Aspiring Scientists Training Programme
Not just an ordinary work experience! The ASTP is designed to give A-level biology students a chance to experience what a career as a biologist entails, from bespoke workshops with experts in the sector, to networking opportunities with scientists and the chance to explore life at a world-renowned research university.
Online applications for ASTP 2023 are now open!
Before applying, please read this whole webpage, as well as the guidance document and job description linked below very thoroughly.
New for 2023
The ASTP has expanded!
Due to the success of previous programmes run at the Gurdon Institute, this year we have tripled the number of students who will join us in Cambridge this July, as well as including four other Cambridge University research institutes in the programme.
Cambridge Institute for Medical Research
This programme is for students in state (non-fee paying) schools, ages 16+ who are currently pursuing A-level/IB/Higher level (or equivalent) qualifications in biology and maths who are interested in higher education or a career in science.
Please see the Guidance Document for full eligibility information.
Due to limited availability, please note that spaces will be competitive and completing an application form does not guarantee placement.
For one week, students will:
- spend afternoons in a lab each day, learning and practising research techniques
- attend four bespoke, interactive workshops with experts
- research a scientific topic or technique and create and deliver a presentation to peers and researchers
- meet and network with PhD students and other scientists to talk to them about their jobs and get advice about careers and educational opportunities
- explore Cambridge University, with the opportunity to ask questions and get advice from staff and students
How to Apply
1. Read through the job description document.
2. Read through the application guidance document. NOTE: this document is only to help you plan your responses to our online application form. We will not accept any applications that are submitted outside of the online application system (see step 5 below).
3. Check with your parent(s)/carer(s) and your school to be sure that you are free and able to attend the work experience during the dates listed on the application form.
4. Look around online to find out more information about the labs that interest you and the work they do.
5. Complete an application form online when the applications open in winter 2022.
Please note, the job description and application form is just for guidance. We retain the right to change the programme for 2023.
If you have read and understood all of the information on this webpage, along with the job description and the guidance document, please use the link below to submit your application.
Note: You will not be able to save your progress in the application form, so please make sure you have prepared your answers before starting.
Thank you to our funders and collaborators
ASTP will be expanded in 2023 due to generous funding from the Isaac Newton Trust Widening Participation and Induction Fund.
This funding has allowed the Gurdon Institute to collaborate with St Catharine’s College (programme lead), Pembroke College, the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, MRC-Mitochondrial Biology Unit and Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science.
…it’s really fun, and is one of the few opportunities before university where you will get to live in your own, in a different city, and experience this with other people your age!2019 ASTP Student
Having experienced what the daily work of a researcher is like has made me feel more confident in choosing this as a potential career path in the future. Moreover, being exposed to the various lab techniques has made me appreciate and enjoy what I learn in Biology even more.2019 ASTP Student
…it gave me a good insight into what life in this industry may look like and has given me the confidence to do a degree that is heavily lab based.2019 ASTP Student
…it benefited me as it showed me how interesting a career in research is. It also helped me in my personal statement as I could link the work experience to the degree I wanted to do.2019 ASTP Student
It has helped me in personal development, scientific skills, gaining an understanding of the career and enhanced my university application.2018 ASTP Student
[The programme] assured me I wanted to study Biology and gave me an insight into the career. Also strengthened my application, as I could show I have relevant skills.2018 ASTP Student
Get in Touch
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the project team will get back to you.