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Santander Universities SME Internship Programme

Santander SME Internships Programme

Attracting and retaining the very best talent is important for ambitious small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Santander Universities SME Internship Programme provides up to £1,260 in grant funding to enable eligible SMEs to offer internships to students and recent alumni from the University of Cambridge.

If you would like to participate in the scheme, you can find more information on the Santander Portal.

SME eligibility criteria

  • Registered and based in the UK.
  • 250 or less employees.
  • £50 million or less turnover.
  • Company, sole trader or partnership.

Intern eligibility criteria

  • Final year University of Cambridge student (undergraduate, postgraduate or PhD) – graduating in 2020.
  • Recent University of Cambridge alumni – graduated 2018-2019.

SME guidelines

SMEs are responsible for recruiting eligible interns.

Internships of four to eight weeks duration will be part-funded by Santander at £157.50 per week to a maximum of £1,260, to be matched by the SME.

Santander funding
(standard rate)
Santander funding
(London rate)*
SME Contribution
(standard rate)
SME Contribution
(London rate)*
4 weeks £630.00 £738.50 £630.00 £738.50
5 weeks £787.50 £923.13 £787.50 £923.13
6 weeks £945.00 £1,107.75 £945.00 £1,107.75
7 weeks £1,102.50 £1 292.38 £1,102.50 £1,292.38
8 weeks £1,260.00 £1,477.00 £1,260.00 £1,477.00

*For internships based in London.

  • Interns must be paid at least £315 per week based on a 35-hour week (pro-rate for part time).
  • SMEs must pay the full amount of £315 per week or pro-rata and claim reimbursement at the end of the internship by invoicing Cambridge Judge Business School at £157.50 multipled by the number of weeks.

Please note the University pays 30 days from the last day of the month in which the invoice is received e.g. invoices received in June are paid at the end of July.

Please refer to the Santander Universities SME Internship Programme terms and conditions.

If you have a query related to the internship programme, contact the team via

Recruitment resources

If you are unsure of how to go about recruiting the right intern for your business, here are some handy resources.

The University of Cambridge Careers Service offers a recruiting service where you can post your vacancy and get help and advice from their knowledgeable team. We strongly encourage you to use this service. For help and assistance, contact Sally Cox or 01223 767 863.

Stuart Logan at Aspire Cambridge is also happy to answer your questions about the recruitment process. You can contact him at or 01223 855440.

Make sure to indicate in all communications that your enquiry relates to the Santander Universities SME Internship scheme.

If you have any questions or need more information about the scheme, please email

What to do next

Once you have recruited an intern, please complete and submit an application form. Preference is given to internships that would lead to an offer of employment should the intern meet expectations. Please note that submission of an application form does not guarantee funding.

If you require an intern later in the year and are not ready to fill in an application form, you can email to request that we place you on our waiting list.

As an SME, it’s hard to compete against more established companies to attract top talent. The Santander SME Internship programme – which funds half of the costs of an internship – was invaluable to us. We were delighted to have Tom Higgins Toon, a Cambridge graduate, over the summer to support us with our marketing activities and day-to-day operations.
Caroline Pegden, co-founder of TempaGoGo, an online temporary recruitment marketplace
At careers fairs, it can be hard for students to distinguish between the hundreds of internationally renowned companies jostling for fresh talent. Yet thanks to the Santander SME Internship programme, I have had the opportunity to make a real difference in the world of startups. Mentored by the delightful Caroline and Phil Pegden, co-founders of TempaGoGo, I have been able to chance my arm at everything from digital marketing to operations. It really is like doing a “mini MBA”.
Tom Higgins Toon, Marketing and Operations Intern, TempaGoGo

Apply now

Applications are now open to participate in the Santander SME Internships Programme.

Apply now

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