summer diversity internship programme


Summer Diversity Internship Programme

Find out about the Fast Stream and the Civil Service on this award-winning internship. Of those surveyed, 100% who completed the internship in 2015 would recommend it.


6 to 9 weeks

Salary per week





The multi-award winning Summer Diversity Internship Programme (SDIP) gives people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to see what a career in the Civil Service is like. It puts talented undergraduates and graduates on a work placement in a government department. As a successful applicant, you’ll get an insight into the broad range of opportunities available across the Civil Service.


The SDIP is a great way to prepare for a place on one of our Fast Stream graduate programmes, which could lead to many different career paths at the heart of the UK Government. Two months on the SDIP could change your life.


Fast Pass – a quicker route to Fast Stream selection

We introduced the ‘Fast Pass’ process last year. This means if you receive a positive appraisal during the 2018 SDIP internship, and then apply for Fast Stream 2019, you’ll be fast-tracked past the initial online selection stages. You’ll also receive coaching to support you. This gives you an excellent chance of Fast Stream success.


  • you need a 2:2 or higher in any degree subject (expected or awarded)
  • you need to be eligible to work in the UK
  • you're in your final 2 years at university

What will you experience?

SDIP What To Expect SDIP What To Expect

On the internship you’ll do challenging project-related work. You could be:

  • conducting research
  • providing project support
  • assisting with the creation of policy documents
  • shadowing senior civil servants
  • attending meetings with senior advisors on major issues

The support you get includes:

  • an allocated Fast Stream buddy and a scheme manager to support and oversee you
  • an excellent range of central events for you to attend, such as crisis management sessions, school mentoring and parliamentary visits
  • a corporate welcome reception in early June and a closing reception in September involving high-profile speakers
  • access to ‘Fast Pass’ which potentially allows you to be fast-tracked to the final stage of Fast Stream selection

the opportunity of a  place on a coaching programme designed to increase your chances of successfully passing the Fast Stream selection process

What do they say

From the blog

Yes, Prime Minister

Read our blog here

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Where challenges can shape your future

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From SDIP to Grade 6

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Your progression through the programme


You can only apply for SDIP in your final 2 years at university. This can include postgraduate studies immediately following your first degree.

Candidates must also be from one or more of the following backgrounds:

  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) - see below
  • socially or economically disadvantaged
  • disabled

Check you're eligible for SDIP

Candidates from these BAME backgrounds can apply:

  • Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese or any other Asian background
  • African, Caribbean or any other black background
  • White and Asian, white and black African, white and black Caribbean or any other mixed ethnic background

The programmes are open to UK nationals and Commonwealth and EEA citizens. All successful applicants will be required to pass security checks and your placement will be dependent on this. We assess social and economic background using questions based mainly on family background.

You’ll need:

  • at least a 2.2 degree (expected or awarded)
  • a real interest in pursuing a career in the Civil Service
  • to show you can work in a team
  • to be innovative and creative
  • to be able to work with people at varying levels of ability and responsibility
  • to be motivated to help make improvements on major policy issues or on how public services are provided
  • to demonstrate the key competencies we expect from civil servants

You can apply for the SDIP regardless of whether you’ve applied for a Fast Stream scheme. However you’ll have to withdraw your internship application if you’re successful for a Fast Stream scheme in the same competition year.

You can only participate in the SDIP once.

As well as meeting the general eligibility requirements we are looking for:

  • a real interest in wanting to pursue a career in the Civil Service
  • demonstrable team-working skills
  • innovation and creativity
  • flexibility in working with people at varying levels
  • strong motivation to make an impact on major policy issues or service delivery

Application process


You take the same initial online tests as all other applicants to the Fast Stream. If you pass, you then complete an online application form. We draw up a shortlist of candidates by the end of February 2018.


Telephone interviews take place around March through to early April 2018.

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