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Internship vacancies

Public Affairs Intern

Rare Disease UK (RDUK), an initiative of Genetic Alliance UK, is the national alliance for people with rare diseases and all who support them. It is a stakeholder coalition brought together to work with Government to develop and oversee the implementation of a UK Strategy for Rare Diseases.

Effective implementation of the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases will ensure that people living with a rare disease have access to the best care and treatment that health and social services can provide. The UK Strategy is the first time since the establishment of the NHS that patients and families with rare diseases have a clear and strong commitment from Government to meet their needs. The document is signed by all four health ministers of the UK with support from across the political spectrum.

There's been much progress since the publication of the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases - the Implementation Plans for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been published as well as the Statement of Intent from NHS England. However, there is a risk that all 51 commitments in the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases will not be implemented and with a General Election fast approaching, it is important that we do not lose traction.

Collectively rare diseases are not rare. 1 in 17 people will be affected by a rare disease at some point in their life; approximately 3.5 million people in the UK. 75% of rare diseases affect children and 30% of rare disease patients will die before their 5th birthday.

What this internship offers: Our aim for this internship is to offer an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic individual to learn skills and gain demonstrable experience in public affairs. The intern will have the opportunity to contribute ideas on how we can improve and enhance our public affairs activities, helping us to develop and deliver them into effective initiatives.

What the internship will involve: The Public Affairs Intern will work directly with the Public Affairs Officer to lobby parliamentarians to ensure the effective implementation of the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases in all four nations of the UK. One project that our intern will have the opportunity to get involved with is our Pledge Card Campaign which will target MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of rare, genetic and undiagnosed conditions, to build relationships with key stakeholders, and to ensure a commitment to the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases. The Public Affairs Intern will also have the opportunity to attend and play a key role in our annual parliamentary Rare Disease Day receptions that will take place across Britain at the end of February.

What we like our interns to have:

  • A degree or equivalent experience.
  • A can-do attitude. Good research, communication skills and IT literacy.
  • An organised approach to work with attention to detail.
  • An enthusiasm for working as part of a team as well as using their own initiative.
  • Commitment to the aims and objectives of Genetic Alliance UK and Rare Disease UK.

Supported by: Public Affairs Officer
Based at: Unit 4D, Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, London N1 3QP
Term: up to 21hrs a week for up to 12 weeks
Remuneration: Lunch and travel and expenses (between Zones 1-6)

To apply, please submit a cover letter and your CV to Farhana Ali, either by email at or by post to Farhana Ali, Genetic Alliance UK, Unit 4D, Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, London, N1 3QP.

Closing date: 9th February 2015
Interviews: 12th February 2015

Internships at Genetic Alliance UK

We are a small, expert and enthusiastic team. Our interns become a part of the team and have the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of the work we do to provide support for, and campaign alongside all those affected by genetic conditions. We always try to ensure that our interns have the best possible experience with us.

We offer a variety of internships. You might lead on your own project, such as organising an event or researching and producing a report, or gain experience of working alongside colleagues on a number of different projects at once. This could involve engaging with our patient group membership, developing policy positions, delivering workshops and focus groups or producing content for our website and social media platforms.

Our aim is to ensure that you have a valuable learning experience and that the skills and expertise you gain whilst working at Genetic Alliance UK will enhance your CV and enable you to progress on your chosen career path. We also like to learn from our interns, and welcome new ideas on how we can improve the way we work and particularly, how we can make sure our interns get the most out of the time they spend with us.

For all our interns, we promise to:

  • Give you interesting work that we would otherwise be happy to do ourselves;
  • Provide a clear work plan whilst giving you the autonomy to shape your own role;
  • Ensure that you have as much support and guidance as you need whilst you are with us;
  • Give you the opportunity to gain experience in the skills areas you are most keen to develop;
  • Work the hours and the days that are most convenient for you.

While we do our best to secure funds to support our interns while they work with us, this is not always possible. We will always cover our interns’ travel and lunch costs though, and do not permit our unpaid interns to work more than three days a week.

You can see what our previous interns have to say about their experience with us below. We use feedback from our interns to improve their experience.

We don't currently have any internship opportunities.

Feedback from previous interns


I really enjoyed working with the policy team of Genetic Alliance UK. I had little experience in policy and working with the policy team gave me a good overview of the different tasks they have to complete. I had the chance to draft consultation responses and statements, and help at workshops and conferences. The team was very friendly and supportive and think the internship provides a good insight into the workings of policy.


My time as an intern at Genetic Alliance UK was a great overall experience. I had the opportunity to work on a variety of tasks, from communicating with our members to maintaining our online presence. On top of this, my favourite experience was attending and helping to organise our parliamentary receptions across the UK in recognition of Rare Disease Day 2014. This was a great chance to meet with some of our members and learn more about the benefits of our work. The atmosphere in the office was incredibly friendly and everyone in the team was very welcoming. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in working there!


It was a very enriching experience overall and I learnt a lot. I was directly involved in recruiting companies and community groups for the event. It was the first time I worked in Corporate Fundraising and the internship gave me a good insight of this area of fundraising. I always felt encouraged to participate and the other team members would take into account my suggestions and ask for my opinion. I loved the variety in the role and the working environment was excellent very friendly and helpful.


My experience was really positive; everyone was really supportive, friendly and helpful. The pink hoody was also nice! I enjoyed being part of the Genetic Alliance UK team.


I really enjoyed my internship at Genetic Alliance UK. I had never done an internship abroad before, so I was really excited. In university, all the data you need is served on a platter. At Genetic Alliance UK I saw how it works in reality: sometimes a bit difficult but also a huge challenge. Besides that I liked that the atmosphere was really informal, that way it was easy to talk to someone or to ask and get in touch with each other. I didn't feel boundaries and that causes to really get to know my lovely colleagues). It was amazing to see how the team works, everybody was so tailored to each other and worked together really well!