Summer Studentships/Internships

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

An internship is a fab way to get experience in a professional setting and can help you decide whether or not to go down a particular career path. They can last anywhere between 1-12 weeks and usually take place in the summer before your final undergraduate year. There are lots of opportunities in academia and industry for STEM placements, you just need to know where to look. There are several schemes which offer a stipend which is great, but don’t let lack of funding put you off as the experience may well pay off in the long run. Also, many universities will have studentships available so always start your search there!

Remember many of these programmes are competitive so you will most likely have to apply to more than one.

There are also longer term “work placements” offered usually in an industry setting. Companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Wellcome Trust, Unilever and Johnson and Johnson all provide opportunities.

So to help you find the perfect opportunity I’ve put together a list of placements that you can apply for (and keep a look out for the Genetics Studentship that I have advertised on my Vacancies page).

Wellcome Trust : You’ll get to work on real projects and earn a salary of £2,856 (£18,564 FTE), and the internships last for 8 weeks.

Francis Crick : This is a 9 week programme and includes a salary that meets the London living wage to cover living and travel costs during the placement. Deadline for 2019: 12noon (GMT), Thursday 07 February 2019.

The Sanger : These are offered for three months between June and September and pay you a salary of £1258 per month. They also have a Sandwich Placement Scheme for longer internships.

MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (MRC LMS) : provides intensive laboratory research experience and science communication experience to undergraduate students in the biological and clinical sciences.

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology : you’ll find a helpful list of supervisors looking to host a student on the summer studentship page.

The John Innes Centre : have an Undergraduate Summer School where you will spend 8 weeks at the Norwich Research Park institutes; The Sainsbury Laboratory and The Earlham Institute.

Physiological Society : current deadline 17 February 2019. Students can complete any kind of research project, providing it is hypothesis-driven and requires data collection and analytical skills. In addition to traditional ‘wet’ lab-based research, the scope for these projects could also include data analysis projects or education/science communication research. There is funding of up to £200/week for up to 8 weeks. Students must be an Undergraduate Member of The Society (or have submitted an application for Undergraduate membership) at the time of application and their supervisor either a Full Member or Affiliate, with support from a Full Member. Each supervisor is permitted to apply with one student only.

Genetics Society : The studentship comprises: up to £750 to cover justifiable expenses incurred by the host laboratory & £200/week for up to 8 weeks to cover student subsistence during the studentship. Applications are made by the Project Supervisor, and both supervisor and named student must be members of the Genetics Society.

Biochemical Society : Grants are available for stipends of £200 per week for 6 – 8 weeks, and up to £1,600 in total, to support an undergraduate student to carry out a summer lab placement. The deadline for applications is 22 February 2019.

Lister Institute Summer Studentships : The scheme provides a total of £2,000 (notionally at £200 per week for the students’ accommodation and similar expenses) that is paid prior to the commencement of the studentship. To obtain the full amount of £2,000 the studentship must be held for a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 10 weeks.

BSDB - British Society for Developmental Biology - deadline March.

BBSRC Research experience placements : For up to 10 weeks with a value of £2500 to cover a minimum stipend of £200 per week for the student and a contribution to research expenses during the placement.

Animal Free Research UK : Duration: 8 weeks; Stipend: £180/week; Consumables: up to £500. Projects must show the potential to replace any regulated animal experiments in the UK and be completed by 31st August. Summer Student Programme includes a 3-day Summer School in August, where students will receive careers guidance and training in science communication. Opens for applications 1st Feb 2019.

Jackson Laboratory : This one is further afield but perfect for students who want to immerse themselves in genetics and genomics research. The Summer Student Program is available at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine and The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, Connecticut.

Industrial Placements:

Glaxo Smithkline

Astra Zeneca

Merck, Sharp and Dohme




Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals