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Space Placements in Industry: FAQs for Host Organisations

  • A bright, enthusiastic self-starter placed with you and your team for eight (or more) weeks
  • An injection of fresh ideas and enthusiasm, together with up-to-date academic knowledge
  • An opportunity to have a defined project or piece of work carried out, that you may not otherwise have resource for.
  • A chance to informally ‘interview’ a potential employee that could save your organisation significant recruitment costs

Placements offered through SPIN are unique. We seek host organisations who can provide a paid work placement with valuable ‘real world’ work and learning opportunities, and a chance to contribute to a defined, space related project. Competitive grants to support the employment of the SPINtern are available through the UK Space Agency. 

During the placement, SPIN will provide support enabling both host and intern to get the most from the experience. Your part in the scheme is to support and mentor the SPINtern during their placement providing them with the commercial context for the application of their skills. We know from previous experience that SPINterns have contributed in very tangible ways to the businesses they have worked in, creating marketable products, delivering training to clients, frequently staying on beyond their placement to work on commercial projects, or being offered permanent positions.

We will need you to set out beforehand the kind of placement you are offering, the anticipated outcomes in terms of deliverables and learning objectives, what kind of individual you are hoping to take on and the level of payment you can offer to the SPINtern. Indications of the range and type of projects that have been supported are given in SPIN projects, but obviously, every project is unique. We know that the more thought that goes into scoping the project at the outset, the easier it is for hosts to support their SPINterns throughout the project and for SPINterns to hit the ground running. Of course, we can offer advice and guidance on designing suitable projects where required.

Interested?

If you may be interested in hosting a SPINtern, please visit the UKSA website, or contact: katharine.bowden@ukspaceagency.gov.uk

We welcome initial, informal enquiries – making an enquiry does not commit you in any way.

Timeline

Each placement will be publicised on this website for approximately four weeks from the date your job description is received by the Catapult. All applications go through the SPIN office to ensure eligibility before being forwarded to the project supervisor for consideration / acceptance on closure of this period. Selection is through your own normal processes and hosts decide whether they wish to interview or not. All applicants should be notified either way, within 4 weeks of the closing date. We request that all hosts are kind enough to follow this nicety. The relationship is then between host organisation and the SPINtern. Please let us know as soon as you have made an offer and it is accepted, so that we can manage other applications the SPINtern may have submitted.

SPIN Induction Event

The Induction Day will be held on Monday 27 June 2022, at the Satellite Applications Catapult in Harwell and remotely. It is open to SPINterns Host/employer organisations and University tutors.  The event gives an exciting overview of all the activities and opportunities in the UK Space Sector.  It is also an opportunity to connect with SPINterns and other organisations in the sector.

SPIN Poster and Showcase Event

It is a requirement of the programme that every SPINtern produces a poster (details will be confirmed nearer the time) of the project during their placement. The Employer should ensure this is completed during their time in their organisation.  The poster will be displayed at the Showcase Event which is usually held in the Autumn (details to be confirmed nearer the time).  During the Showcase event SPINterns are also required to give a 2 minute pitch about their project (poster).  This is a fantastic opportunity to really demonstrate what the SPINtern has achieved during their placement and practice the skills they’ve learnt which will be very valuable to future employers.


Frequently Asked Questions

How does the process work?

  1. Grant funding may be available from the UK Space Agency to support your SPIN placement.
  2. Employers identify and scope a project advert ensuring that it follows best practice guidelines to attract a good selection of candidates
  3. SPIN will advertise it for 4 weeks, inviting those eligible to apply through an online form with CV
  4. SPIN will collate all applications before delivering them to the host employer
  5. Supervisor selects potential candidate(s) using their usual criteria, and agrees terms directly with the SPINtern. Supervisors are asked to inform the SPIN office as soon as a candidate has accepted and should inform all unsuccessful candidates within 4 weeks.
  6. Projects should run for at least 8 weeks at a mutually agreed time. We strongly encourage the host to attend the Induction Day with their SPINtern, on 27th June 2022, at the Satellite Applications Catapult, Harwell. We hope to facilitate streaming of the event for those not located close enough to Harwell.
  7. You should ensure that the poster and presentation that the SPINtern prepares and produces with your support for the Showcase Event in Autumn 2022, is compliant with your own objectives.

How long should placements be?

At least 8 weeks, but any length that suits the host organisation is acceptable as long as it works for both parties. NB: we have found that some candidates completed their projects more rapidly than was anticipated, so it pays to have a supplementary role “in the back pocket”.

What is a “Project”?

Projects can vary from organisation to organisation. It may be a piece of research or a small project that would otherwise not be done. It may be working as part of a team, or something more independent. The more time spent scoping the project at the beginning, the easier it is for the SPINtern to hit the ground running, and less support the host will need to provide throughout the project.

When should the project be carried out?

The Induction Day is on 27  June 2022 and so it is often easy to start on this date as long as it works for both of you. In some circumstances, projects may be made available at different times of the year, please discuss with Katharine Bowden if this is the case

Will the SPINterns be paid?

Yes, these are paid placements and our guide is £1500 per month which should enable the SPINtern to travel to their place of work, and potentially live away from home.

Is there any funding available to support companies?

Funding will be made available through a competitive grant process and a link will be made available here as soon as the Call opens.

Intellectual Property

All parties agree to abide by the intellectual property rights, security clearances, and any required documentation as set out by the host of the placement.

Health and Safety

The host will ensure that they meet all legislative and insurance requirements for hosting the student, including adequate supervision and training.

Review

All host employers are asked to provide the successful candidate with an informal review at the end of their placement, with advice on how they could improve their CV, and a reference for their CV if requested.


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