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Researcher internship scheme

Our researcher internship scheme is a great opportunity for those looking to pursue a career in applied child and adolescent mental health research and evaluation. 

About the internship scheme

Anna Freud values diversity and aims to have a workforce that reflects this. That's why we set up an annual Researcher Internship Scheme that offers six individuals a three-month funded placement at Anna Freud.

The scheme is aimed at making research careers more accessible and inclusive for individuals who often experience additional barriers in pursuing research careers, or who are underrepresented in the field of mental health research.  


Who can apply?

  • those who have an undergraduate degree in psychology, the social sciences or a related field or equivalent experience (e.g., 12 months’ experience in a researcher role);

  • those who are from a minoritised ethnic group, have lived experience of mental health difficulties and/or are disabled; have the right to live and work in the UK without restrictions.

What does the scheme offer?

  • first-hand experience of working on research and evaluation studies

  • training sessions on applied research and evaluation methods 

  • opportunities to shadow cross-organisational functions such as fundraising, training and communications

  • access to workshops, seminars and other learning events

  • weekly supervision meetings

  • career development mentorship from a senior researcher at Anna Freud.

How do I apply?

The internship scheme for 2023 is now closed for applications. 

To get the latest news on vacancies and to be notified about the Researcher Internship Scheme, please subscribe to the Anna Freud Recruitment Portal or the Anna Freud Learning Network.

Feedback from our 2022 research interns


My main takeaway from this internship is probably a sense of direction for the career path I wanted. Before the internship I found it quite difficult to bridge the gap in experience between my degree and a career in research. I think that the skills I gained, the projects I worked on, and the people I connected with has been super valuable.

Read more about Welaa's experience


I am immensely grateful for this opportunity and hope to return as an employee at Anna Freud sometime in the future. As a Black woman who has continuously sought out research opportunities, words cannot express my gratitude for this internship. I really do hope the Researcher Internship Scheme continues for years to come, providing others with the same amazing opportunity I was given.

Read more about Leah's experience


I didn’t feel pressured to contribute to meetings beyond my knowledge, and it made me feel like a valued team member that I could attend meetings with other permanent members of staff or discuss projects I was involved in at a high level. Overall, the vast majority of things were pitched at the right level and I never felt over or underwhelmed. Importantly, I think there were opportunities to explore interesting things more and so we could really tailor our experiences to things we wanted to learn more about and challenge at the right level.

Read more about Anna's experience


There seems to be a close-knit working relationship amongst the departments within Anna Freud. I feel this is an important aspect, especially when the charity is working diligently to support vulnerable clients. I appreciate how Anna Freud gives back to the community and makes a conscious effort to involve experts by experience, knowing that professionals do have some knowledge but people who experience mental distress first hand may have invaluable insight into what treatment methods are most effective. This is an initiative I will implement in my work, always ensuring to give back and be mindful that the work I'm doing is grounded not just in theoretical knowledge but knowledge from someone with real-life, first-hand experience.

Read more about Ore's experience


Anna Freud houses some of the kindest and most knowledgeable staff I've ever met. This internship is also for people who may have personal or physical struggles accessing or re-entering a workforce. I want more people who may feel nervous and doubt their worth to apply and know there is flexibility here to support you as you need to be supported.

Read more about Holly's experience


Being a recent graduate with very little experience, this internship was a massive confidence boost. I didn’t know what to expect from a full-time ‘9–5’ role so I was very nervous going into it, but my biggest takeaway would be ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ so take every opportunity that comes your way even if you feel underqualified. Everyone I worked with at Anna Freud has been so lovely and it made me realise that people genuinely do want to help you, so if you ever want any advice, people are more than willing to talk to you!

Read more about Samra's experience