What Works: Conducting Impactful Virtual Internships as a Civic University

This project looks at how virtual internships work and the importance of students getting the best experiences whilst studying.

Virtual internships have become commonplace since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Learning from the experiences of remote working during the pandemic would help support other virtual internships in future, particularly when it is likely that remote working is here to stay in some form. The project will develop a toolkit for schools and colleges at the University of Birmingham to highlight ‘what works’ when conducting virtual internships with internal and external partners.

The toolkit will evidence ‘what works’ from the experiences of conducting virtual internships (conducted in a ‘working from home’ style, rather than face-to-face) from students, staff, university department, external partners, and their impact on place.


Research Theme 1

Skills and Labour Markets


Our project will develop a toolkit to evidence what works when conducting virtual internships and will make an impact on the following, in line with the University of Birmingham 2030 Strategic Framework:

  • Students: What works for students when accessing virtual internships in their education.

  • Staff: How internships can support staff career progression by providing opportunities for line management and mentoring.

  • University Departments, Schools, and Colleges: How providing virtual internships can share experience of ‘what works’ with schools across the university to support improvement in the NSS scores for Learning Opportunities, Practice Placements, Employability and Skills, and Student Voice.

  • Place: How the University of Birmingham can maximise its impact as a civic university.

Research Team

Connor McFadden, Policy and Data Analyst Intern,

Elizabeth Williams, Policy and Data Analyst Intern,

Abigail Taylor, Project Advisory Group

Alice Pugh, Project Advisory Group

Magda Cepeda Zorrilla, Project Advisory Group


Project lead contact details: 

Hannes Read, Project Lead


Virtual Internships


WMREDI is funded by Research England and the WMREDI partnership

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