at least two people who will assess your answers against set criteria. Each reviewer is trained to make sure the process is fair and focuses on the skills we look for.

Assessment day

This normally takes place at our Wellcome headquarters in London but will be run virtually this year.

You will meet a range of Wellcome employees and have dedicated time with current graduates to ask them questions and get to know them better. 

For the general programme, you will discuss your interest in Wellcome and the programme, your previous experience and the skills you hope to develop. 

For the investments programme, you will take part in a blue sky discussion where you'll discuss your thoughts about different investment opportunities with two members of the investments team.


This will take place remotely or at the Wellcome headquarters in London. 

Your interview will be conducted by senior employees from the team(s) you've shown an interest in. They will ask questions to make sure the scheme is the right opportunity for you. There will be plenty of time for you to ask them questions as well.

What the grads say 

Top tips for the application process

You can also watch graduates explain more about the programme in the videos below. 

Contact us 

For any general questions about the graduate programme, please email Nicole Randal at

You can also download our Graduate Development Programme FAQs [PDF 112KB].

The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 

We are proud to be a Times Top 100 Graduate Employer for the 6th year running.

These employer rankings were compiled from interviews with over 19,000 graduates who left university in 2020.

The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers logo

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